The knockout stages are finally here! It’s do or die now, every game will be a must watch. It’s also the fork in the road as far as our fantasy games are concerned, here are some tips on a few of the popular players, as well as who I think can go deep into the tournament.
Neymar – The kid is a jet, his national form in simply incredible and it’s very hard not to select him. However bear in mind Brazil have a tough run into the final, which personally I don’t think they will reach. More on those thoughts later.
Rodriguez – Oh my word, Rodriguez is without a doubt the star of the tournament so far. Colombia are the dark horse in the tournament and I truly believe they have the capabilities to go deep, just imagine if Falcao was fit! I had heard that Jimmy was going to be a star, but I never thought he was this good. Wasted at Monaco, he’s a steal at 215k. Must have.
Hazard – One thing to keep in mind is which teams you think can go deep into the tournament. You don’t want to be wasting points moving on players who are on a flight back home! Hazard has been ok, but Belgium have looked terrible. I think they’ll be lucky to get past the USA, let alone any further. I say avoid.
Muller – The beauty of the world cup is getting to witness world class players we often don’t get to watch. Muller is one of those, if he’s a midfielder in your comp then sign him up. Surely going to become the top ever goalscorer at world cups barring injury, he has already got 9 and he’s only 24! Must have.
Robben – Robben has thrived up front for Netherlands thanks to their counter attacking style of football. They have the softest side of the draw and should make the semi-finals, making investing in the Dutch a must. Robben should be one of them OOP in midfield.
Shaqiri – Did anyone take my tip last week?! Always nice to nail one, however I wouldn’t get sucked in now. The Swiss will be up against it playing Argentina and I just can’t see them getting through the Round of 16.
Messi – I tipped Messi to silence any final critics that were out there, and he’s done just that. He’s the best player in the world and I don’t want to hear this argument again! Argentina have a nice draw and he should carry them to the semi’s without too much of a problem.
Benzema – He’s been an absolute gun this world cup, and it pisses me off. Arsenal (Wenger) are too scared to make the brave moves, and there’s surely no way they will get Benzema now. Real would be out of their minds in selling him. I have him in.
Van Persie – He will be slightly forgotten due to his suspension, but let me assure you he will step up against Mexico. His international form is out of this world, with 14 goals in his last 11 appearances. Another forward to try and fit in!
Oscar – Oscar was sensational in Brazil’s opening game, but has settled down since. I reckon he could turn it on against Chile, definitely try to fit him in.
Gotze – He’s been great for Germany, however Muller has to be the pick out of the two. Selecting both would be very risky with Germany up against France in the quarter’s.
Ozil – He’s been very average for Germany, what have Arsenal done!!! Compare this Ozil to the one 2 years ago and it’s an almost impossible fall from grace, I seriously hope he can step up his game.
Cuadrado – I just love Colombia, which I’m sure you will be well aware of by the end of this article! When they score I want to get up and dance with them, who knew Cuadrado took penalties?! At 150k I reckon he’s a must have.
Duarte – What a bargain he is as your fifth defender, snag him up at 110k. Hopefully Costa Rica can make the quarter’s, I’m backing them in.
Rojo – He looks deadly at left back for Argentina, crossing and off corners! If they can pick up a clean sheet or two along the way then it’s a bonus. Consider.
Blind – You’d be blind not to pick him… I’m sorry guys, but we can all agree it had to be done. Moving on, he’s nailed on for the Dutch and is a bargain at 135k. Pick him.
De Guzman – I was on the hunt for a fifth midfielder who could go deep into the tournament, but not break the bank. I think it’s important to have a full squad of 15 players who start for their countries, our benches will be called upon as we go deeper into the tournament. De Guzman looks like a nice fit, he seems to be a strong part of Netherland’s best XI and can pick up the odd assist for his troubles. Not bad value at 150k.
Lukaku – The flop of the tournament so far, if he could touch the ball then he might start to get somewhere. Avoid!
So they’re my thoughts on some of the more popular selections, let me know if you have any other player queries in the comments! Here’s my line-up for the knockout rounds, wildcard still in hand for the semi’s:
Messi will be my captain, while De Guzman, Duarte and Blind will make up my bench.
Who do I think will win it? That is honestly one of the toughest questions I’ve faced, but my money’s on Germany. They have the class to win it, and they’re in good form. They have such a talented team and the hunger will certainly be there, having never previously made a final with this group of players. I’m not sure Brazil will be able to handle the pressure, they have the toughest draw of any team and will be under intense pressure in every game. One slip up and it’s over. Netherlands and Argentina should both make the semi-final, meaning I reckon one of them will face off in the final. Germany will face a stern test against France who are in red hot form. The toughest one to predict is whether it will be a European powerhouse or a South American nation facing off in the final. When the pressure goes on, my brain tells me Europe.
My heart lies with Colombia. I reckon they’ll run over Uruguay, and with nowhere near the same expectations and running only on excitement, I reckon they can knock over Brazil as well. Of course upsets will happen along the way and it’s near impossible to predict, however I truly believe they have the capability to go all the way. Whatever happens, it will be exciting!
Enjoy every game my addicted friends, a tournament as good as this only comes around once every 4 years! 😉