With 7 days until the World Cup kicks off, Best tipster pick out five lesser known players to keep an eye on at Russia 2018…
With a WhoScored.com rating of 7.53, Kasimpasa star Trezeguet comes into the World Cup in fine form. With Mohamed Salah ruled out for the first game of the competition, there will be ample pressure on the 23-year-old to transfer his fine club form to the international stage.
He completed more dribbles (96) than any other Super Lig player last season, scored 13 and registered six assists. Egypt 11/4 are joint-favourites to finish as the top African team and Trezeguet will be vital to the Pharaohs achieving that.
Tunisia aren’t expected to progress from Group G, with England and Belgium favourites to occupy the top two spots, but they won’t go down without a fight. In wing wizard Naim Sliti, they have the means to trouble the aforementioned pair and Panama.
Of the 78 players to attempt 100 or dribbles, only Eden Hazard (82.5%) had a better dribble success rate than Sliti (80%) in Europe’s top 5 leagues last season. With seven goals and six assists, the 25-year-old will have a key role to play and at 47/50 for Tunisia to finish third, that’s worth backing.
Peru will have been boosted by the news that Paolo Guerrero will be available to play at the World Cup after his doping ban was temporarily lifted by FIFA. Many will look to the 34-year-old to fire Peru out of Group C, but that will merely allow his teammates to thrive as he attracts the attention of opposition defenders, none more so than than Christian Cueva.
The 26-year-old is set to start in the number 10 role and has the means to put opponents to the sword. Guerrero 5/2 is the favourite to finish as Peru’s top scorer this summer, but Cueva can be found at a tempting 7/1.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh enjoyed a fine season for AZ Alkmaar and was one of three players to register double figures for both goals (21) and assists (12) in the Eredivisie last season, with the Iran star also topping the scoring charts in Holland’s top tier.
He’s the star man in Carlos Queiroz’s XI and Iran will look to Jahanbakhsh to fire them past Spain, Portugal and Morocco and land a spot in Group B. His WhoScored.com rating (8.20) was the second best in the Eredivisie last term and he’ll use the World Cup as a chance to really showcase his talent to the watching world.
The 24-year-old will be confident of transferring his fine club form to the international stage and at 11/2 to finish as Iran’s top goalscorer, he’s worth backing, even accounting for Iran’s tough group.
Remaining with the Eredivisie, this time turning our attention to PSV star and Mexico sensation Hirving Lozano. Lozano, or Chucky as he is at times referred to, enjoyed a stunning debut campaign in the Netherlands as he chipped in with 17 goals and eights assists for the Dutch champions. Included in Mexico’s final 23-man squad, the 22-year-old is primed to take the World Cup by storm.
Drawn alongside Germany, Sweden and South Korea, El Tri will be confident of progressing to the last-16. Mexico are at 24/13 to finish second in Group F and at 6/1 to be their top goalscorer, there is value in backing Lozano to shine in Russia this summer.