The World Cup is now just around the corner. And ahead of the competition, HITC Sport has taken a look at seven players to look out for in Group E, with players linked with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool amongst the squads of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia...
The Liverpool Echo recently reported that Jurgen Klopp could consider attempting to try and bring Roma goalkeeper Alisson to Liverpool this summer as he plots changes to his options between the sticks. The 25-year-old is likely to get the nod over Manchester City's Ederson - which says a lot about his potential - and will be hoping that he can become the sixth Brazilian goalkeeper to win a World Cup final.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland)
Switzerland will be putting much of their hopes in Xherdan Shaqiri as they look to negotiate a tricky group and reach the knockout stages for the third time in four attempts. Following Stoke's relegation, the winger is wanted by a number of clubs, including Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs and Southampton, according to the Daily Mirror - and he will be hoping that shining on the big stage will earn the £12 million-rated winger a move upon his return.
Neymar may have been injured for Brazil's 7-1 defeat to Germany four years ago, but he will be as keen as anyone to start avenging that loss by guiding Selecao to their sixth World Cup victory. He scored four goals in the group-stages of 2014.
When Paulinho left Spurs for China in 2015, few Tottenham fans would have imagined that three years later, he would prove to be a hugely important part of the Brazil national side having established himself in Barcelona's lineup. The 29-year-old - who may go past 50 caps for his country in the tournament - plays a crucial role in the middle of the park for Tite's men.
Philippe Coutinho (Brazil)
Paulinho's teammate for club and country Philippe Coutinho took some time to force his way into Brazil's side on a regular basis, but the former Liverpool talisman is now a key man for Selecao. The Reds have not missed him as much as some would have expected, but it may still be difficult viewing for the Anfield faithful when they are reminded of the partnership he formed with one of Jurgen Klopp's other stars.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Serbia)
According to a report from the Guardian in May, Manchester United were put off a move for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic due to his £87.4 million asking price. Should he shine in Russia with Serbia, and perhaps help them stun a lot of people by qualifying out of the group, that asking price may begin to look a lot more reasonable.
Roberto Firmino (Brazil)
Roberto Firmino is arguably one of those players who never gets the full credit they deserve, and that is arguably reflected in the number of caps that he has won for his country. He has played just 20 times for Brazil, but Liverpool fans will know that he could make a devastating impact if given a chance this summer.
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