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World Cup 2018: Unheralded players to watch out for in Group A

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.63K   //    21 May 2018, 16:24 IST

In less than a month, the world will witness spectacular footballing action in the 21st edition of world's biggest footballing event, FIFA World Cup. Like every other tournament, there is a lot of fuss about the best players of each team and in Group A action, names like Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Mohammed Salah (Egypt) Alan Dzagoev (Russia) will be the main headline grabbers.

But history will testify that in a grand stage like this one, teams cannot rely only on their main assets. Each team has its own Mario Gotze; a player who flies under the radar and delivers at the most crucial moment

Here is a look at a few of these players from the teams who will be in Group A at the World Cup:


#4 Artem Dzyuba (Russia)

<p src=Artem Dzyuba has scored 11 goals in 22 appearances for Russia" />
Artem Dzyuba has scored 11 goals in 22 appearances for Russia

Hosts Russia will begin the campaign against the lowest-ranked side of this edition's FIFA World Cup, Saudi Arabia. Speaking about their most prized asset, Igor Akinfeev is the name that comes first into our mind. The Russian skipper has been their last line of defence for 104 games.

Igor Smolnikov, Alan Dzagoev, and Fyodor Smolov are some of the other key players who will have to play a crucial role if Russia is to advance from a tough group. However, their 29-year-old striker Artem Dzyuba, is going to be Russia's surprise package.

Though the hosts will rely mostly on Fyodor Smolov for the goals, the Arsenal Tula player has scored 11 goals in only 22 chances he has got so far. On the contrary, Smolov has scored one more in 30 appearances.

The 'fox in the box' is having a good stint at Arsenal Tula where he scored 6 goals in just 10 appearances. Expected to pair up with Smolov in Russia's strike-force, he should not be left without any marking else he might prove lethal.

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