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The new Premier League season is nearly upon us, however there are some players who won't only be fighting for a Premier League title.

The 2018 World Cup will commence at the conclusion of the Premier League campaign, and whilst qualifying is still taking place, certain nations are planning ahead in terms of which players they will select.

Here, we will be looking at seven Premier League players who will be looking to catch the eyes of their respective nations this season in the hope of being selected for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

 

7. Kyle Walker (Tottenham)

Prior to the 2016-17 Premier League season, Kyle Walker was seen as both Tottenham's and England's first choice right-back. However by the end of the season, Kieran Trippier began starting for Tottenham ahead of Walker after a string of impressive performances.

Trippier also started ahead of Walker in England's recent friendly against France, and many are suggesting Gareth Southgate rates Trippier very highly. This has led many to believe Walker's place in England's starting line up may now be under threat from his club team mate.

Therefore, Walker will be looking to have a solid season with Spurs (or Man City depending on the validity of rumours) and to keep Trippier out of the side.

 

6. Erik Lamela (Tottenham) 

 

Prior to his injury earlier last season, Erik Lamela was a regular member of the Argentine national team. He was won 23 caps for his country and has scored three goals since 2011.

He was also a regular member of Tottenham's first-team, however a hip injury in late October ended Lamela's season early. With a number of star players coming through the Argentine ranks - such as Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi - on top of the likes of Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, many fear Lamela may have lost his place in the national side.

Therefore, Lamela will be looking to prove to critics that he is still deserving of a place in Argentina's squad ahead of the World Cup, and will be looking to cement his place as a key player in Tottenham's starting 11 next season.

 

5. Emre Can (Liverpool)

Emre Can is thriving under the management of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. He made 31 Premier League appearances for Liverpool last season, and the 23-year-old has already made 12 appearances in a star-studded German national squad.

Whilst his development has been promising, he still faces stiff competition from the likes of Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan for a place in Germany's matchday squad.

Despite the competition, Can was named in Germany's final 23-man squad for the 2017 Confederations Cup - which is currently being held in Russia. He has already made a substitute appearance for Germany in their opening 3-2 win over Australia and will be hoping for more opportunities to impress as the tournament progresses.

He will be hoping Klopp gives him a continuous run in the first-team for Liverpool this season, and will be looking to impress the German selectors ahead of the 2018 World Cup

 

4. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

It was only three years ago when Daniel Sturridge was comfortably England's most clinical striker heading into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. That season, he scored 21 goals in 29 Premier League games for Liverpool - helping them to a second placed finish - however since then he has struggled to re-kindle that form he showed.

After his goal flurry that season, he has only managed 15 goals in the following three seasons in what has been three years plagued by injury and runs in and out of the side.

However, with the World Cup just around the corner, Sturridge will be looking to prove to the England selectors that he is worthy of leading the line for England at next year's World Cup. 

With competition coming from Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy Jermaine Defoe and Marcus Rashford, he will need plenty of game time and will need to show the kind of form he showed in 2014.

 

3. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Raheem Sterling became the most expensive English player of all time when he secured his move from Liverpool to Manchester City for around £50m. 

There is no doubt the 22-year-old is one of England's most talented players, however with Manchester City spending big in the transfer market, many believe his place in City's starting 11 next season is seriously under threat, meaning he may have very limited opportunities to impress the England selectors.

He will want to have a sustained period in the side in order to catch the eye of Gareth Southgate, however Sterling needs to convince his club manager Pep Guardiola that he should stick with him so that he isn't overlooked when it comes to the England final team selection for the World Cup.

 

2. Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea)

Michy Batshuayi was hot property heading into Euro 2016. So much so that Chelsea couldn't wait till the tournament's conclusion to get the deal done, so despite interest from Europe's top clubs, Chelsea signed the Belgian for £33m as the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 were commencing.

However despite the mass hype around the 23-year-old, he had a very underwhelming first season at Chelsea. He only managed five goals in 20 appearances, and regularly found himself on the bench behind Diego Costa in Antonio Conte's pecking order of strikers.

Although he still remains as Chelsea's back up striker, reports have surfaced suggesting Costa may be leaving Chelsea this summer, which may give Batshuayi an opportunity to prove himself. 

With international competition from Romelu Lukaku - who has recently been linked with a move to Chelsea - Divock Origi and Christian Benteke, Batshuayi will be looking to impress this season in the hope of being selected for the 2018 World Cup.

 

1. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

Olivier Giroud is heading into his sixth Premier League season, coming off the back of what was a poor season for his club Arsenal. They finished outside the top four for the first time since the 1995-96 season, and although Giroud managed 12 goals in 29 games, he was subject to criticism throughout the season.

This has left his future at the Emirates in doubt - with reports suggesting a move to another Premier League side may be on the cards - however regardless where Giroud plays his football next season, his status as France's leading striker is also far from secure.

Players such as Kylian Mbappe, Alexandre Lacazette, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele all pose a big threat to Giroud's place in the starting line up, meaning Giroud will want to have an outstanding Premier League season to help his credentials ahead of next year's World Cup.

 

Source: Yahoo Sport

Disclaimer: Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of EGFPlatform or any employee thereof.

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