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.
Giovanni Lo Celso // Argentina // Midfielder // 22: The young PSG midfielder really prefers to play high up the field, but the presence of a certain Lionel Messi might mean that Sampaoli starts Lo Celso deeper, like at club level. Lo Celso has had a steep learning curve at PSG, with the tie against Real Madrid exposing his weaknesses. His game is not without strengths though, and he may be the spark of energy and creativity required in the middle of an aging Argentina midfield.
Wilfred Ndidi // Nigeria // Midfielder // 21: The Leicester City midfielder has proven to be an astute addition to the middle of the field for the former Premier League champions. His defensive prowess will allow Nigeria to field their talismanic midfielder, John Obi Mikel higher up the pitch as a number 10. Ndidi’s defensive work rate has set him apart from most of his colleagues. He has the propensity to fire in the odd rocket as well, so teams would do well to watch him closely.
Alex Iwobi // Nigeria // Midfielder // 22: The Arsenal man has proven to be Nigeria’s go to player for goals in recent times. The Super Eagles have had less than ideal results in their warm up matches, but Iwobi has still be among the goals. Iwobi is often criticised at Arsenal, and one feels that is a bit unfair at times. However, he’ll receive much more adulation and adoration from the Nigeria support, and hopefully, this will drive him on to perform to the best of his abilities for them.