What the Canada World Cup Team Should Expect from its European-Based Players
The European soccer season starts this week and Canadian fans will be on the lookout for the top names from the national team more than ever with the World Cup just a few months away.
We’ve put together the list of the top European-based Canada players to watch before things get going in November and what to expect from them in the new season.
Cyle Larin (Club Brugge)
Canada’s all-time leading goal scorer, Larin has recently moved to Club Brugge in the Belgian First Division with its season already underway. Larin has now left behind a fantastic career with Besiktas in which he scored 39 goals in 108 games for the Turkish giants.
The striker joins Brugge as its main scoring option and with the Belgian side looking to defend the First Division title, Larin should get some goals under his belt before the World Cup.
Brugge is already unbeaten after a few games this season, so expect Larin to be firing ahead of the winter showdown in Qatar.
Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)
Canada’s main man, Davies will be looking to get an injury-free few months before the World Cup after struggles in that department last season. Davies will enter his sixth season in professional soccer with Bayern Munich and the usual is expected: another Bundesliga triumph.
Bayern won the league title once again last season to make it 10 years in a row of doing so. Davies will go in at left-back for his side here, too, as opposed to the usual position as a winger for Canada.
Expect Davies to have a great few months before the start of the World Cup, as Bayern is projected to win each game in Germany like it normally does.
Stephen Eustáquio (Porto)
The 25-year-old Eustáquio is now at Porto after leaving Paços Ferreira. And in truth, there is not much expected of him. Eustáquio will probably not start too many games for Porto, as he isn’t one of their main players.
Nevertheless, Porto is expected to win most games before the World Cup like it usually does in Portugal, so Eustáquio will likely be in winning form at least.
Junior Hoilett (Reading)
In what is his 15th season in professional soccer, Hoilett will be looking to improve on a poor campaign last time out. The Reading forward scored only three goals last season as his club finished 21st in the league and was almost relegated.
In truth, Reading is likely going to struggle again this year, which means so will Hoilett ahead of the World Cup. We don’t expect too much from him in the next few months.
Jonathan David (Lille)
David was Canada's star player in Europe last season with 15 goals in 38 games for Lille in Ligue 1. This came after scoring 13 goals the season before, so if the last two years are anything to go by, David will head into the World Cup in fine goal scoring form.
Lille, however, is unpredictable, as it finished 10th last season after previously winning the league title. With this in mind, David is likely going to be the main man for Lille once more.
Tajon Buchanan (Club Brugge)
Buchanan will partner Larin in the attacking positions with Club Brugge this season, and just like his compatriot, he is expected to get a bunch of wins under his belt before the World Cup and perhaps a few goals, too.
Buchanan’s main issue is going to be if he can get a starting role for Brugge, which means his playing time might be low before kick-off in Qatar.
Richie Laryea (Nottingham Forest)
Laryea will have the world watching him more than ever this season as Nottingham Forest is now in the Premier League after earning promotion last season.
He only played five league games last season and it’s not expected that Laryea will get much time to prove his worth in the Premier League either. What’s more, Forest is going to likely fight relegation this season, so Laryea could come into the World Cup in bad form.
Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade)
After winning the league title with Red Star Belgrade once again last season, Borjan is expected to come into the World Cup in excellent form. The Serbian giants are already sitting top of the table once more in the league with just one goal conceded in the first three league games for Borjan.
Just like others in the Canada squad, Borjan should be in winning form when the World Cup begins.
Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas)
Canada's captain and record cap holder, Hutchinson is entering his 10th season with Besiktas and he is not expected to play all that much before the World Cup starts in November.
At 39, Hutchinson did start 25 games last season in the league, but with new signings at Besiktas and his age, sadly, we shouldn’t expect too much from him over the forthcoming months as he nears the end of his career.
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