In another one of our preview shows at Sport360 studios looking ahead to the World Cup in Russia, Alex Broun sits down with two of our squad to discuss the teams, players and fixtures to look out for in Group C.
Euro 2016 finalists France, as well as Australia, Peru and Denmark are the teams in the spotlight.
Alex is joined by Stuart Appleby and Chris Bailey.
England full-back Danny Rose has told his family not to travel to Russia for the World Cup over fears of racial abuse.
The 27-year-old Tottenham defender will jet off with the rest of the Three Lions ahead of the tournament but has asked his loved ones to remain behind.
There are widespread concerns surrounding racism on the eve of the World Cup, with the Russian football Union fined £22,000 by FIFA for racist chanting in a March friendly against France in St Petersburg.
England boss Gareth Southgate says protocols are in place if anything flares up during matches, but Rose has made the difficult call of asking his family not to head to Russia to cheer him on.
“I’ve told my family I don’t want them going out there because of racism and anything else that may happen,” he told the London Evening Standard.
“I don’t want to be worrying, when I’m trying to prepare for games, for my family’s safety.
“If anything happens to me, it wouldn’t affect me like it would if my family had been abused.
“I’m fine with whatever may or may not happen, and I like to think I’ll be able to deal with it in the right way.
“My dad’s really upset. I could hear it in his voice. He said he may never get a chance again to come and watch me in a World Cup.
“That was emotional, hearing that. It’s really sad. It’s just how it is. Somehow Russia got the World Cup and we have to get on with it.”
Rose has reason to be suspicious when it comes to the punishments dished out for racism.
He was sent off after the final whistle of an under-21 clash with Serbia in 2012 after suffering racial abuse and reacting at the end of the match.
“I have no faith in the justice system so I don’t let anything affect me,” he added.
“I didn’t get any support after Serbia. I never had a conversation with anybody outside of England.”
The World Cup is fast approaching and while there are plenty of top quality players on show, many of them also boast a wealth of experience.
This edition of sport’s biggest event features 38 players who have been capped 100 times or more for the countries.
We’ve picked out the crème de la crème from the vast pool of experienced stars, many of whom may be playing their final World Cup.
Here’s a look at who made the grade to feature in our best XI which is set up in a 3-4-3 system…
GK: Essam El-Hadary (Egypt)
It’s only fitting that we start with the player with the most caps. Essam El-Hadary made his debut in 1990 and has played 157 times for Egypt, growing into an iconic figure. The 45-year-old is set to make history as the oldest player ever to play in a World Cup.
CB: Sergio Ramos (Spain)
Sergio Ramos will be playing in his fourth World Cup and captains Spain this time around. The Real Madrid star is still regarded as one of the best defenders in the world at the age of 32. The experienced centre-back also poses a threat from set-pieces and has been capped 151 times.
CB: Diego Godin (Uruguay)
Few epitomise the term ‘defensive stalwart’ the way Diego Godin does. The Uruguay and Atletico Madrid skipper has been the bedrock on which both club and country has built their success. The 32-year-old is absolutely crucial to the South American giants and looks set to add a lot more to his tally of 115 caps.
CB: Jan Vertonghen (Belgium)
His versatility has seen him played out of position with Belgium in the past (at left-back) but their current system mirrors that of our XI and he now enjoys his preferred central role in a three-man defence. The 31-year-old Tottenham man is a new centurion having reached the milestone against Saudi Arabia last month.
RM: David Silva (Spain)
Kevin De Bruyne’s sensational season at Manchester City has perhaps taken away from the fact that David Silva enjoyed the finest year of his career as well. The 32-year-old Spaniard has featured prominently in La Roja teams over the last few tournaments, scoring 35 times in his 120 appearances.
CM: Javier Mascherano (Argentina)
Currently playing for Hebei China Fortune, Javier Mascherano has featured at centre-back for Argentina and Barcelona in the past. However, he’s become the lynchpin in midfield for his country ever since Esteban Cambiasso stepped down from the international stage. With 143 appearances to his name, he brings some much-needed leadership to La Albiceleste’s midfield.
CM: Luka Modric (Croatia)
Croatia’s central midfield has been their main area of strength in recent years and a large part of that is down to Luka Modric. The Madrid playmaker has established himself as one of the finest midfielders of his generation. With 105 caps at the age of 32, he’s still Croatia’s main man.
LM: Andres Iniesta (Spain)
If Spanish football had to front one player as the symbol of their success in the modern era it would probably be this man. Andres Iniesta famously scored the World Cup winning goal to beat the Netherlands in the 2010 final. After 126 caps, the 34-year-old heads into this tournament as one of his side’s key players.
RW: Lionel Messi (Argentina)
He came ever so close in 2014 to getting the monkey off his back and cementing his place alongside the likes of Pele and Diego Maradona by winning a World Cup. Germany beat Argentina in the final on that occasion. With 124 appearances behind him, this may be his last chance to clinch the elusive trophy.
ST: Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)
Edinson Cavani has scored 89 goals for Paris Saint-Germain over the last two seasons, establishing himself as one of the leading strikers in world football. Another recent addition to the 100-club, the forward has scored 42 times for Uruguay. At 31, this is the World Cup for Cavani to shine in.
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Having led Madrid to their third successive Champions League title, Cristiano Ronaldo is already a favourite to win his sixth Ballon d’Or. A good performance at the World Cup will make that a certainty. The 33-year-old has scored 81 goals in 149 internationals and won the European Championship two years ago.