Three stars from Group E: Liverpool & Newcastle targets feature

Xherdan Shaqiri

Liverpool target Xherdan Shaqiri, Newcastle target Enner Valencia and Blaise Matuidi stood out most in World Cup Group E.

1. Xherdan Shaqiri

Our first star is a name Liverpool fans will be getting increasingly used to. Linked with the club this summer, the 22-year-old's World Cup performances have drawn extra attention to his transfer status.

And though it was another Reds target, Mathieu Valbuena, who initially impressed in Group E, Shaqiri's hat-trick against Honduras yesterday stole the show.

  TeamGoalsTouchesDribbles WonAccurate CrossesAppsMins
Xherdan Shaqiri Switzerland 3 184 3 4 3 267

Indeed, with three goals now to his name after the group stages, Shaqiri has made himself a surprise Golden Boot contender and, if Switzerland can get pass Argentina in the last-16, there is no reason the 22-year-old cannot go on to achieve the feat.

The Bayern Munich man also won three dribbles in Group E, made four accurate crosses and took 184 touches - a pretty successful three games.

2. Enner Valencia

Enner Valencia won't be staying in Brazil past the group stages - but the 24-year-old has made enough of an impact to be remembered at this year's World Cup.

In three group games, Valencia scored three times (from only eight shots) and won seven dribbles, as well as seven aerial duels.

  TeamGoalsShotsDribbles WonAerial Duels WonAppsMins
Enner Valencia Ecuador 3 8 7 7 3 270

The Ecuadorian could not quite inspire his side to victory against France yesterday, although he was not helped by Antonio Valencia's sending off, but proved a match-winner against Honduras and also scored against Switzerland.

In fact, Valencia was the only man to score for Ecuador and has been linked with a move to Tottenham, Everton and Newcastle post-World Cup. Perhaps the early exit will give him time to finalise a deal sooner.

3. Blaise Matuidi

Although you could pick any Frenchman from Group E after three games unbeaten and two terrific opening wins, it's Blaise Matuidi that makes this list based on a consistent contribution in midfield for Didier Deschamps' men.

  PosGoalsAssistsDribbles WonAccurate CrossesAccurate PassesAppsMins
Karim Benzema FW 3 2 1 0 78 3 270
Olivier Giroud FW 1 1 0 0 22 3 98
Blaise Matuidi MF 1 0 5 0 154 3 247
Moussa Sissoko MF 1 0 2 2 76 3 213
Mathieu Valbuena MF 1 1 2 4 82 2 160

As the stats show, the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder featured in every Group E game for the French and won five dribbles. The most impressive aspect of the 27-year-old's game, though, was his passing, with Matuidi easily making the most accurate passes in the France team.

His goal against Switzerland, too, was a moment to remember, with a crisp finish doubling his side's lead just 13 seconds after Olivier Giroud's opener. France went on to win that game 5-2 and now face Nigeria in the last-16.

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