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World Cup scouting spotlight: Wague, Bentancur, Fernandes

World Cup
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World Cup scouting spotlight: Moussa Wague, Rodrigo Bentancur, Mario Fernandes

The World Cup boosted the profiles of several known stars like Kylian Mbappe but what about the next wave hoping to use Russia 2018 as a springboard into the next phases of their career? Matt Stanger scouts three such under-the-radar talents who acquitted themselves well this summer.

Moussa Wague, DF, KAS Eupen/Senegal

Wague is an attacking full-back whose performances in Russia should earn him a move to a bigger European league.
Wague is an attacking full-back whose performances in Russia should earn him a move to a bigger European league.

In this age of information, it's rare to see genuine unknowns emerge as potential stars at the World Cup. Moussa Wague is one such example, however, with few having heard...

Russia's four World Cup players to watch: Golovin, Zobnin, Kuzyaev, Miranchuk

As the host nation, all eyes will be on Russia. The home side at the World Cup has never lost an opening match, so can Cherchesov's men keep the tradition going?
Martin Ainstein undergoes an unforgettable experience in Moscow as he visits the Russian Cosmonaut Training Center during his tour of World Cup host cities.

World Cup hosts Russia are approaching the tournament in the wake of some truly shambolic preparations.

Fans are pessimistic, and there is a fear that Stanislav Cherchesov's side will join South Africa and become the second World Cup hosts to fail to qualify from their group. Not everything is bleak though. While defence is their most problematic area, Cherchesov has numerous rising midfielders at his disposal.

Here are four youngsters who could save Russia this summer.

1. Aleksandr Golovin, CSKA...

Arsenal bend but don't break in Moscow, advance to Europa League semis

The ESPN FC guys rank the Europa League semifinalists and explain why Arsenal are not necessarily among the top three.
The ESPN FC guys rank the Europa League semifinalists and explain why Arsenal are not necessarily among the top three.

MOSCOW -- Three points on Arsenal's 2-2 draw with CSKA Moscow, as Arsenal advance 6-3 on aggregate to reach the Europa League semifinals.

1. Arsenal survive scare, reach last four

Arsenal are safely in the semifinals of the Europa League although they survived a major scare in Moscow. When Fedor Cholov and Kirill Nababkin scored either side of halftime for CSKA Moscow another famous European night seemed on the cards. The Premier League side gathered themselves impressively though, Danny Welbeck...

 By Chris Jones

Arsenal and CSKA meet amid backdrop of fear between Britain and Russia

Following their dominant victory over CSKA Moscow, the ESPN FC panel discuss what it will take for Arsenal to win the Europa League.

LONDON -- The Russians were meant to arrive at the Clock End of the Emirates, where a dozen police, some on horseback, and three times as many stewards and security guards were waiting behind barriers. Several vanloads of more police idled nearby in the hours before Thursday's opening leg of CSKA Moscow's Europa League quarterfinal at Arsenal.

Only 500 tickets had been allocated to the visitors.

According to stadium staff, exactly 124 of them were taken.

Police on the scene wouldn't confirm how...

Ramsey dazzles as Arsenal thrash CSKA Moscow in Europa League

Following their dominant victory over CSKA Moscow, the ESPN FC panel discuss what it will take for Arsenal to win the Europa League.

LONDON, England -- Three thoughts on Arsenal's 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow in their Europa League quarterfinal, first leg, at the Emirates.

1. Arsenal put one foot in Europa League semifinals

Arsenal have almost certain to reach the Europa League semifinals, and even by their standards, it would take some capitulation to overturn their 4-1 advantage in next Thursday's second leg against CSKA Moscow. Two goals from Aaron Ramsey and a pair from Alexandre Lacazette (one a penalty) adorned a match...

Arsenal have been missing a player like CSKA's Pontus Wernbloom

Pontus Wernbloom's energy on the pitch is boundless, and fans and teammates adore him.

CSKA Moscow were winless in Rostov since 2006 but needed to take all three points on Sunday in order to stay in the title race. With the score at 1-1 after 75 minutes on a disastrous pitch, things didn't look promising, but Pontus Wernbloom had other plans. The Swede was in the right place at the right time again, and the curse was broken.

"I can always count on you, my friend," CSKA midfielder Bibars Natcho wrote on Instagram after the 2-1 win. Supporters have known that ever since Wernbloom...