World Cup 2018: How will the Scottish-based players fare?

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport Scotland
Germany are the defending champions in Russia
Germany are the defending champions in Russia. Only Brazil (1958 & 62) and Italy (34 & 38) have won back-to-back tournaments

You are Scottish, a football fan and love the World Cup, but who do you get behind as the global elite gather for the month-long extravaganza in Russia?

While you could try being directed by your answers to our BBC Sport quiz, you might prefer to follow one of the seven Scottish-based players who will fly the flag for their respective countries at the finals.

But what are their prospects of adding to their cap tally in Russia? And do any of them have a realistic prospect of lifting the famous trophy at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday 15 July?

Here's our guide to their form.

Scotland's World Cup connections from Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and Hibs

Bruno Alves

Central defender (Rangers), 36, 96 caps, Portugal.

Group B opponents: Spain, Morocco and Iran.

Chances of playing?: The 36-year-old, who has made 25 appearances for Rangers since arriving from Cagliari last summer, will have feared the end to his international career during a season in which he was troubled by injury and, even when fit, at times found young Scots David Bates and Ross McCrorie chosen ahead of him at the heart of the Ibrox defence. However, Portugal have won the last three games in which Alves has started - their most recent being a 3-0 win over Algeria that came after a defeat and two draws in games where he was on the bench.

Chances of lifting the World Cup?: Whether or not the veteran achieves a century of caps in Russia, Portugal should at least qualify from their group, but it will need a refreshed Cristiano Ronaldo up front to inspire a repeat of their Euro 2016 triumph.

Kari Arnason

Kari Arnason (right) celebrates a goal for Iceland
Kari Arnason (right) is in the swansong of his career

Central defender (Aberdeen, moving to Vikingur), 35, 67 caps, Iceland.

Group D opponents: Argentina, Croatia and Nigeria.

Chances of playing?: Another who heads to the World Cup on the back of indifferent club form. In his second spell with Aberdeen after arriving from Omonia Nicosia, he made 24 appearances, was in and out of Derek McInnes' starting line-up and has already agreed a move to Vikingur in his homeland while saying he is glad to put the "long-ball" British game behind him. Since ending their qualifying campaign with three straight wins without conceding a goal, Arnason has started three of their four warm-up friendlies.

Chances of lifting the World Cup?: In those last four friendlies, Iceland have lost three and drawn one, conceding 11 goals in the process and appear unlikely to repeat the Euro 2016 heroics that led them to qualify from their group - and to victory over England in the last 16.

Dedryck Boyata

Dedryck Boyata (centre) in battles for Belgium against Costa Rica
Dedryck Boyata (centre) started Friday's 4-1 win over Costa Rica

Central defender (Celtic), 27, seven caps, Belgium.

Group G opponents: Panama, Tunisia and England.

Chances of playing?: Has had his best season for Celtic since arriving from Manchester City in 2015, making 39 club appearances and cutting out some of the slackness and errors that hindered his cap chances. With former City team-mate Vincent Kompany having suffered a groin injury, Boyata started Friday's 4-1 win over Costa Rica - his first since a 3-3 draw with Mexico in November after sitting out four internationals. He was taken off after after the break and will have a nervous wait to see if he has done enough in those 66 minutes to secure a starting place in Russia.

Chances of lifting the World Cup?: It could be the last chance for Belgium's golden generation to come good at a major tournament. They should at least progress from their group and then much will depend on whether coach Roberto Martinez can get more out of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne in midfield than has recently been the case.

Cristian Gamboa

Costa Rica's Cristian Gamboa challenges Belgium's Romelu Lukaku
Celtic fringe man Cristian Gamboa (left) has been a regular starter for Costa Rica

Right-back (Celtic), 28, 62 caps, Costa Rica.

Group E opponents: Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia.

Chances of playing?: Gamboa has struggled to command a starting place after being brought to Celtic from West Bromwich Albion by Brendan Rodgers and made more appearances in the last season for Costa Rica (7) than he has for the Scottish champions (3). Coach Oscar Ramirez gave him a vote of confidence by picking him for the next game against Belgium despite the right-back being singled out for a criticism in a recent defeat by England.

Chances of lifting the World Cup?: Costa Rica famously beat Scotland in 1990 and then reached the 2014 quarter-finals after surprisingly topping their group. However, since beating the Scots 1-0 at Hampden in March, they have lost three of their four friendlies - they beat Northern Ireland 3-0 - and were swept aside 4-1 by Belgium on Friday, so qualifying for the next stage behind Brazil is the best they can hope for.

Mikael Lustig

Sweden's Michael Lustig
Michael Lustig is part of a defensive Sweden side

Right-back (Celtic), 31, 64 caps, Sweden.

Group F opponents: Germany, Mexico and South Korea.

Chances of playing?: The right-back has been a mainstay for Celtic and Sweden since arriving from Rosenborg in 2012 and played 47 times as Celtic completed a second successive domestic treble. He started Friday's 0-0 draw with Peru after being on the bench for a draw with Denmark and a defeat by Romania.

Chances of lifting the World Cup?: Janne Andersson's side knocked out Italy in the play-offs, but they are struggling for goals without talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They are without a win in four outings since beating Denmark 1-0 in January, haven't scored in the last three and could do with Lustig adding to the two he has scored in six appearances for them this season.

Jamie Maclaren

Jamie Maclaren (left) in action for Australia against Czech Republic
Jamie Maclaren (left) came off the bench in Australia's 4-0 win over Czech Republic

Forward (Hibernian on loan from Darmstadt 98), 24, six caps, Australia.

Group C opponents: France, Peru and Denmark.

Chances of playing?: Having failed to score in seven games for Darmstadt 98 in Bundesliga's second tier after moving from Brisbane Roar, the striker found his scoring touch with eight goals in 15 appearances for Hibernian. He was only a late call-up to Bert van Marwijk's provisional squad because of injury concerns over Tomi Juric but managed to win a place in the final 23 along with his Luzern counterpart. Although Maclaren came off the bench in their final warm-up, he finds himself behind Urawa Reds' Andrew Nabbout, Juric and veteran Tim Cahill for the single striker role.

Chances of lifting the World Cup?: Australia finished behind Japan and Saudi Arabia to miss out on automatic qualification but came through play-offs against Syria and Honduras to qualify. They have only suffered one defeat in their last nine outings and completed their preparations with a 4-0 hammering of Czech Republic and will be involved in a three-way battle to qualify from their group behind France.

Tom Rogic

Australia's Tom Rogic (left) in action against Hungary
Tom Rogic (left) is Australia's preferred choice behind their main striker

Midfielder (Celtic), 25, 37 caps, Australia.

Group C opponents: France, Peru and Denmark.

Chances of playing?: Having joined Celtic from Central Coast Mariners a year earlier, Rogic made the provisional squad in 2014 only to be dropped from the final party. There was no such danger this time thanks to his eight goals in 42 games as Celtic enjoyed a second successive Scottish clean sweep. Despite operating behind the main striker for his country, he is not as prolific at international level and hasn't scored in 12 games since a 3-2 defeat by Germany almost exactly a year ago.

Chances of lifting the World Cup?: (see Jamie Maclaren)