Marcus Rashford representing England.

Your guide to the Reds at the 2018 World Cup

Thursday 07 June 2018 11:36

With 12 United players set to fly out to next week's FIFA World Cup in Russia, here is an essential guide to who will be playing when ahead of the 'greatest show on Earth.'


Manager: Gareth Southgate

Fixtures (Group G): 
Tunisia, 18/06/2018
Panama, 24/06/2018
Belgium, 28/06/2018

Red(s) in the squad (shirt no):
Jesse Lingard (7)
Phil Jones (16)
Ashley Young (18)
Marcus Rashford (19)

Rashford was a key figure in the qualifying campaign, playing in eight of England's 10 group games - four from the start, four as a substitute. The striker scored the winning goal in the Three Lions' 2-1 triumph over Slovakia in September 2017.

Jones made appearances in England's consecutive victories against Malta and Slovakia, while Lingard played in four qualifying matches, starting in two against Malta and Slovenia. Young also featured twice in friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy and, like Lingard, started the recent win over Nigeria.

How they qualified:

Having entered the qualifying campaign as favourites, England duly delivered. The Three Lions finished top of Group F by a comfortable eight-point margin.

Prospects of success:

With a squad eager to prove themselves in a major tournament, the Three Lions will be fancied, along with Belgium, to qualify from Group G. Gareth Southgate will be striving to be the first England manager to win a knockout match in 12 years should the Three Lions progress to the last-16.

United’s 2018 World Cup XI Video

United’s 2018 World Cup XI

The 11 Reds stars going to this summer’s World Cup could form a very decent side...


Manager: Jorge Sampaoli

Iceland, 16/06/2018
Croatia, 21/06/2018 
Nigeria, 26/06/2018

Red(s) in the squad (shirt no):
Marcos Rojo (16)

Marcos Rojo will be the only United player to represent Argentina in the World Cup. The defender appeared in nine qualifying matches, making the starting XI on each occasion.

His compatriot and fellow team-mate, Sergio Romero, made 18 appearances during the qualifying campaign, keeping eight clean sheets. However, a knee injury will prevent him him from competing in Russia.

How they qualified:
Argentina finished third in the South American World Cup qualifiers, after incurring a few scares along the way. Their 3-1 win over Ecuador in the final fixture was an essential victory towards World Cup qualification.

Prospects of success:
Argentina were narrow runners-up four years ago in Brazil. Since then, the South American side has been through three changes of manager, however current head coach, Jorge Sampaoli believes that five-times Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, can lead his team to success.

Marcos Rojo will be the only Red representing Argentina at the World Cup.


Manager: Janne Andersson

South Korea, 18/06/2018
Germany, 23/06/2018 
Mexico, 27/06/2018

Red(s) in the squad (shirt no): 
Victor Lindelöf (3)

Victor Lindelöf will be the only Red in the Swedish national team. The United defender made 11 appearances during the qualifying campaign, scoring one goal.

How they qualified:
The Swedes finished second in Group A, ahead of the Netherlands on goal difference, and four points behind the table toppers, France. What followed was a nerve-jangling World Cup play-off tie against Italy, but the Scandinavian side overcame the odds by beating the Azzurri 1-0, which stunned the footballing world and booked their flight to Russia.

Prospects of success:  
Head coach Janne Andersson is confident in Sweden's chances ahead of the World Cup, having stated that they have the ability to beat any team in the world.


Manager: Didier Deschamps

Australia, 16/06/2018
Peru, 21/06/2018 
Denmark, 26/06/2018

Red(s) in the squad (shirt no):
Paul Pogba (6)

Paul Pogba will be part of the French midfield that travels to Russia - the 25-year-old will be the only Red in the squad as Anthony Martial was only placed on stand-by. The United star played for Les Bleus seven times throughout the qualifying campaign, and chipped in with two goals against Sweden and the Netherlands.

How they qualified:
France booked their spot in the finals after topping Group A in the qualifiers. Les Bleus have participated at every World Cup since 1994.

Prospects of success: 
France are being tipped as one of the nations that could go far in this year's competition. One of the most consistent and stable teams in the tournament, Les Bleus suffered an extra-time final defeat to Portugal at Euro 2016.

Victor Lindelof will be Sweden's sole United player in Russia.


Manager: Mladen Krstajić

Costa Rica, 17/06/2018
Switzerland, 22/06/2018 
Brazil, 27/06/2018

Red(s) in the squad (shirt no):
Nemanja Matic (21)

Nemanja Matic will be the first Serbian since Nemanja Vidic to represent the Reds on the world's stage. In the qualifying campaign, Matic played seven matches and scored one goal against Austria.

How they qualified:
In the World Cup qualifiers, Serbia finished ahead of the Republic of Ireland by a two points in a closely fought Group D, knocking Euro 2016 surprise package Wales out of the competition.

Prospects of success: 
After failing to qualify for the last three major tournaments, Serbia's qualification for the World Cup was a little unexpected, though nonetheless deserved. Following this success, the Serbians have raised the bar, with the fans expecting more in Russia.

Nemanja Matic will be United's first Serbian to appear in a major competition since Nemanja Vidic.


Manager: Julen Lopetegui

Portugal, 15/06/2018
Iran 20/06/2018 
Morocco, 25/06/2018

Red(s) in the squad (shirt no):
David De Gea (1)

David De Gea will be the only United player in the Spain squad as Juan Mata and Ander Herrera did not make the cut. After a marvellous domestic season with the Reds, De Gea will be hoping to carry his form through into the World Cup. In Spain's qualifying campaign, United's shot-stopper only missed one game and conceded just three goals.

How they qualified: 
The 2010 World Cup winners went unbeaten in their qualifying campaign, topping Group G by five points, with nine wins and a solitary draw, to finish above fellow titans Italy.

Prospects of success: 
Spain have won three European Championships (1968, 2008, 2012) and one World Cup (2010). After La Roja failed to defend their title in Brazil,  the squad will be hungry to regain the trophy in Russia.


Manager: Roberto Martinez

Panama, 18/06/2018
Tunisia, 23/06/2018 
England, 28/06/2018

Red(s) in the squad (shirt no):
Marouane Fellaini (8)
Romelu Lukaku (9)

Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini will be be part of Roberto Martinez’s Belgium squad. Lukaku was one of the key players in the Red Devils' qualification for Russia, having played eight games and scored 11 goals, breaking his county's all-time scoring record in the process. Meanwhile, Fellaini made six appearances throughout the qualifiers, all of which came from starting XI.

How they qualified: 
Belgium guaranteed their place in the World Cup group stage after the Rode Duivels' 2-1 win over Greece. They finished top of Group H by a commanding nine points. 

Prospects of success: 
Along with Lukaku and Fellaini, Belgium have a team full of stars and are being tipped as potential favourites for the tournament. While this will be Spaniard Roberto Martinez’s first major tournament with the country, the fans will expect Belgium to deliver.