2014 marks this first World Cup appearance by Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent country. But they boast a core of young talent, including Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, who could make them a surprise at this year's tournament. Although Nigeria may pose a tougher opponent than Iran, both matches will be crucial for the young Bosnia team as Argentina surely win Group F out right. Let's take a look at Bosnia and Herzegovina's Group F matches:
June 15th - Argentina
June 21st - Nigeria
June 25th - Iran
Playing Argentina first may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Bosnia and Herzegovina if they can catch Argentina trying to find their feet. Given their size, they could very well snatch a set piece goal. If Dzeko and co and get a result off Argentina, then it will blow the group wide open. Let's take a look at Bosnia and Herzegovina World Cup roster:
Bosnia and Herzegovina's Player Roster:
Asmir Begović, Asmir Avdukić, Dejan Bandović, Jasmin Fejzić
Emir Spahić, Mensur Mujdža, Avdija Vršajević, Ermin Bičakčić, Ognjen Vranješ, Muhamed Bešić,
Ervin Zukanović, Toni Šunjić, Sead Kolašinac
Zvjezdan Misimović, Miralem Pjanić, Senijad Ibričić, Sejad Salihović, Haris Medunjanin,
Senad Lulić, Adnan Zahirović, Miroslav Stevanović, Edin Višća, Izet Hajrović, Zoran Kvržić,
Anel Hadžić, Tino-Sven Sušić, Srđan Stanić
Edin Džeko, Vedad Ibišević, Ermin Zec
Since I don't know much more about Bosnia and Herzegovina's squad past Dzeko, I will try my best and highlight some players that might be useful to know. However Edin represents the only truly interesting pick for me as he should start and play the majority of matches.
Fantasy Players to Watch:
Asmir Begovic - We know Begovic from his time at Stoke City and the shot stopper has been known to come up big. It would certainly be a gamble to start Begovic against Argentina in the opening match. But if he managed to shut them out, you'd be one happy manager. With matches against Iran and Nigeria, you could be wise to put Begovic in your bench keeper slot and rotate him in for 1 or 2 of the remaining winnable matches.
Emir Spahic - The captain and anchor of the defense. This will surely be his last World Cup so watch for him to push him team out on a high. He plays for Bayern Leverkusen so he has Champions League and European experience. The same rules apply as to Asmir Begovic above, he may be a solid bench and rotate option if you preferred a different keeper.
Miralem Pjanic - The young Bosnian attacking midfielder is well known from his time at current club Roma. Although he hasn't been the most consistent threat he chipped in 6 goals and multiple assists in Roma's last successful season. If he can step up, help orchestrate his team's attack and utilize Edin Dzeko then Pjanic may be a potential dark horse if not a substitute consideration.
Edin Dzeko - The obvious stand out, starting 11 potential pick. I see this potentially going a couple of ways:
1.) Dzeko and Bosnia pull a result off Argentina in which he takes part in the goals scored, meaning big bonus for those who took the chance. Bosnia and Herzegovina would then need to secure victory against Nigeria to assure any chance of progression in which his services would surely be needed again, double bonus.
2.) Dzeko starts against Argentina but goes bust, Nigeria spot may go up for grabs or he may retain his role so doubt, bad. Then comes back for Iran and scores a brace since you dropped him. Double bad.
Maybe that's just me? Or maybe I have some how missed picking Dzeko for his big performances in Yahoo Fantasy Footall during the EPL! Either way, Dzeko makes a strong case for discussion as your striker spots are precious and getting the right combination will make all the difference in your standings.
Okay I think those players are a good representation of potential fantasy value targets. Since I am not very familiar with a lot of these players, if you have some insight or see some one I have missed please feel free to write in our comments section below!