The World Cup excitement builds with every match played, and we are yet to discover the dark horse(s) of the tournament (could Saudi Arabia be one?).
Considering that MD-2 will start mere hours after MD-1 ends, NMA will start its series of MD-2 articles now. First up is MiQ’s famous Difficulty Table, displayed below, followed by Dhivakhar’s Player Picks.
Use the table below to target lopsided MD-2 matches that could promise extra goals and clean sheets for the stronger team.
Additionally, the following fantasy resources are worth revisiting as well:
NMA Fantasy Mini League: https://play.fifa.com/fantasy-classic/join-league/K2QVR5ZB
League code: K2QVR5ZB
Finally, for fun facts, daily match reviews, Group Stage rankings, top goal-scorers and assisters, and soon to come (right after MD-1) a Fantasy Best XI, bookmark our NMA World Cup Stream, which we refresh daily with updated info.
MD-2 Featured Matches
Netherlands vs Ecuador is the highlight MD-2 fixture from Group A, as the winner of this match will become the first team to qualify to the Round of 16 (unless the group ends in a 6 point 3-way tie). England are set to be properly tested by USA on MD-2. The latter side dropped two points due to a late Gareth Bale penalty last time out, and will be looking to stage an upset against the group favourites.
In group C, Argentina and Mexico always deliver an intense match. Hopefully all the players come out of this tie healthy and uninjured (I feel like perhaps this match should be stamped with violence rating by the ESRB).
In group D, a European clash is set to take place between France and Denmark. The winner of this match is expected to win the group assuming no points are dropped against Tunisia and Australia on either MD-1 and MD-3.
Group E features MD-2’s marquee match, when giants Germany take on titans Spain in what can be called an early final. This fixture should also determine the winner of the group provided Japan and Costa Rica make no trouble. Group G does not promise competitive matches but Brazil will always entertain and they take on the second-best Switzerland.
Last but not least, former Real Madrid star (and now former Manchester United star!) Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal take on current Real Madrid rising star Federico Valverde and Uruguay in what could be in my humble opinion the best match of the group stage.
MD-2 Difficulty Tables
If you need more clarity on how the difficulty table was developed, please refer to the Group Stage fixture difficulty table.
Here is the color code: