• Brighton Players Representing their Countries in Russia

    Two of Brighton and Hove Albion’s first team Premier League stars have been selected in their respective nation’s provisional squads for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup.

    After performing in every minute of Albion’s top-flight season, goalkeeper Mat Ryan has been selected in Australia’s provisional 26-man squad for Russia. Ryan kept 10 clean sheets in 38 appearances, conceding just 54 goals in total and contesting the best defensive record in the bottom-half of the table.

    The 26-year-old has appeared for the Socceroos on 42 occasions previously, including three caps in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. His individual performances in that tournament were described as ‘mixed’ by himself, claiming the experience was a ‘massive learning curve’.

    Elsewhere, Colombia national team manager Jose Pekerman has elected to draft winger Jose Izquierdo into his 35-man provisional squad. New betting sites have Colombia priced around 50/1 for tournament glory which certainly must be considered following their incredible 2014 performances.

    Izquierdo has four caps and one goal to his name as it stands, featuring in friendlies against France and Australia in March.

    The dazzling winger had a strong first season in the Premier League under Chris Hughton, scoring five goals and assisting three in 32 league appearances. Izquierdo arrived at the AMEX Stadium for a club-record fee believed to be around £15m last summer and Albion fans have been impressed with his direct and skilful displays.

    Izquierdo faces competition from the likes of James Rodriguez, Edwin Cardona, Juan Cuadrado, Juan Fernando Quintero, Giovanni Moreno and Yimmi Chara to make the final cut.

    Additionally, new signing Leon Balogun, who will be hoping to impress in the Premier League next season, has been selected for the Nigerian squad, and may feature in tonight's friendly against England at Wembley.

    Seagulls fans will be undoubtedly keep one eye out for their stars making a splash on the global front come June!
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