The world cup is here, and so is the World Cup fantasy game!
Here are some picks for Match Day 1.
Remko Pasveer ($4.5m, Senegal vs Netherlands)
Pasveer is the cheapest route into the Dutch defense. Netherlands are favorites to keep a clean sheet in MD 1 against a Senegal attack that is weakened by the absence of Sadio Mané. Pasveer is having a steady season in goal for Ajax and will look to continue the same form for his national team.
Sergio Rochet ($4m, Uruguay vs Korea Republic)
Since the dismissal of Oscar Tabarez, current Uruguay coach Diego Alonso has started Sergio Rochet for 8 out of the 9 games since he took charge. Uruguay has managed to keep 7 clean sheets in their last 9 games. All signs point towards another clean sheet for Rochet in MD-1.
João Cancelo ($6m, Portugal vs Ghana)
Cancelo is an excellent option for MD-1. Portugal has kept clean sheets in 4 of its last 6 games, and Cancelo also offers good goal and assist potential too. The Man City full-back is a smart pick in a fantasy platform that handsomely rewards attacking defenders.
Denzel Dumfries ($6m, Senegal vs Netherlands)
Dumfries is the one of best picks in the game for MD-1. Dumfries offers great goal, assist, and clean sheet potential making the wing-back a nearly-essential pick for MD-1.
Joakim Mæhle ($4.5m, Denmark vs Tunisia)
Mæhle is the best value pick among defenders. The Atalanta wing-back has provided 3 assists in Denmark’s last 5 games, making him a good long-term pick given Denmark’s relatively easy games in MD-1 & MD-3. Mæhle could even do well against France in MD-2, as Denmark has already beaten France twice this year. The Danes could defeat the world champions yet again if things fall into place.
Kieran Trippier ($5m, England vs Iran)
England is on a 6 game-winless streak. But the Three Lions’ favorable group draw may help them regain their form. Plus, England generally plays a conservative brand of football in big tournaments, making English defenders good fantasy assets. Trippier is the stand-out option as the Newcastle United right back has been in splendid form this season. Apart from his open-play creativity, Trippier is also expected to be on set piece duty, adding even more luster to his appeal.
Borna Sosa ($3.5m, Morocco vs Croatia)
Sosa is having a brilliant season in the Bundesliga for Stuttgart. The Croatian left back has provided 5 assists in 12 Bundesliga appearances and also scored a goal for Croatia against Denmark in the UEFA Nations League. He could potentially be the best bargain pick in the game.
Kevin De Bruyne ($11m, Belgium vs Canada)
With not many other marquee options in the midfield, De Bruyne is a standout. Playing Canada, De Bruyne will create loads of chances for his teammates and could also get on the score sheet himself. Additional fantasy points for key passes adds to KDB’s allure, as the Belgian averages 3.57 Key passes per game — the most among any midfielder this season.
Steven Bergwijn ($7m, Senegal vs Netherlands)
Playing as a forward but listed as a midfielder, Bergwijn should get loads of big chances to score against Senegal. If Depay is out for MD-1, it’ll improve Bergwijn’s appeal even more, as the Ajax forward will likely become the focal point of the Dutch attack.
Andreas Skov Olsen ($6m, Denmark vs Tunisia)
Skov Olsen is Denmark’s in-form attacker. In 21 appearances for Club Brugge this season, Olsen has scored 7 goals and provided 4 assists. The winger has also scored 2 goals in Denmark’s last 3 games.
Rodrigo De Paul ($5m, Argentina vs Saudi Arabia)
Argentina should have a comfortable outing against Saudi Arabia in MD-1. De Paul has good potential for points through tackles and Key passes as his role in the team is to recover the ball and pass between the lines to create chances. Saudi Arabia will look to sit back and hit Argentina on the counter, which should allow De Paul to push up the pitch and collect attacking returns.
Wahbi Khazri ($4.5m, Denmark vs Tunisia)
Khazri has been Tunisia’s talisman in recent tournaments. Although Tunisia isn’t a favorite to make it through to the knockout stages, Khazri is the most likely goal-scorer for the North Africans and he also takes penalties. Priced at a mere $4.5, Khazri is the fantasy game’s best midfield bargain pick.
Kylian Mbappé ($11.5m, France vs Australia)
France’s recent form has been topsy-turvy. Despite this, the game against Australia is a juicy fixture for the French attackers to oil their machine. Mbappé has been brilliant for PSG and has continued to impress for France. The PSG star could score big against the leaky Aussies.
Lionel Messi ($10.5m, Argentina vs Saudi Arabia)
Messi is arguably the best captain for MD-1. Playing against Saudi Arabia, Messi should get loads of opportunities for attacking returns from open play as well as set-piece situations. Leave him out at your peril.
Neymar ($10.5m, Brazil vs Serbia)
After Messi, Neymar is arguably the best captaincy option for MD-1.In its last 7 games, Brazil has scored an average of 3.71 goals per game, with Neymar leading the attack for the Seleção Canarinho. Neymar will be Brazil’s main set-piece taker and should also get ample opportunities for attacking returns from open play as the Serbian defense isn’t particularly watertight.
We hope you found these picks helpful. Please follow us at nevermanagealone.com for daily tournament coverage and fantasy guidance, and join our mini-league (you must register on the FIFA site and create your team first).
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We’ve also dropped previews of every World Cup group:
In addition, we’ve published a Group Stage fixture difficulty table to help you target favorable matchups, and a Chip Strategy piece to help you plan your boosters.
Finally, we’ll keep you abreast of team news, injuries, and suspensions as the competition unfolds, starting with a MD-1 Fantasy Preview that includes all of that information ahead of Round One.
We’ll even post daily match reviews and a running table of important tournament statistics, so be sure to check in at www.nevermanagealone.com regularly!
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