It’s going to be a summer of struggle for Aston Villa meaning the World Cup couldn’t have come at a better time. A tournament Mile Jedinak, Ahmed Elmohamady and Birkir Bjarnason will be featuring in.
The Three Players Flying The Villa Flag at the World Cup
Mile Jedinak has had a solid season at Villa if nothing else. The enforcer featured in 28 league games in 2017-18 both at centre back and in defensive midfield. However, Jedinak’s time at Villa Park might be coming to an end with Leeds interested in the reportedly transfer listed midfielder.
Jedinak captains an Australia side ranked 40th in the World whilst sitting in defensive midfield next to Aaron Mooy. The 33-year-old scored a hat trick against Honduras in November to book his countries place at this summers tournament.
The Socceroos are the lowest ranked team in group C, a group also containing Peru, Denmark and one of the favourites in France. They’ll do well to get through to the last 16.
Ahmed Elmohamady was one of Villa’s most consistent players in 2017-18, racking up 45 appearances and 5 assists from right-back.
Elmo will face competition on the right side of defence for Egypt in Ahmed Fathi. However, the 30 year old has plenty of big game experience, featuring in the African Cup of Nations and the Confederations Cup previously.
The Pharaohs will be entertaining Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay in Group A. Hopes will rest on the mercurial Mohamed Salah, who is looking ever the more likely to make a full recovery from the injury he sustained in the Champions League final.
Birkir Bjarnason became somewhat of a cult hero this season with some slick displays in defensive midfield. With Villa in financial difficulty, next season could see him become a regular fixture in the starting XI.
For Iceland, Bjarnason plays on the left of midfield in Heimir Hallgrimssons well structured 4-4-2 system. At Euro 2016, the 30-year-old scored against both Portugal and France.
The Nordic country are making their World Cup debut and are smallest nation ever to participate in international footballs premier tournament. Iceland sit in group D with Argentina, Croatia and Nigeria.