Five Serie A Stars To Look Out For During The 2018 World Cup

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Supporters of the Italian national team are still feeling the disappointment that their side will not make the journey to Russia for the World Cup this week, however, there is no shortage of players from Serie A that will be featuring for their respective nations. Here at Football Index, we have taken a look at five players football fans should be looking out for.

Ivan Perisic – £1.74 – Croatia & Internazionale 

Already with 18 goals in 66 appearances for his national side, winger Ivan Perisic will be no stranger to those who follow the Croatian national team. For those less familiar with the 29-year-old, he has been a consistent performer since arriving at Inter from Wolfsburg in 2015.

Perisic equalled last season’s scoring tally of 11 goals and beat his previous assists total of eight by just one, an incredible seven of those nine occasions in 2017/18 led to a goal by Nerazzurri team-mate Mauro Icardi. This is undoubtedly the kind of service that compatriots Mario Mandzukic and Nikola Kalinic will be hoping to benefit from as Croatia begin their journey in Group D.

Alisson – £1.30 – Brazil & AS Roma

After a superb campaign with Roma last term, talk in the press surrounding goalkeeper Alisson has been centred more on potential transfer interest from the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid than his performance as Brazil’s number one in the World Cup.

The stopper wowed audiences with some breathtaking stops throughout the 2017/18 season, helping his side finish in 3rd place in the league as well as a Champions League semi-final. Statistics reveal that the Brazilian recorded the best save percentage (79%) of any goalkeeper with three or more appearances in Serie A last term in addition to having gone for 484 minutes without conceding for his national team.

Rodrigo Bentancur – £1.71 – Uruguay & Juventus 

Rodrigo Bentancur may only be 20-years-old, but big things are expected from the talented midfielder for Uruguay this summer, not least for his calm and collected performances for Juventus last term.

“Rodrigo is no surprise to those of us who see him in training every day,” former Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon told JTV early last season. “He may be young but he’s very smart and very reliable from a technical, tactical and mental point of view because although he’s come from another league he’s used to handling lots of pressure.”

The experienced stopper was proven to be right as the season wore on, the Uruguay midfielder having stepped into the double-winning side with ease whenever called upon. Perhaps this is thanks to already having made 51 appearances for Boca Juniors, but do not expect him to be phased by the world stage once the tournament kicks off.

Piotr Zielinski – £2.08 – Poland & Napoli

Dubbed by former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri as “the new Kevin De Bruyne”, Piotr Zielinski has a point to prove for Poland this summer. The Coach – who couldn’t always find room for the talented 24-year-old in his precise system – had worked with the midfielder right from when he joined Sarri at Empoli back in 2014, and is rumoured to want to take his prodigy with him to Chelsea should he be appointed at Stamford Bridge.

Strong, adept at linking the play and creating two chances for team-mates per 90 minutes, Zielinski has also scored two goals and provided four assists in just 14 starts for Napoli in 2017/18. Such talent has begun to show through at international level, the Polish midfielder having both scored and provided an assist in the recent 2-2 friendly match with Chile, also completing a 90% accuracy rate with his total of 39 passes.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – £3.65 – Serbia & Lazio

Talk of a move for over £90 million this summer is not over-exaggerated for a player like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, the supremely talented Lazio star has proven time and time again that he is a player to watch out for this summer as he undertakes a key role in Serbia’s World Cup squad.

With 14 goals and six assists in all competitions for Lazio barely scratching the surface of what this player is capable of, Serbia’s superstar will undoubtedly be putting himself in the shop window during the 2018 World Cup.

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About Author

Chloe Beresford is a freelance Serie A writer who has been featured in Mundial magazine, Guardian Sport and in addition to Football Index, regularly contributes to The Sportsman, Tifo Football, Football Whispers and more. She supports Fiorentina and can often be found in the Curva Fiesole as well as attending as many other matches on the peninsula as possible.

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