World Cup Fantasy Round 2: Team Selection: Activate the Wildcard?

9:10pm Jun 18 2018

Kane, Cavani and Costa feature in FPLTips’ World Cup Fantasy Football team for Round 2

It’s been a World Cup with plenty of surprises so far and is certainly keeping us fantasy managers on our toes.

What were your World Cup 2018 best predictions during Round 1?  We saw Germany lose to Mexico, Brazil draw with Switzerland and an incredible hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo, to earn Portugal a draw with Spain.

You can follow the progress of the FPLtips team, with daily updates on Twitter and also via the ‘Community’ tab on the YouTube channel but in this article, we’re going to look straight ahead to Round 2, which kicks off with Russia playing Egypt on Tuesday night.

After a poor start in Round 1, the plan is to activate the Wildcard and here’s a look at how the FPLtips team is shaping up:


Goalkeeper

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa (5.0) is where the majority of funds have gone between the sticks, but Nigeria’s Francis Uzoho (4.0) will get the start, since his game against Iceland takes place before Mexico face South Korea.

Mexico defended well during the win over Germany and despite conceding the most shots on target (9) in Round 1, none of them were deemed to be ‘big chances’, with 6 of the 9 efforts coming from outside of the box.

Defenders

Uruguay were another team to allow their opponent’s 0 ‘big chances’ in Round 1 and with Saudi Arabia up next, Guillermo Varela (4.5) is one of the few players to keep his place from the original team and there’s even a temptation to double up with Diego Godin (5.5).

It was Jose Gimenez who got the goal against Egypt but Godin’s 15 efforts from inside the box in qualifying was behind only Suarez and Cavani, amongst his teammates.

Despite conceding 3 times in Round 1, Spain allowed just 3 efforts on target by Portugal; one of those was Ronaldo’s penalty and another was his free kick. So, Gerard Pique (6.0) remains a tempting option for the remaining group stage fixtures against Iran and Morocco.

Portugal’s Raphael Guerreiro (5.5) is a cheaper alternative who faces those same opponents over the next 2 rounds, depending on what you can do with the extra 0.5.

After their 1-1 draw, Switzerland and Brazil now have remaining fixtures against Serbia and Costa Rica; two teams who have created just 1 ‘big chance’ apiece in the tournament so far.

So 4.5 defender Manuel Akanji and Brazil’s attacking fullback Marcelo (6.5) have made the team.

Midfielders

Despite failing to return fantasy points against Portugal, Isco (8.5) impressed for Spain, taking 2 efforts at goal, with both finding the target.

He’s joined by Philippe Coutinho (9.0), who faces Costa Rica and Serbia in the remaining group stage games. The Barcelona midfielder took 4 goal attempts in Round 1; on par with Neymar, with 2 coming from inside the box.

Christian Eriksen (9.0) is, however, a strong alternative, given how much Denmark rely on the Spurs midfielder.

Russia’s 5-0 win on opening day revealed a number of budget options and two of them have made the team here.

Roman Zobnin is priced at only 5.0 and besides his assist in Round 1, the centre-midfielder created 2 chances and took 2 attempts at goal, both of which came from inside the box.

He’s joined by 5.5 Denis Cheryshev who took 4 efforts from inside the box against Saudi Arabia. Only Toni Kroos has matched his 3 shots on target in Round 1 so far, amongst midfielders.

Forwards

Moving onto the forwards and with Spain’s favourable fixtures, Diego Costa (9.0) has been selected, following his brace against Portugal.

Only Ronaldo, Cavani, Messi and Griezmann managed more than Costa’s 2 shots on target in Round 1, amongst forwards.

From those names, it’s Edison Cavani (9.5) who joins the Spaniard up top, despite failing to find the back of the net against Egypt.

Only Messi (11) took more total goal attempts than the Uruguay forward in Round 1 (5) and up next, it’s a Saudi Arabia side that conceded 5 goals to Russia on opening day.

Bench

There are also 4 strong options on the bench, who will be available to bring on in the latter stages of Round 2.

We’ve already mentioned Mexico goalkeeper Guillero Ochoa (5.0) who made 8 saves to keep hold of the clean sheet against Germany in Round 1; he’s joined by midfield teammate Miguel Layun (5.5) who took an impressive tally of 5 goal attempts against the Germans, operating in a right-midfield role.

Joshua Kimmich (6.5) created 5 chances against Mexico; more than any other defender in Round 1 so far. Despite suffering a defeat, Germany will surely bounce back in their remaining group stage games against Sweden and South Korea.

Finally, depending on how England and Panama do in their first game, Harry Kane (11.0) is pencilled in to offer a last day captain option.

We know how good the Spurs forward is; he was England’s top scorer in qualifying and Panama are expected to be one of the easier teams to face in this tournament – so, let’s hope they don’t cause an upset!

Captain Options

With the ability to change your captain each day, if you want to risk your previous captain score, it’s important to have a variety of options lined up.

At the moment, Cheryshev is the option for Day 1, against Egypt, then it’s either Cavani or Costa on Day 2.

We’re without a captain option for Day 3, however, which is why Christian Eriksen is tempting to take, ahead of Isco, as he plays Australia that day – so that is one change that may need to be made, after some more consideration.

Day 4 will see Coutinho become a captain option, against Costa Rica, while Kimmich could be an option on Day 5, against Sweden. Finally, Harry Kane will provide the last chance saloon for the armband, against Panama on Day 6 of Round 2.

If you’re new to the channel, please note that this team is subject to change. Follow @_FPLtips on Twitter, to be notified of any updates to the team in advance of each deadline.