The 2018 World Cup in Russia is looming closer and closer. And there is a chance we can see lots of players from Manchester United featuring in the event next year.
Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini have already clinched a World Cup berth with Belgium. However, several other Red Devils could join them in the world’s biggest tournament.
Which Manchester United players are closer to clinch a World Cup berth?
Here are some of the players that could seal their future as soon as this week
We already covered Nemanja Matic’s case to secure a World Cup berth. The holding midfielder is likely to play a key role for Serbia in their Friday contest against Austria away from home. But a win would put Serbia on Russia, and therefore they would not have to depend on anyone else in the final round of the Qualifiers.
Phil Jones, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Chris Smalling
England are in a relatively comfortable position in the Group F standings and, just like Serbia, they only need a win to secure an automatic berth in the tournament. Considering the Three Lions will play at home against Slovenia, it seems like the perfect scenario to secure the team’s presence on Russian soil. Not to mention this could automatically put four Manchester United players closer to Russia. Jesse Lingard, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcus Rashford are all part of the squad. In fact, the latter two are likely to start on Thursday.
David De Gea
Spain are in a pretty good position right now. La Furia Roja sits at the top of Group G in the UEFA World Cup Qualifiers with 22 points and have a three-point lead over Italy. If the 2010 World Cup champions defeat Albania at home and Italy does not do the same against FYR Macedonia, then Spain would automatically clinch a berth in Russia’s tournament next year. Even if Italy win, it seems almost impossible to knock Spain off the top spot, as the latter have a huge advantage on the goal differential department. Spain have +29, while Italy have +12.
Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial
Okay, they are not in France’s squad for their upcoming two games. But Les Bleus can clinch a berth in the 2018 FIFA World Cup as soon as Saturday. All they need is a win against Bulgaria on the road, and a loss of Sweden against Luxembourg. It seems like an extremely unlikely scenario, but who knows? Anything can happen in football. After all, no one believed France could drew against Luxembourg last month and that’s exactly what happened.