FPL Holly is back with her selection of captain picks for the Round of 16 games in the FIFA World Cup. With games played over just four days and stiffer opposition, the captain decision is becoming much more critical. After a failed attempt last week, her Clueless Husband is sticking to his guns for this stage if competition.
We are now at the business end of the tournament, with plenty of opportunity to pick up points in the final 16 games. If you are still holding the “Maximum Captain” chip, I’d recommend saving that for one of the final three rounds, where the days reduce further and there’s far less flexibility for manual changes.
Here are the fixtures that have caught my eye for your daily captains:
Saturday 30th – France (vs Argentina)
Sunday 1st – Spain (vs Russia), Croatia (vs Denmark)
Monday 2nd – Belgium (vs Japan), Brazil (vs Mexico)
Tuesday 3rd – England (vs Columbia)
With much more at stake, all of the sides will be going all out for the result. It’s worth considering those players likely to play the full duration of the game, including any extra time participation, with a greater time frame to pick up points.
Shield Pick: Philippe Coutinho vs Mexico
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 7/4
Philippe Coutinho’s #WorldCup group stage by numbers:
90.9% pass accuracy
10 chances created
3 fouls won
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 29, 2018
Coutinho is having a remarkable World Cup: he’s absolutely crucial for Brazil and very reliable as a captain option. He’s contributed to 3 of Brazil’s 5 tournament goals, providing two goals and an assist. He has a share of set plays, plus 90 minutes in the opening two games suggests that he could play 120 minutes if this game goes to added time. Mexico showed their frailty in their final group game, conceding 3 goals to Sweden. With Coutinho having the highest ownership in the game, he’s a good option to stay in contention.
Sword Pick: Romelu Lukaku vs Japan
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 10/11
Romelu Lukaku’s last 10 matches for Belgium:
🆚 Gibraltar ⚽⚽⚽
🆚 Greece ⚽
🆚 Cyprus ⚽
🆚 Mexico ⚽⚽
🆚 Japan ⚽
🆚 Saudi Arabia ⚽⚽
🆚 Portugal ❌
🆚 Egypt ⚽
🆚 Costa Rica ⚽⚽
🆚 Panama ⚽⚽ pic.twitter.com/0HFfJmigXP
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 23, 2018
If you don’t fancy Coutinho for Monday, Lukaku could provide an interesting tempter in the days other fixture. Japan are arguably the weakest team to progress to the knockout phase and this Belgian side are special, with the capability to overcome them: they’ve scored 9 goals during the group phase, with Lukaku getting 4 within 180 minutes. There are some question marks over his fitness, which could mean that his minutes are limited, but he will be keen to add to his tally in the hunt for the Golden Boot. Will you go with the sword pick?
Form/Twist Pick: Harry Kane vs Colombia
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 6/5
Harry Kane has scored in each of his last 5 appearances for England and has 5 goals from 5 shots on target at this year’s tournament. pic.twitter.com/1lEhWBMAIB
— ThePuntersPage.com (@ThePuntersPage) June 28, 2018
It could be a tough day for England on Tuesday, but I expect them to ultimately grind out the result, having played more convincingly in their opening two group games. Kane is a man in form, with 5 goals in just 2 games, plus an assist to strengthen his fantasy points total. Penalties have helped that tally, and if the game was to go to extra time, I can’t see the captain being sacrificed in any substitutions. If you get to Tuesday and have had captaincy fails, Kane is the only player worthy of twisting your points tally on. Will you be looking to him?
Fixture Pick: Diego Costa vs Russia
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 23/20
“I hope he goes on to get a lot more goals. Diego is doing really well. Aside from the goals, he’s working really hard and helping us a lot”
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 22, 2018
Spain have an interesting fixture on Sunday, against the tournament hosts, with odds in their favour of achieving a result. Russia won’t be pushovers in this one, but a 3-0 loss to Uruguay suggests they may struggle against higher calibre sides. Costa has three goals already in this tournament, and he will be poaching for opportunities to exploit a weak defence. Costa has been substituted in all of the group round games, which doesn’t fill us with much hope for minutes beyond the standard 90. Are you opting for the fixture pick?
Punt Pick: Luka Modric vs Denmark
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 16/5
🇭🇷 Luka Modrić
He has been the conductor of a sometimes-erratic orchestra, and his understated brilliance has once again proved his status as one of this generation’s great midfielders. #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/luD5244XIR
— FourFourTwo ⚽ (@FourFourTwo) June 29, 2018
Croatia have convincingly progressed from a tricky group, with a perfect tally of three wins, including 7 goals and 2 clean sheets. Captain Modric has been pivotal in those performances, finding the net against Nigeria and Argentina. He is their spot kick taker and should play the whole game, including extra time if required. Denmark like to keep matches tight, so Modric’s ability as playmaker and set piece taker will be necessary to unlock their defence. Will you take the punt?
Park the Bus Pick: Andreas Granqvist vs Switzerland
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 13/2
Clean Sheet Odds: 17/10
#SWE centre-back Andreas Granqvist was our top rated player from Group F with a WhoScored rating of 7.79
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 28, 2018
Granqvist has been a spectacular fantasy asset so far, amassing a massive points tally, helped by two penalties and two clean sheets. The team captain and centre back will definitely see his fair share of minutes. It’s difficult to predict where clean sheets may fall, at this stage of the tournament, so a player with attacking capabilities is preferable, particularly as a captain option. Can he reach another double digit total?
Clueless Husband Pick: Romelu Lukaku vs Japan
Anytime Goalscorer Odds: 10/11
Lukaku should be back in contention to face Japan. https://t.co/4KiAUTZjCa
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) June 29, 2018
Lukaku disappointed last time around, failing to shake off a knock to face England in the final group game. However, my Clueless Husband is holding firm with the same logic as before: He taps loads in all the time and Belgium are going to win the World Cup. There could be another brace on the cards. Are you going to side with my Clueless Husband?
Until Next Round…
Holly and her Clueless Husband