Bundesliga

Kagawa vs. James, Reus vs. Forsberg, Harit vs. Thiago: The World Cup's Bundesliga head-to-heads

Rivals for clubs, rivals for countries: this summer's FIFA World Cup throws up plenty of clashes between players who are already well accustomed with each other from the Bundesliga.

bundesliga.com takes a closer look at five of these tasty World Cup duels, made in the Bundesliga.

Shinji Kagawavs.James Rodriguez

With 146 games, 41 goals and 38 assists, there are few Bundesliga midfielders with the pedigree of Borussia Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa, although after only one season in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich's James Rodriguez – with 23 games, seven goals and 11 assists – is already proving he could go on to boast similar stats.

WATCH: How James Rodriguez runs the Bayern show!

Marco Reusvs.Emil Forsberg

Two of the Bundesliga's outstanding midfielders will come head to head on 19 June in Saransk, when Japan face Colombia, and their respective influences as plamakers, setting the attacking tone for their teams, will likely see them heavily responsible for their nations' hopes. This mini-Klassiker could set the tone for the tournament, with the tempting prospect of meeting Bayern's Robert Lewandowski and Poland in the knockout stages.

Make sure 23 June is highlighted in your diary since that is the day when two of the Bundesliga's most creative players will lock horns in what promises to be a spectacular clash in Sochi.

Dortmund's Marco Reus missed out on a place at the World Cup with an agonising injury picked up just 24 hours before he was due to board the plane to Brazil four years ago, and he will be out to make up for lost time in Russia. He spent much of the past two seasons injured too, but with seven goals in 11 games since recovering from his latest setback, the fleet-footed forward has hit form at just the right time for this international appointment with Leipzig's Emil Forsberg.

WATCH: Reus' 18 goals against 18 Bundesliga clubs!

Thiago will come up against Harit for the first time at international level. - © imago

Amine Haritvs.Thiago Alcantara

The Swedish winger's second season in the Bundesliga may not have hit the same heights as his first – even though he provides an assist on average every other game – but the 26-year-old nevertheless proved that he can be a match for anybody – just ask Italy, whom he helped eliminate in a play-off for one of the final tickets to Russia.

Few might have known much about Schalke's Moroccan midfielder a year ago, but many will be aware of his ability when he comes up against Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara as Morocco meet Spain in their final group game on 25 June – another day to circle in your diary!

With three goals and three assists, 20-year-old Harit had a major hand in the Royal Blues' qualification for next season's UEFA Champions League as runners-up to Bayern. His excellent close control and positional versatility – he started out as an attacking midfielder, but has filled positions across the line – combined with outstanding vision and pace make him a handful for anybody.

- © gettyimages / Simon Hofmann

Corentin Tolissovs.Thomas Delaney

READ: Find out which Bundesliga stars will be at the World Cup!

Thiago needs little introduction, slotting into a more defensive midfield role for Bayern, albeit with the right to roam and, when necessary, unleash one of the most potent shots in the game. He is set to be the only Bundesliga representative in a Spain side fancied to go all the way – just as long as he can get the better of Harit.

After four years as one of the French Ligue 1's star performers, Corentin Tolisso linked up with Bayern last summer, and he took to life in the Bundesliga like a duck to water. Inclusion in a fancied France's squad for the World Cup was only logical, and he will be out to inspire Les Bleus against Werder Bremen's Thomas Delaney when France face Denmark on 26 June.

- © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA