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World Cup: Best Serie A XI heading to Qatar

Italy may not have qualified for the World Cup but there are still plenty of Serie A stars set to shine.

The chance to win the Scudetto still attracts stars from across the globe, although the best of those heading to Qatar are arguably from other European nations.

Selected in a 3-4-1-2, here is our view on the best XI of Serie A players set to battle it out for World Cup glory this winter.

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: Rui Patricio (Roma and Portugal)

A tough choice for our number one spot but Patricio's greater international success with the Selecao gives him an edge.

Now 34, the former Wolves goalkeeper provides plenty of experience, having earned over 100 caps for the national team.

Patricio's form played a crucial part in Portugal's run to Euro 2016 glory and they will hope for more of the same in Qatar, with his country 12/1 to conquer the world for the first time.

Centre-back: Simon Kjaer (AC Milan and Denmark)

Probably the captain of our side, Kjaer showed at Euro 2020 just how strong of a leader he is as Denmark made the semi-finals.

The steely defender is another with over 100 caps and this will be his third trip to the World Cup finals.

Great in the air, with fabulous positioning and a deceptively deft touch, the 33-year-old will wear the armband again in Qatar where his country are 5/1 to emulate their run to the last four of the Euros.

Centre-back: Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan and the Netherlands)

An Inter player slotting between two Milan stars gives our defence a different look but De Vrij deserves his place.

A cool presence as the Oranje made the semi-finals in Brazil in 2014 under Louis van Gaal, his club efforts have not always been rewarded on the international stage.

However, King Louis' return for a third spell in charge of the national team has seen the 30-year-old play a more regular role and he will be hoping to start in his country's opener against Senegal.

The Netherlands are 13/20 to beat the Lions of Teranga on 21st September and the former Lazio man could be a key part of their challenge. 

Centre-back: Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan and England)

Eyebrows were raised when Tomori left Chelsea for Italy on loan in January 2021 but he was impressive enough to see his switch to Milan made permanent and was a key figure in their Scudetto success of last season.

A tactically savvy and technically proficient defender, the 24-year-old stands a real chance of being part of the England squad and potentially breaking into Gareth Southgate's starting XI.

Tomori is comfortable across the back-line and his inclusion in the squad for September's Nations League matches has seen him come into 2/5 to be selected for the Three Lions.

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Right wing-back: Denzil Dumfries (Inter Milan and the Netherlands)

Another Nerazzurri man, Dumfries has excelled since joining Inter from PSV Eindhoven in 2021 and is amongst the game's elite wing-backs.

The 26-year-old scored the winner against Ukraine at Euro 2020 and his eye for goal could be crucial for a country without a recognised out-and-out forward.

The Dutch are just 2/5 to top Group A and Dumfries' dynamism will be key to their chances.

Central midfield: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio and Serbia)

Perennially linked with the Premier League, Milinkovic-Savic is the complete midfielder and a massive player for Serbia.

Nicknamed 'il Sergente' by the Lazio fans for his natural authority, Milinkovic-Savic played all three games as his country crashed out of the group stages in Russia four years ago.

The Eagles won their opener against Costa Rica but then lost to Switzerland and Brazil. They have again been drawn against the latter pair and Cameroon in Group G and are 7/2 to qualify.

Central Midfield: Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan and Croatia)

A key part of Croatia's run to the final in 2018, Brozovic brings balance to a talented midfield that also features the likes of Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic.

Despite regularly leading the statistics for distance covered in games, he has often failed to see eye-to-eye with his coaches at club level but has a great understanding with Zlatko Dalic.

After being handed a decent draw in Group F alongside Belgium, Canada and Morocco, the Vatreni are 5/2 to top the pool.

Left wing-back: Theo Hernandez (AC Milan and France)

The sibling of a World Cup winner, Hernandez watched on as his brother Lucas shone for France four years ago.

Didier Deschamps has trialled a back three in recent years, which has enabled both to start, although they could find themselves competing for the same role at left-back in Qatar.

That's the position Theo occupies at the San Siro but Deschamps' attacking depth means the 24-year-old could play further forward as Les Bleus aim to retain their crown at 6/1.

Attacking midfield: Piotr Zielinski (Napoli and Poland)

With Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne departing Napoli over the summer, the Partenopei needed someone to step up and Zielinski has answered the call.

The 28-year-old has been given more freedom to roam and has excelled, taking over the playmaking duties.

It will be the same role he fulfils for Poland in Qatar, with his main task set to be supplying captain Robert Lewandowski with the requisite opportunities to shine.

Zielinski is at the peak of his powers and will be crucial if Poland are to advance at 10/11 from a Group C that also contains Argentina and Mexico.

Striker: Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus and Serbia)

The first member of our all-left-footed frontline, Vlahovic has thrived since swapping Florence for Turin last January.

One of the few Bianconeri players to have performed in 2022/23, he also helped his country beat Portugal to top spot in qualifying.

Serbia's attacking options mean he could be paired with Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic in a truly blockbuster strike duo.

The Qatar World Cup will be Vlahovic's major tournament debut and he is 50/1 to take the top scorer award.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan and Belgium)

This last one perhaps feels like a bit of a cheat, with Lukaku only on loan at Inter from Chelsea.

However, he looks at home in Italy and his long-term future seems destined to be spent in Bel paese.

Lukaku netted 24 times in firing the Nerazzurri to the title in 2020/21 before going on to shine at Euro 2020 where he notched four goals.

The 29-year-old is 20/1 to finish as the tournament's top scorer and his move back to Italy may have come at the perfect time as he gets the nod ahead of Inter colleague Lautaro Martinez.

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