FPL Holly is back this week with her final selection of World Cup captain picks. Her Clueless Husband manages to tarnish the name of the World’s most talented young footballer, with an Eastenders reference: read on for more!
It’s with a heavy heart that I write this article, as England’s World Cup hopes have come to an abrupt end. Plenty of positives and pride have come from this, with a nation (apart from my Clueless Husband) united behind our national team. It’s not all over yet though: remember fantasy points apply for the 3rd place play-off between England and Belgium on Saturday, as well as the big final on Sunday afternoon. Also, if you still have the “Maximum Captain” chip, don’t forget to play it!
5⃣ free transfers…
8⃣ players per country…
Are you ready for Round 7⃣ of the McDonald’s FIFA #WorldCup Fantasy Competition?
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) July 12, 2018
France, with fresher legs and more rest, are set to be favourites to lift the trophy: this World Cup has been unpredictable though and Croatia have shown true grit and determination to get this far. While thoughts are mainly turning to the final, it might be the 3rd place play-off which is the source of more fantasy points: it’s certainly more likely to be an open game. There could be a fair amount of rotation for England and Belgium, but the team sheets will be released ahead of the deadline.
Shield Pick: Luka Modric vs France
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 24/5
Luka Modric is the player with the most Man of the Match awards in the 2018 #WorldCup 3
Golden Ball incoming…🌟 pic.twitter.com/OgL3jPFKP5
— 8Fact Football WC 🏆 (@8Fact_Footballl) July 11, 2018
Modric remains the highest owned player in the game and will need to be on top form once more for Croatia to topple the French and lift the FIFA World Cup. With plenty of dead ball duties, including penalties, he looks like the likeliest source in this resolute side: three goals and an assist are totals which could be added to here. If you have a mini league lead to protect, Modric could help bring it home. Are you going to play safe?
Sword Pick: Harry Kane vs Belgium
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 17/20
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot race will come down to Harry Kane vs Romelu Lukaku. pic.twitter.com/S3GFQmUgYD
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 8, 2018
England hearts may be broken, but Harry Kane still has the promise of some silverware: he remains two goals ahead in the Golden Boot race with 6, despite the best efforts of Lukaku, Griezmann and Mbappe to throw him off course. With rotation expected, he may not be a sure starter, but he’s still got something to play for and may even make an impact from the bench if Lukaku threatens his numbers: imagine him coming on to convert a late penalty! Will you select the sword pick?
Form Pick: Antoinne Griezmann vs Croatia
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 15/8
88% pass accuracy
4 fouls won
3 chances created
1 shot on target
Griez the mann. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/Ucq3aaLS2I
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 10, 2018
Griezmann has been in sensational form this tournament, with two goals and two assists in the knockout stages alone. Dead ball duties have helped that tally, with France being a big threat from corners, plus penalties too. France will be looking to put the disappointment of Euro 2016 behind them in this final, with set pieces likely to make the difference in a cagey affair. Are you going with the form pick?
Fixture Pick: Romelu Lukaku vs England
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 11/10
Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 13 games for Belgium
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) July 10, 2018
If Lukaku is on the team sheet for the game against England, it’s with one purpose: to score a hat trick and take the Golden Boot. He looks set to be the pick of the captaincy options on Saturday, in a meaningless game that nobody wants to partake in. England may field a weakened defence, since they struggled for stamina in the semi finals, with Lukaku looking to exploit those spaces. Surely there’s goals for Big Rom here?
Punt Pick: Mario Mandzukic vs France
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 3/1
🇭🇷 Mario Mandžukić sends Croatia through to the final! ⚽💪 pic.twitter.com/Cjs2RR6tnn
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) July 11, 2018
Mandzukic has been so important for Croatia in the knockout rounds, putting the final nail in the coffin for England in Moscow. He’s been involved in 3 of their 5 goals since the group round, with two goals and an assist. He will be on the pitch deep into injury time if required and could be the man to ultimately make the difference when the going gets tough. If you’ve a mini league gap to make up, Mandzukic could be your differential.
Park the Bus Pick: Raphael Varane vs Croatia
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 10/1
Clean Sheet Odds: 19/20
Making them count. ⚽ pic.twitter.com/lnxEOz1Adz
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 6, 2018
The French defence have been outstanding in this tournament, keeping four clean sheets from six games. The centre backs have been crucial to this success and they’ve both chipped in with crucial goals in the last two games. With the final expected to be a tight and close affair, expect the defence to remain reasonably resolute and Varane could appear again on the scoresheet from a set play. Are you brave enough to captain a defender?
Clueless Husband Pick: Kylian Mbappe vs Croatia
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 15/8
— Liam Whiteman (@LiamWhiteman21) June 30, 2018
My Clueless Husband reluctantly watched the France v Belgium semi final on Tuesday and was amazed that “Beppe from Eastenders” was on the pitch: imagine my pain at this reference, as the World’s most talented player could be referenced to this in my house for the next 15 years! Mbappe will be looking to get in behind an ageing Croatian defence, adding to his goal tally of three in the final. Will you side with my Clueless Husband?
Until Next Week…
Holly and her Clueless Husband