While you’re busy completing your substitutions for Round One for the FIFA World Cup Fantasy today, Round Two, starting with Russia vs Egypt, will kick off too. As such, make sure your fantasy team is ready by then (2am, to be precise!)
If you’re happy with your team match-ups this week, then making one transfer might be sufficient (bear in mind every additional transfer will cost you minus four points.) It would be very tempting to use a wildcard on your team if your points tally is really low, especially if your big hitters included the big guns from Uruguay, Germany, Brazil and Argentina. However, for most of these national sides, it becomes even more vital for them to play with full strength teams for both Round Two and Three, making popular picks secure from rotation.
On the other hand, if the likes of England and Belgium win their second group matches, there will always be a chance of rotation in Round Three to keep their teams fresh for the knockout stages, so the third round might be a better time to use the wildcard option.
Before tonight’s Round Two deadline, here’s a look at some options from those teams who failed to win their first group matches.
Egypt: Mohamed Salah ($8.5m)
Their talisman was held back against Uruguay, and for 88 minutes it looked as though Egypt would secure the point they were clearly playing for. Uruguay’s pressure finally paid off, leaving Egypt on zero. Adding to the fact that Russia won against Saudi Arabia, a failure to field Salah against Russia tonight will leave Egypt manager Hector Cuper facing the wrath of an entire country. Salah is very competitively priced too.
Germany: Marco Reus ($8m)
After starting from the bench in Germany's defeat to Mexico, will Reus replace either Julian Drazler or Mesut Ozil, who were relatively poor in the game, against Sweden? Joachim Low has spoken out in defence of both, but Reus might just be the difference needed in Germany’s attack. And just like Salah, his price makes it easy to bring him in without overhauling your team.
Argentina: Lionel Messi ($12m)
Although his missed penalty against Iceland resulted in fantasy dismay, I still believe Messi will come good against both Croatia and Nigeria. But can fantasy managers be patient enough and not pull the trigger?
Brazil: Neymar ($12m)
Unlike Argentina and Germany, I am not sure where they stand, especially with Neymar. The PSG star was clearly targeted by Switzerland
, successfully disrupting his play, and there are rumours that he might not be ready for Costa Rica. If he does play, though, he needs to cut out the showboating, and focus on getting the job done.