The greatest spectacle in the beautiful game, with millions watching as 32 teams create history and realise their dreams. We here at Outside of the Boot, as ever will focus our attention at the Young Players in this tournament. See all our 2018 World Cup coverage here.
Timo Werner // Germany // Forward // 22: Werner’s work with RB Leipzig has earned him the undisputed starting spot as Germany’s forward for the World Cup. He’s shown pace, movement, and sharp finishing abaility over the last couple of years. He also impressed with the national team at the Confederations Cup last year. Germany have a strong midfield line up, and have lacked a strong forward in recent years, with Thomas Muller often filling in. Werner’s emergence has allowed Low to solve that problem, and leave Muller free to do his Raumdeut-ing.
Hirving Lozano // Mexico // Forward // 22: The Mexican has had a great start to life in Europe, winning the title and starring for PSV Eindhoven. The pacy winger is going to chief to Mexico’s hopes of continuing their proud record of progressing past the group stages of the World Cup. There is some tough competition facing this team, and their recent brush with controversy cannot have helped them. Lozano is the start man though, and alongside experienced heads like Chicharito, can do some damage to the teams that come up against him.
Hwang Hee-Chan // South Korea // Forward // 22: South Korea are heavily reliant on their superstar Son Heung Min, with the back up cast admittedly struggling a little bit to play at the same level. RB Salzburg striker Hwang is one of the bright lights of this team, and has the potential to score the goals that South Korea need to create a shock. They will need to work on the goal-scoring aspect too, having scored just 11 times in their 10 qualifying matches.