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Five players who impressed us during the international break

| 07.09.2016

Over the last three days of World Cup qualifiers we’ve seen reigning European champions Portugal fall to their first competitive defeat since September 2014, Sam Allardyce pick up his first three points as England boss and a number of so-called minnows hold their own against the best.

But which five players have impressed the Ladbrokes News team the most? Find out below…

Adam Lallana

Arguably England’s standout player during the Euros, Lallana carried his fine international form into the Three Lions’ first World Cup qualifier in Slovakia.

The Liverpool midfielder had somehow managed 26 appearances without an international goal prior to Sunday’s game, but that duck was broken in the 95th minute against a resilient Slovakian side who had been reduced to ten men.

Lallana’s strike meant England’s impressive qualifying run continues, having now won their last 13 in all major tournament qualifying campaigns.

Gareth Bale

It seems not even a Euro 2016 semi-final exit can dampen the Welsh spirit as Gareth Bale and co brushed aside Moldova in their first fixture since this summer’s tournament.

And who else but Gareth Bale was ever likely to be at the centre of attention in this one?

An assist in the 38th minute was followed by two second half goals including a late penalty and an exquisite chip to ensure Wales topped their group after the first round of fixtures.

He’s now just four goals off Ian Rush’s goalscoring record, and 10/1 says that’s something he matches before Christmas.

Robert Snodgrass

Having had a relatively quiet summer as a result of missing out on participation in the Euros, Scotland flew out of the traps in their first World Cup qualifying game against Malta.

And it was Hull City’s Snodgrass who got the first goal on Sunday with an unbelievable cross-come-shot from the corner of the penalty area.

That strike turned out to be the first of three for the 29-year-old on the night, including a calmly taken penalty in the 61st minute.

Thomas Muller

The German striker was back to his best in Norway, netting twice as well as providing an assist for Joshua Kimmich as Die Mannschaft went on to win 3-0.

Muller has hit the ground running in this qualifying campaign after once again failing to find the net in a European Championship.

Valon Berisha

A special mention has to go to Kosovo midfielder Berisha, who netted his side’s first ever goal in a competitive game in a 1-1 draw against Finland.

The Red Bull Salzburg man scored a penalty in the 60th minute to level the tie.

Up next for Kosovo is a home fixture in October against a Croatian side who drew 1-1 with Turkey on Monday night.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Alex Apati

Alex has been with the Ladbrokes PR team since 2017 having previously worked for the news department. From sparring with Peter Fury to talking interviews on the Duke and Duchess' baby names, he's covered a range of sports and novelty events.

A frustrated West Brom fan who is no stranger to an oche, Alex is originally from Dudley, although he's worked hard to rid himself of the Black Country twang.