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World Cup: Best Premier League XI heading to Qatar

The Premier League is home to some of the world's best footballers, many of whom are hoping to star at the World Cup in Qatar.

Manchester City pair Erling Haaland and Riyad Mahrez, along with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, play for nations who failed to qualify for the finals, but most of the Premier League's biggest names will be heading off on international duty when the 2022/23 domestic season is paused in November.

Here is our best XI of Premier League players who could light up the winter World Cup, selected in a 4-3-3 formation.

WhatWorld Cup
When20th November - 18th December 2022
How to watchAll matches will be shown on either the BBC or ITV
OddsBrazil 9/2, England 11/2, France 6/1, Argentina 7/1, Spain 8/1

Goalkeeper: Alisson (Liverpool and Brazil)

Brazil coach Tite has plenty of selection issues to ponder, not least when it comes to his first-choice goalkeeper as Liverpool's Alisson and Manchester City's Ederson are hard to split.

Ederson played in the 2021 Copa America final defeat to Argentina, having kept clean sheets in the knockout victories over Chile and Peru, but Alisson has been the more regular number one since that tournament.

It's a nice problem to have for the Selecao, who are 9/2 to win a sixth World Cup title in 2022 and 4/9 to top Group G ahead of Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon.

Since arriving at Liverpool from Roma in 2018, Alisson has lifted the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and Club World Cup with the Reds.

He would love to add a World Cup triumph to his CV, although his first objective is to keep Ederson on the bench.

Right-back: Reece James (Chelsea and England)

Right-back is a position of strength for England manager Gareth Southgate, who has Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier at his disposal.

Chelsea's James may offer the best balance between attack and defence and he is a versatile performer, impressing in a wing-back role under former Blues boss Thomas Tuchel.

The 22-year-old racked up nine Premier League assists last season despite missing a chunk of the 2021/22 campaign through injury and he looks the most solid option for England, who are 11/2 to win the World Cup and 9/2 for a repeat of their 2018 semi-final exit.

Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool and Netherlands)

Virgil van Dijk will be desperate for a good run at the World Cup after injury ruled him out of the Netherlands' Euro 2020 campaign last year.

The Liverpool centre-back has made a patchy start to the new club season by his own high standards, but he has enjoyed a glorious career at Anfield, winning the 2018/19 PFA Player of the Year award as well as a host of team honours.

Van Dijk's Dutch side, led by veteran coach Louis van Gaal, have put together a strong run of form since the Euros and the Oranje are 12/1 to win the World Cup.

Centre-back: Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea and Senegal)

Senegal have already enjoyed major tournament success this year as they won the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in thier history in January, conceding just two goals in seven matches on their way to the title.

Centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly captained the side, also converting the first spot-kick in their penalty-shootout victory over Egypt in the final, and he arrived in the Premier League this summer, joining Chelsea from Napoli.

Koulibaly has been reunited with Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy at Stamford Bridge and the Blues pair should provide a solid foundation for the Lions of Teranga, who are 9/2 to top Group A ahead of Qatar, Ecuador and the Netherlands.

Left-back: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City and Portugal)

Portugal's Joao Cancelo scored in three of his first four international appearances in 2016, against Gibraltar, Andorra and the Faroe Islands, and he has caused problems for far more illustrious opponents since then.

Cancelo has developed into a key part of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side, playing as a dynamic attack-minded full-back, and he will hope to have a big impact for 12/1 shots Portugal in Qatar.

He made his international debut shortly after Fernando Santos' side won Euro 2016 and, primarily used at left-back by City, he tends to play right-back for Portugal as Paris St-Germain youngster Nuno Mendes is an exciting talent on the left flank.

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Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)

Manchester City midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne is arguably the best player in the Premier League and he showcased his talent with a man-of-the-match performance in Belgium's 2-1 quarter-final win over Brazil at the 2018 World Cup.

De Bruyne, capable of playing as an attacking midfielder or in a deeper role, is part of a brilliant generation of Belgian players including Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard and the Red Devils are 14/1 to win the tournament in Qatar.

At the age of 31, this could be his last chance for World Cup glory, but the two-time PFA Player of the Year still looks at the peak of his powers and is 50/1 to be the World Cup's top goalscorer.

Midfielder: N'Golo Kante (Chelsea and France)

N'Golo Kante excelled in France's midfield as they won the 2018 World Cup and Les Bleus will be desperate to have the Chelsea man fully fit for the start of their title defence.

Kante won the Premier League with suprise champions Leicester City in 2015/16 before moving to Stamford Bridge and claiming another league title the following season.

His all-action style of play has been hampered by fitness issues recently but at his best he remains one of the world's top defensive midfielders and a key player for France, who are 6/1 to win back-to-back World Cups.

Midfielder: Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City and Germany)

Ilkay Gundogan etched his name into Manchester City history on the final day of last season, sealing the Premier League title for the Citizens by scoring two late goals in a dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa.

There is fierce competition for places in the City midfield and the same is true of Germany, with Bayern Munich trio Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Jamal Musiala vying with Gundogan for spots in the starting line-up.

Coach Hansi Flick persuaded the City man not to retire from international football after Euro 2020 and Die Mannschaft are 11/10 to top Group E in which they face fellow European heavyweights Spain.

Forward: Richarlison (Tottenham and Brazil)

World Cup favourites Brazil have some top-class attacking options - in-form Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus didn't even make the squad for their September internationals - but Tottenham's Richarlison seems to be a favourite of coach Tite.

He started all three of Brazil's knockout matches at the 2021 Copa America, helped Everton stave off relegation from the Premier League in 2021/22, and scored twice on his Champions League debut for Spurs against Marseille this term.

At 12/1 Neymar is Brazil's main hope in the top-goalscorer betting, but Richarlison is 40/1 to continue his impressive progress by winning the Golden Boot in Qatar.

Forward: Harry Kane (Tottenham and England)

England captain Harry Kane was the top goalscorer at the 2018 World Cup, finding the net six times, while he also notched four goals in four knockout games at Euro 2020.

Those achievements came as no surprise to Tottenham supporters, who have seen Kane win three Premier League Golden Boots and develop into one of the world's most complete forwards, bringing out the best in his team-mates as well as banging in the goals himself.

The Spurs talisman's international record is also outstanding - he reached 50 goals in just 73 appearances for England - and he is 7/1 to be the leading goalscorer in Qatar.

Forward: Heung-Min Son (Tottenham and South Korea)

We've gone for an all-Tottenham front three in our Premier League World Cup XI and, like Poland's Robert Lewandowski and Gareth Bale of Wales, South Korea's Heung-Min Son is the undisputed star of his national team.

Son, who shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Liverpool's Mo Salah last season, is 100/1 to be top goalscorer at the World Cup, although helping South Korea qualify from Group H would be a decent achievement in itself.

They are 12/1 to top a tough section containing Portugal, Uruguay and Ghana and 9/4 to make the last-16, so Son will need to recapture his form from the end of last season when he scored 12 goals in his last 10 Premier League outings.

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