Our World Cup Fantasy content continues into Matchday 2.
Here, FPL Milanista (aka Obay) shares his thoughts on the tournament to date and who the key transfer targets now are.
Our complete Matchday 2 guide can be found here.
Round two, or Matchday 2 if you prefer to call it, will go underway on Friday morning, and Fantasy managers had only a few hours to recover from a seemingly tough opening matchday.
In this article, I’ll be emphasizing my own thoughts for the upcoming round from what I’ve seen over the last couple of days.
Unfortunately, FIFA have failed to deliver a well-structured Fantasy game that fans all over the world have been anticipating. Changing the scoring system two days after the tournament started and Fantasy teams were submitted was a horrible decision. Moreover, people are still uncomfortable with the substitutions and transfers part and even the visual aspects/glitches in the game are causing havoc.
Nevertheless, we can’t let those letdowns affect our “football” morale and our attention should just be on enjoying the elite competition.
ENGLAND, FRANCE AND SPAIN IMPRESS
Firstly, we have to admit that England, France, and Spain (although playing against weaker oppositions) were the most convincing sides in their opening games. However, it’s Matchday 2 when they all get their first real test as they face USA, Denmark, and Germany respectively.
England will be facing an improved USA team that also impressed in their opener against Wales, while Denmark fought a scoreless draw vs Tunisia and Germany got dragged to one of the tournament’s most shocking results by losing 1-2 to Japan.
I’d expect England to have the easiest task of all three so I’d recommend picking up some players from the Three Lions. I can also see the logic in investing in Les Bleus’ assets, as players like Kylian Mbappe and Oliver Giroud have the potential to go big in any particular game. On the other hand, I’d probably avoid Spanish and German players for their encounter as I believe it will be a tense affair that could go either way.
TARGET ARGENTINA AND JAPAN?
Moving on to one of the tournament’s favourites before kick-off and despite their opening loss to Saudi Arabia, who showed exceptional mental strength across the 90 minutes, I still expect to see a strong display from Lionel Messi‘s troops against Mexico. They are one of the sides that I’d like to focus on in Fantasy terms, as the Albiceleste know that there is no room for mistakes this time and must show some reaction on Saturday night.
Japan will be extra motivated after they humiliated the Germans and know that a win vs a Costa Rica side that showed no identity in Matchday 1 will strongly increase their chances of qualifying (in fact, they’ll have their qualification confirmed if Germany fail to win against Spain), and so investing in one or two of their players is a valid strategy.
Qatar let themselves down massively in their clash with CONMEBOL’s weakest qualified side, and if they don’t get out of their “nervous” status it will be difficult not to bet against them. I personally hope that the Asian champions show up tomorrow and fight against a Mane-less Senegal side that were unlucky to lose against the Dutchmen in the final minutes of their encounter.
In the same group, the Netherlands will target a second win, this time against Ecuador to secure their place in the knockouts. In my opinion, that’s the most likely scenario as the Dutchmen possess a group of talented players including a certain (half-fit) Memphis Depay and have the ability to go far in this year’s competition.
Another team that I expect to do well in Matchday 2 is the last World Cup runners-up, Croatia. Despite the fact that they played a boring 0-0 draw against Morocco, I expect Luka Modric and co. to overcome an energetic Canadian side that lacks experience.
Canada were outstanding against Belgium on Wednesday night but couldn’t finish any of their chances, including a penalty that was saved by Thibaut Courtois. On the other hand, Belgium played one of their worst games in the last decade and must consider themselves lucky to have three points at this stage. If the Red Devils were to replicate yesterday’s performance against Morocco, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Atlas Lions grab a result there.
That’s it from me for now, please note that Groups G and H were playing on the day I wrote this piece so were not considered in my article this time. The likes of Brazil and Serbia, for example, have good-looking matches on paper for Matchday 2 but it’s worth evaluating their performance in the Thursday-night game before deciding if they are worth our investment or not.
Thank you for reading and best of luck everyone – make sure to enjoy the matches and not stress much about this year’s Fantasy game.