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World Cup 2018: Asia's best combined starting-XI

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1.55K   //    14 Jun 2018, 18:36 IST

The World Cup finally kicks off today

Finally, the day we've all been waiting for has come. Russia and Saudi-Arabia will be kicking off the 2018 World Cup in Moscow and the anticipation for the tournament is at its climax.

With several big name players and great nations of football facing off against each other in the next weeks, the Asian teams have been flying under the radar.

World Cup 2018 | Russia vs Saudi Arabia | Live Commentary

Except for Japan, and maybe South Korea, albeit in a tough group including current title holders Germany, the Asian teams are underdogs in their groups, looking to surprise not just their opponents but the entire world.

While the individual strengths of the Asian teams may limit their chances of success at the World Cup, there are several highly talented players among their ranks, as we take a look at Asia's best combined starting-XI.

GK: Mathew Ryan (Australia)

Manchester City v Brighton and Hove Albion - Premier League
Mathew Ryan will be tough to beat in Russia

Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan is by far the most talented Asian goalkeeper to take part in the tournament this year. Plying his trade for the Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion, the shot-stopper has really come into his own in the last season.

Brighton conceded just 54 goals in 38 matches with Ryan between the sticks, the least of all Premier League sides that finished in the bottom half of the table, and the Socceroos will need their goalkeeper to be at his absolute best in Russia.

Australia may have struggled to qualify for the tournament, needing a play-off match against Honduras to secure their World Cup ticket, but they are traveling to the competition with a fantastic last line of defense.

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