World Cup Fantasy Football - Semi-Finals Team Selection: Mbappe or Lukaku for Captaincy?
Posted by @FFPundits_Drew
12:09pm Jul 9 2018
It’s 5 IN and 5 out of our World Cup Semi Final fantasy football team
The World Cup Quarter-Finals saw France, Belgium, England and Croatia secure their places in the next round, which will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
There’s 5 free transfers at our disposal and here is the current plan on where to use them:
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After Brazil’s exit, we’ll be saying goodbye to Phillipe Coutinho (9.2) and Miranda (5.8); Kevin De Bruyne (9.8) appears as the standout replacement in midfield, after moving to a more attacking role in Belgium’s last game, while Benjamin Pavard (4.5) offers a cheap way into a France defence that has kept clean sheets in 3 of their 5 matches.
He’s joined by teammate Lucas Hernandez (5.0), who replaces Ricardo Rodriguez (5.4); the Switzerland left-back exited the tournament prior to the Quarter-Finals.
Kieran Trippier (5.5) has created 13 chances across 4 appearances; only De Bruyne (14) and Modric (15) have managed more amongst remaining players; the England defender replaces Andreas Granqvist (5.4), following Sweden’s exit.
Finally, Colombia’s Juan Quintero (5.7) makes way for a midfield punt, which is most likely to be either Marouane Fellaini (7.0) or Nacer Chadli (6.9).
The pair seem to have won a place in Belgium’s starting XI, following their impact from the bench against Japan in the Round of 16.
Over the last 2 matches, Chadli has the slightly superior underlying numbers, having created 3 chances and taken 2 efforts on target but Fellaini has the habit of scoring important goals when his team needs him to step up, so he’s likely to get the nod.
Let’s take a look at how the team could shape up after those expected changes:
Danijel Subasic (5.5) remains as the only goalkeeper available, after Uruguay’s exit saw the end of Fernando Muslera (5.8). With only 1 playing substitute even after the 5 transfers, it makes sense to prioritise an outfield player for that spot, rather than using it on a goalkeeper.
With Thomas Meunier (6.0) suspended, after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament against Brazil, it’s a double up on France and England defence to complete the back-line.
Both teams kept clean sheets in their Quarter-Final victories and have each conceded just 4 goals across their 5 World Cup matches.
Jesse Lingard (7.5) provided the assist for Dele Alli’s goal against Sweden and in addition to his 3 chances created during the tournament, the Man Utd midfielder has taken 12 efforts at goal, with 6 coming from inside the box.
If Croatia do manage to trouble the England defence, it’s likely to be through their key man Luka Modric (9.1). Only Neymar (23) has created more chances at the 2018 World Cup than the Real Madrid star.
Kylian Mbappe (9.1) and Romelu Lukaku (10.0) will battle it out for the captain’s armband on Day 1, as France and Belgium compete for a place in the Final.
The pair have each taken 5 shots on target so far but Lukaku has been involved in twice as many ‘big chances’ (6 to 3) so he gets the nod.
Harry Kane (11.2) remains the only option to bring on from the bench on Day 2 and he’s likely to take over the captaincy, if needed, for England’s tie with Croatia.
Only Lukaku (6) has had more ‘big chances’ than the Spurs man in the tournament so far (5), while no player has managed more than Kane’s 6 goals in 4 appearances.
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 to the final team, depending on last-minute team news or injuries, etc.
So, be sure to give us a follow on Twitter @_FPLtips, to get any potential updates to this team, prior to Tuesday’s deadline.