1. Aleksandr Golovin
Club: PFC CSKA Moscow
The hosts may be the lowest ranked team in the tournament, but they still have a few players worth keeping an eye on. Hopes are high for Golovin, a midfielder known for his quick feet and quicker thinking. A £10 million move to Arsenal is rumoured to be on the cards – a small fee to pay for the “Russian Ronaldo”. That price tag looks certain to skyrocket if Golovin manages to demonstrate what he’s capable of with the whole world watching, but he’ll have to shoulder the expectations of a passionate home crowd.
2. Joshua Kimmich
Club: FC Bayern Munich
Germany coach Joachim Löw is a huge fan, calling Kimmich “one of the greatest talents of the past decade”, so it’s safe to say that big things are expected of the youngster. Like predecessor Philipp Lahm, Kimmich is as comfortable going forward as he is defending, though he prefers to play as a right-back. His fine showings at Euro 2016 saw him named in the Team of the Tournament as one of the best players in the competition, and you wouldn’t bet against him repeating the trick here.
3. Dele Alli
Club: Tottenham Hotspur FC
During the last World Cup in 2014, Alli was plying his trade in the third tier of the English Football League with Milton Keynes Dons FC. Four years and over 40 goals later, he’s one of the Premier League’s star talents. Alli’s confidence – or overconfidence, depending on who you ask – has made him a popular figure among Spurs fans, though supporters of other London clubs may find his tricks, flicks and back-heel kicks less endearing. Nonetheless, all of England will be hoping he can recreate his partnership with Spurs teammate Harry Kane in Russia.