So into the business end of the World Cup we go with 16 countries still standing. Das has given you all some great player picks and from a view many of you are following his lead. A couple of those passed me by but thanks to his info they have helped bulk my squad with more balance. I'm just home in time to fiddle some more.
First up in the knockout rounds we have perhaps the tie of the round as hosts Brazil face south american rivals Chile. Based on their performances in the group stages Chile have a very real chance of taking Brazil down. The hosts have looked nervous without the ball although picking David Luiz would make anyone nervous. Further they are too over reliant on one man in attack, he being Neymar. The logic is simple keep Neymar double teamed, pushing him wide if you can when not in possession. In possession isolate any of the Brazilian defenders bar Thiago and enjoy the space behind the Brazilian full backs.
Neymar has been fantastic however, Mexico showed if you are well organised and keep your shape this Brazil side will not take the game away from you. The knock on Chile is first they tend to freeze on the big occasion while second they are so committed to attack they can give you all sorts of options on the break.
With England out it kind of feels like we need the hosts to progress. My gut says Chile out play Brazil for parts of the game but a controversial hometown call may give Brazil the narrow win. In terms of fantasy Neymar is in every team but there is value to be had in the Chile attack. Vargas, Sanchez and the underrated Aranguiz could offer you alternative options.
Game two see's the hugely supported Colombians play south american rival's and current Copa America champions Uruguay. Based on the group stages a confident great to watch Colombia should have too much for Uruguay missing their star player. I expect Uruguay to attempt the parked bus technique and the longer they hold out the more they will come into the game. James Rodriguez has been sensational for me in the group stages but should see most of the attention and none of the space the group opponents gave him.
If Suarez was playing I would have strongly fancied the proven big match side causing the upset and Luis Suarez would have made my starting side over Neymar. He isn't and I guess it goes one of two ways. Either Uruguay's heads drop and it is a straightforward 4th win in a row for Colombia or inspired but the controversy and with the experience galore in the squad they cause the surprise not shock win.
In terms of my squad I'm on 341 points in 3029th place and 21st in the blog league. A terrible first found of group games cost me and I will hoping I can get the knockout picks correct.