World Cup Fantasy Picks for June 26th on Starting 11

11:36am Jun 25 2018

Can Lionel Messi save Argentina’s blushes in their final Group Stage game against Nigeria?

We’re back with another preview for the Starting 11 app, which offers daily, free-to-enter contests throughout the 2018 World Cup.

As always, there are no budget restrictions – simply select the 11 players that you think will score the most points during a single matchday.

This Tuesday’s contest (26th June) is between FOUR matches, as Denmark will be hoping to secure their place in the next round, while in Group D, Nigeria, Iceland and Argentina each still have a chance of qualifying, alongside Croatia.

Fixtures:

Denmark vs. France
Australia vs. Peru
Iceland vs. Croatia
Nigeria vs. Argentina

Here’s how we’re lining up for this one:


Goalkeeper

Mat Ryan’s Australia still have a small chance of qualifying if they take 3 points against a Peru side that have failed to score a single goal in the tournament so far; none of their 8 efforts on target have been deemed ‘big chances’ by Opta.

Defenders

Croatia’s impressive 3-0 win over Argentina has put them top of Group D, 3 points ahead of Nigeria. They kept clean sheets in each of their first two games and now face an Iceland side that failed to score against Nigeria, producing just 3 efforts on target and 1 ‘big chance’.

With that in mind, Sime Vrsaljko and Dejan Lovren make the team.

He’s yet to make an appearance so far in the tournament but with France having already secured their place in the next round, could we see a start for Man City left-back, Benjamin Mendy?

France have only conceded 1 goal so far; a penalty against Australia, and haven’t conceded a single ‘big chance’ from open play.

Midfielders

Only Belgium and Russia (8) have scored more goals than Croatia so far and midfielders Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric played important roles for their country during the first two matches.

Rakitic’s tally of 4 chances created is more than any of his teammates have produced, while only Mandzukic has matched his 5 goal attempts.

Modric and Rakitic are joint top for shots on target amongst Croatia players, with 2 efforts each.

Paul Pogba has provided the creativity within the France midfield; his 3 chances created can be beaten by only Olivier Giroud, amongst teammates.

Denmark talisman, Christian Eriksen, completes the midfield as the Danes look to cement their place in the knockout stage. The Spurs midfielder has created more chances (5) and taken more efforts on target (2) than any of his teammates.

Forwards

Antoine Griezmann’s tally of 4 shots on target is on par with Lukaku and Ronaldo; only Neymar (5) has taken more so far.

There is the potential for rotation amongst the France team, given that they’ve already guaranteed their place in the next round, but with the Starting 11 app, you can make changes right the way up until kick off. So, if Griezmann is rested, we can perhaps go with Olivier Giroud instead.

After a match-winning brace against Iceland, we can’t overlook Nigeria’s Ahmed Musa here, ahead of a meeting with Argentina; a side that have conceded 4 goals and 5 ‘big chances’ in the competition so far. Only Tunisia and Saudi Arabia have worse defensive records from the opening two matches.

To complete the lineup, despite being yet to score at the 2018 World Cup, it has to be Lionel Messi. His 12 goal attempts so far are more than any other player has managed and all of Argentina’s hopes of qualifying are on the Barcelona man’s shoulders.

Captaincy Selection

For captaincy, Christian Eriksen is an option to consider, given how reliant Denmark are on him and the fact that they need a result against France to secure their place in the next round.

However, a win over Nigeria would likely see Argentina climb from 4th to 2nd place in Group D and with so much at stake for them, will this be Lionel Messi’s moment to remind us all that he’s a world class player?

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