Here’s Rob Reid (the FPL Vet) with his team and round up of the McDonalds World Cup fantasy football format
McDonalds World Cup fantasy Football – Rob Reid with a round up and his team
The World Cup is upon us then and for those who can’t stand to wait until FPL launches again at the end of July, it’s time to get another Fantasy Football fix, thanks to the greatest tournament of all. This will be my 7th go at playing World Cup Fantasy Football in one shape or form (I had my first go in 1994) and I have to confess, I always find it a bit of a lottery. The tournament is short, there’s limited knowledge of some of the teams and as such, point scoring events are pretty low and difficult to predict. So after a couple of weeks of research, here’s what I’ve come up with for my tactics and squad.
The McDonalds/FIFA format is similar to the one used in the UEFA Euro 2016 game. The scoring is practically identical and the ability to swap substitutes in and change captains from day to day introduces a new dimension to one’s approach. There’s also the chips and Wildcard to think about, all in a short contest. Much food for thought.
First up, I’ve tried to spread players throughout the groups to allow maximum potential for captaincy and to ensure minimal points are left on the bench. Group Phase 1 has 6 gamedays for example, so the only day I’m missing is the opener. In essence I’ll be able to select 5 different captains for the Phase.
Looking at the chips, I reckon the Bench Boost is best used in the last 16 when we’re fairly set on line-ups and you can use the extra £5m to get better bench players. Beyond this you run the risk of being priced out of filling your bench. The Maximum Captain chip I reckon is best late in the competition – either semis or final – when you have the least chance to correct an erroneous choice. As for the Wildcard, I see 3 options. 1st is to use between Group Phase 1 and 2; second is between Group Phase 2 & 3, last is between last 16 and quarters when you have only 3 transfers. I’ve looked at fixtures and I see some nice pods from Group Phase 2 to 3 so I’m going for my Wildcard for Group Phase 2. The disadvantage to this is that some teams may rotate if they’ve already qualified in Group Phase 3, however any team that’s not won their opening fixture will not be through by Matchday 3 so I should be able to counterbalance this.
Ok here’s line-up then!
My first thought was
Wow look at all those lovely premium forwards! I then looked at midfield bracket and was pretty disappointed. Few standout players here, many of the good midfielders have gone into the forward bracket. So I’ve based my line-up on getting 3 forwards with good goal-scoring potential and strong form, picked 1 premium midfield, looked to spread my defenders throughout the gamedays to hopefully substitute out players who haven’t returned, then tried to plug the rest of the gaps in midfield.
For my defensive 7
Clean sheet odds, fixture and form in qualifiers were the main deciding factors here. Moroccan keeper Monir and Serbian stopper Stojkovic are the 2 keepers. Monir will start against with a nice fixture against Iran and I’ll sub the Serb in for his nice fixture against Costa Rica if The Atlas Lions concede. I did consider Caballero for my second keeper, but there’s a bit of uncertainty between who might start between the sticks for Argentina so I’ve gone with gametime security here.
3 premiums in defence
Miranda of Brazil, Meunier of Belgium and Trippier of England. Miranda is gametime secure in a strong Brazil defence. I’d have liked the more offensive Marcelo but he was beyond my budget. Meunier has a nice opener against Panama and carries attacking threat. Trippier might seem an odd one, but England have a great chance of a clean sheet, he looks nailed on to start at wing-back and he might get an assist pushing forward. Granqvist is the next pick, he takes penalties and Sweden have a nice opener against South Korea. Finally I’ve taken a punt on Pavard of France. It’s a toss-up between him and Sidibe for the start at full-back, but a leak from L’Equipe reckons he’ll be favoured against the weaker teams as he’s more of a threat going forward. At £4.5m for France (who have the second best clean sheet odds for Round 1 after Belgium) he’s worth a punt.
Thomas Muller was always going to be in my team. He’s not been in great form for his club this season, but he’s a big tournament player who loves pulling on the Germany shirt. Now here’s where the difficulties start. Sub-£8m there’s little to get excited about, so I’ve had to hedge my bets somewhat.
There’s a bit of a South American flavour with Rodrigo Bentancur of Uruguay my punt for Group A. He’s a bit of an unknown but seems favoured by the coach and looked good at Juve this season. Next up Christian Cueva of Peru. I suspect he’ll be sacrificed for a more defensive player against France later in the group phase, but he’s creative and sits just behind striker Guerrero so looks a good pick at £6m for the Denmark game. Next, I’ve gone for PSG midfielder Lo Celso – he’s a risky one as he’s slightly more defensive but has 3 assists in the last 5 friendlies and might be able to lay some goals on for Messi.
My last midfielder is Kostic of Serbia. This is more of a fixture pick as the Serbs face struggling Costa Rica first up, so hopefully the winger will produce a return. My main gripe in midfield is not having James Rodriguez – it would have been nice, but with is high price it was a choice between him and Muller.
ok here’s the tricky bit, who to leave out. So many good options here I could have quite happily played 4-0-6! Alas, no can do so I’ve had to take my chances and leave out some big names. It looks like a straight choice between 2 high end strikers and 1 budget, 1 high end and 2 mediums or 3 high ends and make serious sacrifices elsewhere.
Neymar was the first choice for me – he’s looked fresh coming back from injury and seems to thrive on the big stage. I then had to decide regarding the likes of Messi and Ronaldo or the slightly cheaper options. In the end, I’ve gone for a combination of form and fixtures. Romelu Lukaku is a bit of a cursed fantasy player for me, but he’s in great form and has the opportunity to flat-track bully Panama in Belgium’s opening fixture. I just hope he hasn’t used up all his goals in the friendlies! Finally, I’ve gone for Robert Lewandowski of Poland. He was fantastic in qualifying and the Poles play a very attacking style that favours his ability in front of goal. I am worried about leaving out Ronaldo, Messi, Griezmann, Mbappe,Suarez, Cavani and Kane but hey – you can’t have them all!
So this is a team that’s geared purely towards Matchday 1 and a Wildcard for Matchday 2 – hence no Spain or Portugal players and limited Germany coverage, with these teams facing their toughest fixtures. I’m a bit worried about not having more Argentinian and French offensive players but, as I said above sacrifices are necessary due to the sheer depth of talent and the budget constraints. It’s going to be a bit of a lottery!
Whoever you’ve gone for folks, good luck. Most of all though – enjoy the tournament!
Geek World Cup Leagues
McDonalds FIFA Official
or League code:
Sun Dream Team
Fantasy Football Geek
League PIN: WCW6UFM9
Telegraph fantasy football (£100 in prizes)
League PIN 8000919