Liverpool players who could be at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
With the World Cup looming, Liverpool stars are battling to make their national team squads. We look at who is likely to make it to Russia.
The international break is upon us-- the final one of the season with the World Cup around the corner. As the managers prepare to name their final squads for the much-awaited event, the players will be looking to make one final push to represent their countries in Russia come June 14.
Liverpool stars are among those jostling for positions, so which Reds could we see swap the red of Liverpool for their international colours in Russia?
The sensational Mohamed Salah is certain of a place in the Egypt squad and on current form, should be one of the stars of the tournament. He will, however, need his supporting cast to play their part if he is to guide Egypt to the knockout rounds in a group which has the host nation Russia and Uruguay as favourites.
Saudi Arabia will also be looking to pull a surprise but it could ultimately come down to who makes the difference between Liverpool talisman Salah and former Reds' main man Luis Suarez.
It will take some form of a miracle for Alberto Moreno to represent Group B favourites Spain which has players like Jordi Alba at its disposal. Manager Julen Lopetegui has also called up Marcos Alonso of Chelsea for the upcoming Germany and Argentina friendlies
Should Moreno find a way of usurping the brilliant Andrew Robertson and finish the season strong, he could avoid joining the Scottish left-back as a World Cup spectator.
Despite having to withdraw from Croatia's upcoming friendlies with an ankle problem, Dejan Lovren ought to be confident of a spot in Russia. He will be hoping to progress from a tricky group consisting of Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria, a group which they have enough quality to come out of.
Roberto Firmino and Brazil are strong favourites to qualify from Group E. Firmino's stellar season for the Reds has led to Brazil manager, Tite revealing that he could find a starting position up top for him having used him as an understudy to Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus for much of his tenure thus far.
On-loan star, Marko Grujić will be pushing for a place on the Serbian team as he looks to help Cardiff City achieve promotion to the Premier League. Serbia should be hopeful of qualifying for the knockout stages in the group also containing Switzerland and Costa Rica. Fellow loanee and Serbian teammate Lazar Marković should make the squad.
Emre Can has received regular call-ups for Germany and is expected to make the squad as Die Mannschaft seek to defend the title they won in Brazil.
He will be hoping his performances this season will be enough to make the manager, Joachim Löw, deploy him permanently in midfield after having been used on occasion at right-back for the national team.
Stiff competition in the goalkeeping department means Loris Karius may miss the showpiece event but his impressive form, having taken over as Liverpool no.1, means he still stands an outside chance of making the squad.
Group G should see heavyweights Belgium and England battle it out in a group they are expected to progress from ahead of Panama and Tunisia. England is expected to carry a number of Reds stars with Liverpool's Belgium representatives trying to cling on.
Simon Mignolet is likely to make the squad but will not threaten the starting goalkeeper's position having lost out at club level to Karius.
On-loan Divock Origi has also had an underwhelming season in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg but continues to be selected for Belgium. With a plethora of attacking talent at the Red Devils' disposal though, he could find himself being left out of the final squad.
Adam Lallana, having recovered from injury should join Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for England. Joe Gomez seems to have established himself in the England senior set-up with young Trent Alexander-Arnold pushing for inclusion with a string of impressive performances.
Nathaniel Clyne, a regular selection prior to the injury, as well as Danny Ings and on-loan Daniel Sturridge have a lot to do to be considered for selection for the World Cup. The three will need to prove their fitness after being hindered by injuries this season.
Senegal's main man Sadio Mané will lead the African team's charge in a group where they will be underdogs. Mane's Senegal will be up against Colombia, Poland, and Japan as he attempts to outshine his strike partners Salah and Firmino on the big stage.