Premier League stars set to miss the World Cup in Russia

With the World Cup hell bent on starting in June 14, some countries are yet to confirm their 23-man squad for the Tournament.

We will be taking a look at the Premier League stars to miss out in the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia this June. Several World Cup predictions are expecting Brazil to lift the trophy in Russia meanwhile Spain and Germany can be considered as feared outsiders.

Laurent Koscielny

The Arsenal defender suffered an Achilles injury during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg defeat to Atletico Madrid, which sidelines him for several months including the World Cup.

There were suggestions that the 32-year-old has lost a yard of pace over the past couple of seasons and his struggles for the Gunners in big games suggests that he might be past his peak. However, he also has plenty of experience, which might have made him a useful component of an otherwise young France squad.

Raphael Varane is likely to partner Samuel Umtiti in Koscielny’s absence; the latter showed his class at Euro 2016, but question marks linger over Varane’s concentration levels.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Liverpool midfielder was expected to make the final England squad, but his chances were scuppered in the Champions League  semi-final win over AS Roma, when he picked up a knee ligament injury.

Even if no expected date or month of return has been specified by Liverpool, the long-term injury has forced Gareth Southgate to look elsewhere.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has instead got the nod after finishing the season in good form for Crystal Palace, as well as an impressing in an international friendly against Germany back in November. Loftus-Cheek is the closest thing to a replacement for Chamberlain, in terms of his athleticism and ability to play in central midfield or out wide.

Jack Wilshere

Southgate left the Arsenal midfielder out of the squad, despite calling him up for the international friendlies against Holland and Italy in March.

Wilshere has had a positive campaign for the Gunners, especially in the Europa League, making 38 appearances in all forms. The 26-year-old offers the capacity to drive forward from deep and link play, but his fitness remains a lingering concern.

He looked very much off the pace at Euro 2016 and Southgate has not even picked him for the stand-by list. With more technically simplistic Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier likely to start in central midfield, England will need plenty of creative thinking from their three ball-playing centre-backs in Wilshere’s absence.