We are now only days away from celebrating the kick off the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup on November 20, when host nation Qatar takes on Ecuador. Here at NMA we are going all-in on fantasy coverage, and one major component of that is the fixture difficulty table.
Let me explain how I’ve constructed this matrix. Since 2018 FIFA has employed an elaborate ranking of its national teams (see here for their methodology). Brazil tops the charts at 1841.3 points, while Ghana is the lowest ranking team in the World cup with 1393 points and a global rank of 61. The difference between Brazil and Ghana is therefore 448.3 points, and for ease of calculation I’ll round that margin to 450.
Our difficulty table for the Group Stage is based on these FIFA points differences. Here is the colour code for how the difficulty table is organized:
As you review the table, you’ll note that there are only three “green” matches: Argentina vs Saudi Arabia, Belgium vs Canada, and Brazil vs Cameron. That tells us that we should try to pile in on players from Argentina, Belgium, and Brazil for those especially plum fixtures. Conversely, we’ll generally want to avoid players with “red” or “black” matches, while orange and yellow fixtures are intermediate.
The teams with no red and black coloured matches are the Netherlands, England, Argentina, France, Belgium and Brazil. Players from those sides should therefore make up the core of our fantasy World Cup teams.
I hope this table helps guide your player selections and transfer strategies. Please be sure to check in at www.nevermanagealone.com for daily World Cup coverage and fantasy insights that will help you top your mini-league.
Do you agree with the difficulty tables? if you have a different criteria then please share it with us in the comments section below.