One To Watch – Breel Embolo (Switzerland)

Breel Embolo

Image from ESPN

Overview of Player:

Name: Breel Embolo
Position: Stiker
Age: 21
Nationality; Swiss (Cameroon born)
Club: Schalke 04
World Cup Influence: 5/10

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One to watch – Fred (Brazil)

Manchester United-bound Fred is with the Brazil squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Oli Scarff / AFP

Image: https://www.thenational.ae/sport/football/manchester-united-reach-agreement-to-sign-brazil-midfielder-fred-from-shakhtar-donetsk-1.737302

Overview of Player

Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos, or better known as Fred, is a 25 year old Brazilian central midfielder. Fred has recently signed for Premier League giants, Manchester United, after a five year spell at Ukraine’s second most successful club, Shakhtar Donetsk for a fee of around €50 million.

The Brazilian midfielder played 115 games over the five year period he spent at the club, creating 15 goals and scoring 15. The defensive midfielder has been dominant in the success of Shakhtar Donetsk’s back to back titles.

Fred was handed a one year ban for doping in the COPA America, he was found guilty of testing positive for diuretic, which is essentially increasing the times you need to urinate. He missed a key number of games for Brazil and Shakhtar over this time.

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One to Watch – Timo Werner (Germany)

TimoOverview of Player

Timo Werner is a forward who traditionally plays in a more central role but has often been deployed as a right winger when called upon by RB Leipzig this year. He signed for Leipzig in 2016 from Vfb Stuttgart in a deal thought to be worth just £10 million for a player who is fast becoming the hottest German prospect to start strutting his stuff in the World Cup.

This season alone he has appeared in 45 games for Leizpig and has scored 21 which averages out to around a goal just over every two games which for a player who is just 22 is no mean feet. He has also won the Confederations cup for Germany in 2017 in which he scored 3 goals and was able to bring home the Golden Boot award as well. This cup helped cement his place as a starter for Germany and his return of 8 goals from 14 games shows he is the level required to succeed.

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One to Watch – Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Serbia)

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Image from The Daily Star

Overview of Player

Name: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
Position: Midfielder
Age: 23
Nationality: Serbian
Club: Lazio
World Cup Influence: 6.5/10

The giant Serb was actually born in Spain but is of Serbian heritage and was brought up in the country whom he plays for. He started his career off at Vojvodina in the Serbian SuperLiga but soon earned himself a move to Belgium, turning out for Genk where he enjoyed a good season scoring 5 in 24 matches before his move to current team Lazio.

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One to Watch – Jonas Knudsen (Denmark)

JOnas

Overview of Player

Jonas Knudsen is a defender, who primarily plays as a left back or left wing-back, but can also play as a left midfielder or a centre back. Knudsen currently plays for Championship side, Ipswich Town, having joined the club in August 2015, and has made 117 appearances, scoring four goals in the process, including two goals in the East Anglian Derby during the 2016/17 season.

Before joining the Tractor Boys, he played for Esbjerg fB in his native Denmark, and played 123 games, scoring 5 goals over seven seasons.

Despite a shaky start to his Ipswich career, the Dane has come on leaps and bounds in the last two seasons, having played both at left back and centre back – particularly impressing the home fans at centre-back, and it has been questioned if he will end up playing at centre-back.

So far, he has been called up three times by Denmark.

Overview of Nation

Denmark’s biggest day came when they won the European Championships in 1992, and following this won the Confederations Cup in 1995. With no major trophy since, these were the big days for the nation. They return to the World Cup after not qualifying for the 2014 tournament, however it is only their fifth appearance at the World Cup.

The national side are currently ranked 12th in the FIFA Rankings, and 18th in the ELO rankings.

They qualified for the World Cup by finishing second in their group, behind Poland, and therefore getting through to the Play Offs, where they beat the Republic of Ireland 5-1 on aggregate, after a bore draw first leg, the Danes smashed Ireland 5-1 in the second leg to send them to Russia.

Performance in Qualification

Jonas Knudsen didn’t play in any qualification games, although he does have another three caps to his name, but good performances with Ipswich Town has lead to him being named in the Denmark squad.

Why He Is One to Watch

Jonas Knudsen is one to watch because of his versatility, he can play in a number of different positions so you never know where he might slot it which is handy for Denmark if they ever need someone to play in a different role than normal – Jonas is your man!

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Speed is also a very important part of Jonas’ game, as he can run up the wing quick – and this is huge bonus of his play – he can assist a number of goals – and even pop in a goal or two!

Another huge part of his game are his long throws – which have been compared to Rory Delap’s – if used correctly, they can be dangerous in the box, and create goal scoring opportunities

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A part of his game that does need work on though is getting back quicker – he loves to get involved in attacks – but this sometimes means he can’t get back to defend in time which means others have to step in for him.

Video of player/compilation

Ipswich legend, Jonas Knudsen, compilation.

FM Attributes

2018-06-10 (3)

As you can see above, he has very good long throws (18) and these throws can get the team into attacking positions, natural stamina (15) is also very good attribute wise. He also has a 12 for long shots, as he has been known for hitting the bar a few times a season with his long shots, and as you can see in the video, for the long shot he scored against Norwich.


This isn’t the only ‘One to Watch’, we are releasing a one to watch article for every nation in the World Cup. An hour before each team kick off their first World Cup Group Stage game, we will release that nations one to watch. These can be viewed here – One to Watch for all Nations in World Cup 2018.


As always, if you have enjoyed the writing on display and want to stay up to date with us, you can follow us on our social media pages –

One to Watch – Enzo Perez (Argentina)

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Enzo Perez press conference after being called up to the national side to replace injured Manual Lanzini for 2018 FIFA World Cup

Overview of player

Enzo Perez is a 32 year old midfielder that plays for Argentine club River Plate. He is a very experienced top-flight footballer who has played 357 times in some very decent European sides. Since 2011, he has enjoyed a 4 year stint at Portuguese giants Benfica, and a recent 2 year period at Valencia. Over his career, he has scored 35 professional goals. Since his debut for the Argentina national team in 2009, he has been capped 23 times and scored once.

Note: Enzo Perez was brought into the Argentine national team as an injury replacement for West Ham player Manuel Lanzini, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury just a week ago.

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