FIFA World Cup

Ranking the Premier League Clubs by Their World Cup Talent

James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2014

Ranking the Premier League Clubs by Their World Cup Talent

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    No league is sending more players to the World Cup than the Barclays Premier League.

    At the last count, Premier League clubs were contributing 110 players to the tournament. Among that list are 12 Belgians, 10 Frenchmen and a pair of Hondurans.

    In this piece, we look at which clubs are offering the most talent to the tournament. It's not just a question of numbers: The quality of the players is taken in to consideration too.

    Go to the next slide to get the countdown underway.

20. Burnley

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    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    Burnley offer no World Cup representatives. However, their fans won't mind a bit: They're still celebrating their unexpected promotion.

19. West Ham

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    Not a single West Ham player is currently going to the World Cup. However, at least they have the hope that Andy Carroll might yet get the call: The powerful striker is on the standby list for the England squad.

18. Leicester City

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    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    Leicester City are proud to see 23-year-old winger Riyad Mahrez in the Algeria squad for the World Cup. Mahrez was actually born in France, but he is now fully dedicated to representing the country of his ancestors in Brazil.

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    Competing players:

    Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)

     

17. Sunderland

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Jozy Altidore endured a torrid time in the Premier League this season. However, he remains an important element in the USA's World Cup squad. In Sunderland's multi-national squad, Altidore is the only player making the trip to Brazil.

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    Competing players:

    Jozy Altidore (United States)

16. Crystal Palace

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Mile Jedinak's gutsy performances helped Crystal Palace overcome the odds in the Premier League. Australian fans will hope he can do the same for his international team. Australia face a tricky group, but Jedinak is not one to be daunted by the nature of the opposition.

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    Competing players:

    Mile Jedinak (Australia)

15. Hull City

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Two Hull City players will try to get over their FA Cup Final disappointment by taking part in this summer's world cup. Nikica Jelavic will form part of the Croatia attack for the opening game of the tournament against Brazil, while Maynor Figueroa is one of the bigger names in an otherwise little-known Honduras squad.

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    Competing players:

    Nikica Jelavic (Croatia), Maynor Figueroa (Honduras)

14. Aston Villa

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Aston Villa will proudly have two players at the World Cup: Team captain Ron Vlaar, and American goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Vlaar could well start for Holland, which may come as a surprise given his inconsistent form in the Premier League.

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    Competing players:

    Ron Vlaar (Netherlands), Brad Guzan (United States)

13. West Bromwich Albion

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    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Ben Foster has returned from the international wilderness to be Joe Hart's back-up in Brazil. However, West Brom's real World Cup star is Diego Lugano. Although predominantly a substitute in the Premier League, Lugano remains a key player for Uruguay.

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    Competing players:

    Ben Foster (England), Diego Lugano (Uruguay)

12. Stoke City

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Stoke City's clutch of World Cup stars speaks volumes for their progress as a club.

    Asmir Begovic will be very proud to keep goal for Bosnia & Herzegovina in their first World Cup. Wilson Palacios is a key figure in the little-fancied Honduran team, and Geoff Cameron's athleticism and determination make him an important part of the American squad.

    Striker Peter Odemwingie, meanwhile, is likely to be charged with providing some attacking flair to an unusually dour Nigeria team.

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    Competing players:

    Asmir Begovic (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Wilson Palacios (Honduras), Peter Odemwingie(Nigeria), Geoff Cameron (United States)

11. Swansea

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    Swansea's big World Cup hope is prolific striker Wilfried Bony. Bony is expected to see off competition from Didier Drogba to start for Ivory Coast in Brazil.

    After an outstanding season on loan at Sunderland, Sung-Yeung Ki will also be looking to impress. A good set of performances in the World Cup could earn him a permanent move away from the Liberty Stadium.

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    Competing players:

    Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast), Michel VormJonathan de Guzman (both Netherlands), Sung Yueng-Ki (South Korea)

10. Newcastle United

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    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    It's perhaps no surprise that Newcastle United are sending a significant French-speaking contingent to the World Cup.

    Mathieu Debuchy will be the most prominent. The full-back is a favourite of France coach Didier Deschamps, and is likely to start ahead of Bacary Sagna.

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    Competing players:

    Mathieu DebuchyMoussa Sissoko (both France), Cheick Tiote (Ivory Coast), Tim Krul (Netherlands), Shola Ameobi (Nigeria)

9. Queens Park Rangers

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    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

    It's bizarre that Brazil's No. 1 goalkeeper is actually a QPR player, and yet he has barely played for them in more than a year.

    QPR's three big World Cup stars were all out on loan last summer: Julio Cesar, Stephane Mbia and Loic Remy.

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    Competing players:

    Suk Young-Yun (South Korea), Loic Remy (France), Stephane Mbia (Cameroon), Julio Cesar (Brazil)

8. Southampton

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Southampton have been significant contributors to the England squad. However, they've also got a host of stars representing other nations. Many clubs will be watching Dejan Lovren, who enjoyed a superb 2013/14 campaign.

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    Competing players:

    Dejan Lovren (Croatia), Adam LallanaLuke Shaw (both England), Maya Yoshida (Japan), Gaston Ramirez (Uruguay), Morgan Schneiderlin (France)

7. Everton

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka are both all-but-certain to start for England, but most of the excitement surrounds 20-year-old midfielder Ross Barkley. Barkley's natural talent has earned comparisons with a young Paul Gascoigne. Toffees fans will hope their prodigiously gifted hero can emulate Gascoigne's preeminence on the international stage.

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    Competing players:

    Kevin Mirallas (Belgium), Leighton BainesRoss BarkleyPhil Jagielka (all England),Tim Howard (United States)

6. Tottenham Hotspur

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    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

    In Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham provide a significant chunk of the hotly tipped Belgian squad.

    In Paulinho, Spurs also have a player who is likely to start for Brazil. For fans who watched him perform indifferently throughout the 2013/14 season, his place in the international side might come as something of a shock. However, the Brazil staff have retained their faith in the box-to-box midfielder.

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    Competing players:

    Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria), Nacer ChadliMousa DembeleJan Vertonghen (all Belgium),Paulinho (Brazil), Hugo Lloris (France), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)

5. Arsenal

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    The Arsenal player under the greatest weight of expectation is undoubtedly Mesut Ozil. Ozil is the nominated playmaker in a German side who will be determined to reach the tournament's latter stages.

    Arsenal fans would also love to see Jack Wilshere have a good tournament. After his well-documented injury problems, a positive experience in Brazil would seem like an appropriate reward.

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    Competing players:

    Thomas Vermaelen (Belgium), Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainJack Wilshere (both England), Olivier GiroudLaurent KoscielnyBacary Sagna (all France), Per MertesackerMesut OzilLukas Podolski (all Germany), Santi Cazorla (Spain)Joel Campbell (Costa Rica), Chu-Young Park (South Korea)

4. Liverpool

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Liverpool have six players in the England squad alone. Their captain, Steven Gerrard, is also the skipper of his country.

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    Simon Mignolet (Belgium), Steven GerrardJordan HendersonGlen JohnsonRaheem SterlingDaniel SturridgeRickie Lambert (all England), Mamadou Sakho (France), Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast), Luis SuarezSebastian Coates (both Uruguay), Pepe Reina (Spain)

3. Manchester United

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Only Chelsea are sending more players to the World Cup than Manchester United.

    Unfortunately, many of the 14 United players travelling have endured difficult seasons. The likes of Marouane Fellaini and Shinji Kagawa do not approach this tournament in top form.

    United fans will be particularly keen to see how the Netherlands get on: Not only is Robin van Persie their captain and star striker, but their manager is newly anointed Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal.

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    Competing players:

    Marouane FellainiAdnan Januzaj (both Belgium), Antonio Valencia (Ecuador), Phil JonesWayne RooneyChris SmallingDanny Welbeck (all England), Patrice Evra (France), Shinji Kagawa (Japan), Javier Hernandez (Mexico), Robin van Persie (Netherlands), Nani (Portugal), David de GeaJuan Mata (both Spain)

2. Manchester City

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    Nicky Loh/Getty Images

    Given their vast resources, it's arguably something of a surprise that Manchester City provide just 10 World Cup players.

    However, it's about quality as well as quantity. Every single one of the players who have travelled from the Etihad Stadium to Brazil has a chance of making a significant impact during the tournament. In particular, the trio of Argentinians will be doing everything they can to lift the trophy on Brazilian soil.

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    Competing players:

    Sergio AgueroMartin DemichelisPablo Zabaleta (all Argentina), Vincent Kompany(Belgium), Edin Dzeko (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Fernandinho (Brazil), Joe HartJames Milner (both England), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast), David Silva (Spain)

1. Chelsea

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    Christopher Lee/Getty Images

    Chelsea have an incredibly 17 players on their books at the World Cup. No club in European football can match that tally.

    In Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku they provide the spine of the Belgian side. However, it's their quartet of Brazilians that really catch the eye.

    Chelsea's vast wealth has enabled them to assemble a squad that could dominate this World Cup.

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    Competing players:

    Eden HazardThibaut CourtoisRomelu Lukaku (all Belgium), David LuizOscarRamiresWillian (all Brazil), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Gary CahillFrank Lampard (both England), Andre Schurrle (Germany), John Obi MikelVictor MosesKenneth Omeruo (all Nigeria), Cesar AzpilicuetaFernando Torres (both Spain), Christian Atsu (Ghana)

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