Round of 16: Team Selection: Brazil, Spain and Uruguay to Progress?
Posted by @FFPundits_Drew
9:33am Jun 29 2018
Three England players make their way in to our World Cup Fantasy team for the last Round of 16
With the final round of group stage games coming to an end, it’s time to turn our attention to the Round of 16, where unlimited transfers await us.
Having already used the wildcard, the strategy here has to be to select players from the teams you’re backing to make it through at least the next round but ideally even further in the tournament.
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After keeping clean sheets in 3 out of 3 games so far, Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera (5.6) makes the team.
He’s up against a Portugal side that could only manage draws against Iran and Spain, coming 2nd in Group B, with 5 points.
Of course, Portugal are capable of getting a result but on current form, Uruguay have been the more impressive team so far. They’ve conceded just 1 ‘big chance’ across their 3 games and only Belgium (9) have created more ‘big chances’.
With that in mind, Diego Godin (5.6) has also been selected from the Uruguay back-line
He’s joined by defenders from Spain, England and Brazil in Dani Carvajal (5.5), Harry Maguire (5.0) and Miranda (5.5).
Brazil have scored 5 times and conceded just once, across their opening 3 games and will be favourites to progress ahead of a Mexico side that suffered a 3-0 defeat to Sweden in their last outing.
Spain take on the hosts in what could be a difficult game but the 3-0 defeat to Uruguay will have dented Russia’s confidence.
England will face either Japan, Senegal or Colombia in the next round and should be fancying their chances of progressing either way, based on their strong performances during the group stage.
Players from the same teams have been chosen in midfield, with the exception of Japan’s Takashi Inui (4.6).
The thinking here is that, at his price, you can afford to leave him on your bench even if Japan are to get knocked out in the next round, while putting the majority of your funds in the remaining 14 players.
Isco (8.5) and Philippe Coutinho (9.1) have been two of the standout performers, amongst premium midfielders. The Spaniard’s goal against Morocco came from his 3rd effort on target so far and he’s also created 7 chances.
Coutinho’s 10 chances created is top amongst players who have progressed, while only Cheryshev has matched his 5 efforts on target, amongst midfielders.
With 1 goal, 4 shots from inside the box and 2 efforts on target, during the opening 2 matches, Jesse Lingard has offered value at his €7.6m price tag. Although, Russia’s Denis Cheryshev (5.7) and perhaps Sweden’s Viktor Claesson (5.5) offer alternative options.
Diego Costa (9.1) and Harry Kane (11.1) have been selected up front, putting even more eggs in the Spain and England baskets.
Amongst forwards, Costa’s tally of 3 goals so far is behind only Ronaldo, Lukaku and of course, golden boot chasing Harry Kane.
The England forward has 5 goals from the first 2 games and his tally of 4 ‘big chances’ is joint top, alongside Lukaku and Suarez.
Having conceded just 1 goal so far, keeping clean sheets in his last 2 outings, Brazil goalkeeper Alisson makes the bench, as an option to bring on if Muslera fails to keep a clean sheet.
He’s joined by a trio of Belgians: Romelu Lukaku (10.1), Thomas Meunier (6.0) and Yannick Carrasco (6.5).
They’re currently on the bench on the basis that Belgium sit in 2nd place in Group G, prior to their clash with England and if they stay there, their Round of 16 fixture will fall on the last day – making them ideal for substitutes.
However, that will of course change if Belgium finish ahead of England.
In terms of captain options from this side, there will be at least one option for each day within the next round.
Diego Godin is likely to take the armband on Day 1, against Portugal, before Diego Costa faces Russia on Day 2.
As things stand, it will be a choice between Coutinho and Kane for Day 3 but again, that depends on whether England or Belgium top their group.
Finally, the Day 4 captain option will be the forward who’s team finishes 2nd in Group G, so either Romelu Lukaku or Harry Kane.
As you’ll know by now if you’re a regular viewer, these team selection previews aren’t locked in – there may be some changes and that’s even more of a case when there are unlimited transfers and when we’re still awaiting important information, such as which teams will finish top of Groups G and H.
BEFORE YOU GO…
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