Manchester City: 5 players expected to shine in Russia

Man City have the most players at the World Cup out of any club in world football. However, who is expected to shine most when it matters?


Reuters/CARL RECINE

Premier League champions Manchester City are going to be well represented at the World Cup with the majority of their squad featuring at the tournament. Pep Guardiola’s men were arguably the best domestic side in Europe this past season, making it no surprise that they have so many players at the competition.

There are 16 current Manchester City players expected to play at the World Cup, the most of any club-side in the world. Here are the top five to watch in Russia.

  1. 5 Raheem Sterling (England)


    Reuters/CARL RECINE

    Caps: 38 Goals: 2

    After a superb season for champions Man City, England's expressive forward Raheem Sterling has a big role to play in Gareth Southgate's side in Russia.

    Enjoying Guardiola's free-flowing football, Sterling may need to adapt in order to enjoy similar successes for the national side: Kane and Rashford offer different support to Aguero and Sane. 

    Sterling's conversion rate for England needs addressing. If the 23-year-old can use his pace in order to get behind opposition lines, he will prove an invaluable commodity for Southgate against the stronger sides. 

    His finishing, however, has often come under scrutiny. Whether he has the guile to unlock the deeper-defending weaker sides is yet to be seen.

  2. 4 David Silva (Spain)


    Reuters/HEINO KALIS

    Caps: 121 Goals: 35

    Third behind Sergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta in caps for his national side, David Silva is once again expected to shine for La Roja.

    Silva may have missed periods of Man City's record-breaking season last campaign, however, when he played, he reminded the world of just how important he can be to any starting eleven. 

    Cool, calm and composed on the ball, Silva can often see passes that others cannot; his style of play for club is well suited to this fluid Spanish side.

    Expected to start just in behind Diego Costa with Isco and Asensio either side, Silva will tick like a clock, recycling attack after attack until Spain unpick the relevant lock.

  3. 3 Sergio Aguero (Argentina)


    Reuters/AGUSTIN MARCARIAN

    Caps: 85 Goals: 37

    Despite struggling to qualify for this summer's World Cup, Argentina are always considered a threat in tournament football.

    Sergio Aguero will lead La Albiceleste's line in Russia, with a competitive group involving Nigeria, Croatia, and Iceland the hurdle that Jorge Sampaoli's side will have to hurdle. The goals of the Man City striker could prove crucial.

    Argentina only scored 19 goals in their 18 qualifying matches, with Aguero unable to notch up a goal in his eight outings. Tournament football, however, is a different prospect, with the 30-year-old looking to make an impact on the biggest stage.

    Goals in his last three internationals against Russia, Nigeria, and Haiti have solidified his place up front. With pressure on the shoulder of Lionel Messi, Aguero may be able to steal the show in a deep run for the South Americans.

  4. 2 Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)


    Reuters/HEINZ-PETER BADER

    Caps: 16 Goals: 9

    Still inexperienced at international level, Gabriel Jesus is expected to have his 'breakout' tournament in Russia.

    This new generation of exciting Brazilians has placed them at the top of most people's winner's rankings, with Jesus spearheading the yellow attack in Russia. 

    With Coutinho, Neymar Jr. and Willian for company, Jesus won't be short of service in the final third; his conversion rate for his beloved nation has been impressive since his debut in 2016 (scoring twice).

    Brazil have dangerous depth in their squad, however, Jesus's fearless youth is expected to play a major role in Brazil's charge for a sixth title.

  5. 1 Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium)


    Reuters/FRANCOIS LENOIR

    Caps: 58 Goals: 13

    Kevin De Bruyne was, in many people's eyes, was the standout performer of the 2017-18 season. Mohamed Salah pipped him to many of the individual awards post-season, however, the Belgian has a chance to end the season with the ultimate prize.

    This 'golden generation' of Belgian players is yet to prove it's worth in 'gold'. Failures at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 has left Roberto Martinez's side under the microscope in Russia this summer.

    Kevin De Bruyne has the talent, as well as the form, to drag Belgium into the business end of the World Cup. If his service to the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard is on accurate, there is no reason why the Red Devils can't out-gun the best of opponents.

    Listen to the RealSport football writers discuss Group D in Kremlins in the Basement: RealSport’s daily World Cup podcast.

  1. Poll: Who do you think will have the biggest impact on the World Cup this summer?

    1. Raheem Sterling
    2. David Silva
    3. Sergio Aguero
    4. Gabriel Jesus
    5. Kevin De Bruyne
    6. Other
    24 votes
    Share Your Result

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Lewis Watson

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London-based football writer and former boxing editor, with a specialised eye for sports betting. Featured on Betfair, BetVictor + others.

A Munich pilgrim to witness Chelsea winning their maiden European Cup.

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