Manchester City will have sixteen players participating in the 2022 FIFA World Cup which will be held in a middle Eastern country for the first time in its entire history. There are a total of eleven non-English players who will take part in the World Cup being held in Qatar as they represent their respective nations this year.
Let’s take a look at how three of these players will fare at the World Cup as it commences at the end of this week.
Joao Cancelo (Portugal)
Cancelo has been a key player for Guardiola at the backline as he has often handled the burden of performing both at the left and the right flank when City had troubles in their defensive half. The 28-year-old has found the back of the net on two occasions and created four assists for the Mancunian giants across all fronts. He has averaged 2.0 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.6 dribbles and 1.1 shots per game in the Premier League which implies that he is currently in his best form. The Portuguese right-back will play a crucial role for his nation as he remains a guaranteed starter for Portugal at the backline.
Ilkay Gundogan (Germany)
The veteran midfielder has had a brilliant start to this campaign as he has put in several influential displays at the centre of the park. He has managed to score two goals and create two assists for Manchester City so far across all fronts. The Gelsenkirchen-born sensation has been a key player for Guardiola as he has been reliable and consistent in the holding positions of the midfield. He has been averaging 1.8 shots, 0.9 tackles and 1.9 key passes per game in the Premier League this season.
Gundogan will definitely add more quality and bring more creativity into Germany’s midfield department but the 31-year-old will have to compete with Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich for a starting place.
Ruben Dias (Portugal)
The Portuguese defender has experienced a decent campaign at the Etihad Stadium so far after producing a run of dominant displays for Man City on the defensive third of the field. The 25-year-old has made 17 appearances for the Sky Blues this season, finding the back of the net on one occasion in the process across all fronts and is averaging 0.5 tackles, 1.0 interceptions and 2.0 clearances per game in Premier League football (stats via whoscored).
Dias has often been a rock at the back for Portugal in recent years and is expected to step up and do well for them as the World Cup gets underway in Qatar this Sunday. He will have to form a solid defensive partnership with Danilo Pereira at the centre of Fernando Santos’ defence.