World Cup Game 2018 – Team Selection

Having had the weekend to ponder my selection. I’ve had a slight reshuffle as outlined below. The main reason for these changes is to try and free up a few transfers as I felt like 10 planned transfers may have been too many. An injury or a player being dropped could have caused a lot of problems with so many transfers already planned.

And this would be the plan for transfers:

Having looked at it again, there were a couple of key reasons for the changes:

This plan only uses 8 transfers but still covers 39 appearances.

I felt that the 4th midfielder was slightly unnecessary. As a result I decided to drop in a Spanish defender as I hope they will keep two clean sheets in the group stage.

I thought that going for Sterling and Kane was a bit of a waste of transfers. England may be fairly cagey in their first couple of games so they may not risk going out to destroy Panama so I thought it was worth holding onto the transfers.

The changes also allow me to get Muller in for all three of Germany’s group games.

Pogba looks like an odd choice, but it is simply for the first game against Australia. I had 4.5m to spare and he seemed like the best option from the teams who are playing before Germany. I simply didn’t have enough funds to start with Muller so this is pretty much an extra game.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I’ve been struggling to know how best to approach it but thought this was a slight improvement on the previous team but I’d be interested in hearing what everyone else thinks. It’s worth noting that I’ll still ultimately end up with the same team by the end of the group stage other than I’ll have Alba rather than Reus. It’s also worth noting that this is only a rough plan. I’m sure things will quickly change when the tournament gets underway.





World Cup Game 2018 – Team Selection

After some fairly in depth research, this is where I’m currently at with my opening team selection:

I plan to change this significantly during the group stage to optimise for getting players in against teams they may score well against. To quickly give some rationale behind the choices:

Lloris – cheapest keeper from the teams I’ve worked out to reach the semi final (although nothing is a certainty in football)

Gimenez – Uruguay start with two good fixtures and are earlier in the schedule of games played. He’s also a cheaper option which allows for an expensive strike force to start.

Miranda – well priced option in a Brazil team which I see going to the distance.

Meunier – good priced defender with Belgium having good early fixtures

Di Maria – only in place for one fixture as Argentina take on Iceland early on

Coutinho – long term choice as I see Brazil going the distance

Willian – good price while Brazil have easier fixtures. Will ultimately transfer out after their first few games.

Isco – at this stage appears to be the best attacking option for Spain at a good price. Could be a long term pick.

Griezmann – tipped to be one of the top goalscorers and France have a couple of easier fixtures to start.

Messi – at this stage only in for one game against Iceland. Croatia could be a difficult second game for Argentina.

Suarez – only in as Uruguay have easier starting games and their fixtures fall earlier in the schedule.

The whole basis for the team is around two main principles:

1. Get players in for easier games based around the fixture schedule with well planned transfers (Suarez/Messi/Di Maria)

2. Select players who may go the distance in the tournament (Miranda/Coutinho/Isco/Griezmann)

My plans for transfers across the group stage are laid out below. I plan to target Belgium and England for their easier fixtures at some point. I will also obviously move for a lot of German representation towards the end of the group stage as I see them going the distance as well.

I would add that I’m not encouraging anyone to copy this team exactly. I had a poor Premier League season and have never played the World Cup game before. I’d use the information to create a team which you think works best.





World Cup Game 2018 – Planning transfers

I may well be over complicating a very simple game. However having looked again in depth at the group stage fixtures I think I’ve made some good progress in terms of having a plan going into the tournament. With 20 transfers across the competition it seems vital to make the right changes at the perfect time. For me it looks like it’s going to be vital to have a plan of action for these transfers rather than just trying to wing it. I think it’s going to be important to get the big name players in against the smaller nations and also squeezing as many games out of these players as well. I don’t think it’s going to be enough to simply pick a strong team from the start and see how it goes.




As a result I’ve come up with the following:

Transfers used during group stage: 10
Appearances for players: 42

The images above show a rough plan for the group stage – I’d imagine this will go out the window very quickly with injuries or one of the big teams not performing well. However at this stage the first image shows fixtures colour coded by difficulty and sorted by date. The number next to each fixture indicates how many players from that nation I’ll have in my team at that point. On the right side of the table, you can see which “team” each date refers to. The second image shows the list of teams and transfers required to achieve this. So I plan to have 6 team variations during the group stage, requiring 10 (half) transfers and allowing for 42 appearances of my chosen players. I’ve targeted getting big players in against smaller nations and tried to keep transfers to a reasonable level to ensure some are left over for the knockout stage.

If anyone else has found a way to get more appearances using less transfers I’d be interested to hear it in the comments section but this is looking like a fairly solid plan for me at the moment. I did however put it together very quickly so can’t be sure that I haven’t miscounted or recorded any information incorrectly but as a rough plan I’m fairly happy with it.


World Cup Game 2018 – Planning around fixtures

Having spent some more time researching how to approach the World Cup game, I thought it would be worth updating the post. Obviously my initial team needs to be adjusted with Sane not making the Germany squad, however this is simple to change. The biggest problem I’ve faced is trying to spot bargains and thinking about a starting team based on when/how to use transfers. With 20 available it seems like there is going to be a lot of room for swapping players to make the most out of easier fixtures in the group stages. I think it’s also going to be important to save transfers for the knockout stage so getting the balance is going to be difficult.

From the research I’ve conducted so far I think there are two main aspects to get right to be successful in the game:
– Ensure good coverage of first choice players from teams who are most likely to go far in the tournament.
– Ensure transfers are used carefully to target key games where big points could be scored without running the risk of running out of transfers.




For me the key to approaching this is to firstly map out fixtures in a visual way to quickly and easily spot opportunities for making proactive transfers. Secondly, I’ve found it difficult to browse through players on the Dream Team website in a comparable way. For example there’s no way to list defenders from the top eight teams and sort them both via nation and price. As a result I’ve produced two tables to help with my thought process, which I thought may be worth sharing. I would add that I’ve put these together very quickly so can’t be sure of their accuracy so use them at your discretion.

Visual representation of fixtures (and potential knockout round fixtures)

I plan to use this for mapping out ideal times for making transfers. Green indicates a relatively easy fixtures. Yellow a slightly harder fixture. Red a fixture against another team from the top 8 nations. This will be useful for example to spot that it might be worth starting with Messi (who faces Iceland) and then transferring in Neymar for Brazil’s game against Switzerland the next day.

Players sorted by nation and value

This one may be slightly difficult to read on a mobile so I’d suggest looking on a tablet or laptop. However I’m finding it very useful to spot a bargain. I’ve highlighted players in green who I think have a good chance of starting. I’m hoping this is going to make it easy to spot a bargain. For example it’s easy to quickly see from the teams I’ve suggested my reach the semi final stage that Lloris is the only keeper below 4m. If you’re looking for defenders from the big nations as well it’s useful for spotting the likes of Hummels, Miranda and Meunier who are all below 4m but play for teams who should go far.

Football is impossible to predict and I’ve got no doubt that the knockout stage won’t look anything like what I’ve planned out. However it’s the best information that we’ve currently got to make decisions based on the moment. My next step is to start planning out a starting 11 based on the earlier fixtures in the table above. I’m hoping to plan this as far as the knockout stage by allowing between 7-10 transfers. I will post a further update when I make some progress with this. It’s worth noting that my team will be based on only entering one team and for that reason I’ll probably spread my team across various nations to spread the risk. If I were to be entering all 10 teams available, I’d probably make blocks from all of the top nations and then drop the teams which got off to a poor start. However this post is solely focusing on having one crack at it.





World Cup Game 2018 – First Draft

Having spent some time looking at the odds for the World Cup and player prices. I’ve decided I’ll probably end up entering a team. I thought it may be useful to publish my research to date. However I wouldn’t recommend that anyone follows my team selection – I’ve never played the World Cup game before and at this stage I don’t plan on keeping the blog up to date with step by step transfer updates over the summer. With 20 transfers available it looks like it would be too much admin. However my initial thoughts are as follows:

Teams most likely to win (based on bookmakers odds):
Brazil
Germany
Spain
France
Argentina
Belgium
England
Portugal

Strikers most likely to score the most goals (based on bookmakers odds):
Messi
Griezmann
Neymar
Ronaldo
Jesus
Kane
Werner
Lukaku

How the groups may finish (again based on bookmakers odds):
Group A
Uruguay
Russia
Egypt
Saudi Arabia

Group B
Spain
Portugal
Morocco
Iran

Group C
France
Denmark
Peru
Australia

Group D
Argentina
Croatia
Nigeria
Iceland

Group E
Brazil
Serbia
Switzerland
Costa Rica

Group F
Germany
Mexico
Sweden
South Korea

Group G
Belgium
England
Tunisia
Panama

Group H
Colombia
Poland
Senegal
Japan




How the last 16 would look based on these odds:
Uruguay Vs Portugal
France Vs Croatia
Brazil Vs Mexico
Belgium Vs Poland
Spain Vs Russia
Argentina Vs Denmark
Germany Vs Serbia
Colombia Vs England

Potential quarter finalists:
Portugal Vs France
Brazil Vs Belgium
Spain Vs Argentina
Germany Vs England

Potential semi finalists:
France Vs Brazil
Spain Vs Germany

Potential finalists:
Brazil Vs Germany

Obviously this is completely based on teams most likely to reach the knockout stage. It’s a certainty that some of the big teams won’t perform well in the group stage and this will completely change the order of games mentioned above. However it’s still useful information when considering which players to go for. Transfers aside, it makes sense to me to go for players from teams who seem most likely to reach the semi final stages. With 20 transfers available it’s very difficult to know when to use these transfers. Do you work the fixtures in the group stage and go swap players around based on when they play easier games. Or do you hold transfers until the knockout stage which will ultimately allow you to build a team based around players who are likely to go the distance. Having not played the World Cup game before it’s proving a difficult decision. At this stage I thought the missing piece of information was the order of fixtures. As a result I’ve roughly laid them out below based on the predictions above. I would add that I went through this process very quickly so can’t ensure the accuracy of these dates/fixtures. I’ve also only included the top teams.

Fixture order:

Fri 15th
Portugal Vs Spain
Sat 16th
France Vs Australia
Argentina Vs Iceland
Sun 17th
Germany Vs Mexico
Brazil Vs Switzerland
Mon 18th
Belgium Vs Panama
Tunisia Vs England
Wed 20th
Portugal Vs Morocco
Iran Vs Spain
Thu 21st
France Vs Peru
Argentina Vs Croatia
Fri 22nd
Brazil Vs Costa Rica
Sat 23rd
Belgium Vs Tunisia
Germany Vs Sweden
Sun 24th
England Vs Panama
Mon 25th
Spain Vs Morocco
Iran Vs Portugal
Tue 26th
Denmark Vs France
Nigeria Vs Argentina
Wed 27th
South Korea Vs Germany
Serbia Vs Brazil
Thu 28th
England Vs Belgium

Sat 30th
France Vs Croatia
Uruguay Vs Portugal
Sun 1st
Spain Vs Russia
Argentina Vs Denmark
Mon 2nd
Brazil Vs Mexico
Belgium Vs Poland
Tue 3rd
Germany Vs Serbia
Colombia Vs England

Fri 6th
Portugal Vs France
Belgium Vs Brazil
Sat 7th
Spain Vs Argentina
Germany England

Tue 10th
France Vs Brazil
Wed 11th
Spain Vs Germany

Sun 15th
Brazil Vs Germany




This is a very rough guide to potential fixtures. However there’s very little chance things will actually pan out this way. At this stage I still think it’s a useful guide when picking a team. I think it’s difficult to plan exactly when to use transfers as there’s a case for making changes throughout the group stage in an attempt to play the best fixtures early on. However ultimately each team will end up playing the same number of games. This could be good for very proactive players but I can imagine transfers running out very quickly.

Without trying to figure out how to stagger fixtures to make the most of them. I’ve picked an initial team (which will change before the game starts) purely based on teams/players who I think will still be active in the latter stages of the competition.


Potential World Cup Game 2018

With the World Cup approaching shortly, I thought I’d put together a quick post to see if anyone is taking part in this competition? I’m considering putting a team together but haven’t decided if I’m going to publish it publicly. This is mainly due to the fact that I don’t plan to put much time or thought into creating a team so wouldn’t overly recommend that anyone follows it or takes advice from it. However, would anyone be interested if I created a few posts around the World Cup where we can share thoughts on players to select, a good starting team and progress along the way? I can’t promise that my team will be very good, or that I’ll be posting regular updates of every transfer I make, however I just thought I’d get the conversation going to see what other players plans were for the tournament?




Feel free to share your own thoughts and team ideas in the comments section below.

164 thoughts on “World Cup Game 2018 – Team Selection

  1. Had a very quick look at this earlier.

    Patricio (POR)
    Boetang (GER)
    Hector (GER)
    Marcelo (BRA)
    Ramos (ESP)
    Coutinho (BRA)
    Sane (GER)
    Rodriguez (COL)
    Mitrovic (SER)
    Neymar (BRA)
    Suarez (URA)

    Literally put this team together in about 5 mins… I will enter a team, and will prob do the same as this season and enter DTT Team into a Mini League to keep me interested 🙂

    1. Not sure I’m going to do one yet (at least not on here). It might be a lot of admin to keep up to date with 20 transfers available. However, having had a quick look I’m currently looking at something like this:

      Lloris (FRA)

      Hummels (GER)
      Miranda (BRA)
      Meunier (BEL)

      Coutinho (BRA)
      Muller (GER)
      Sane (GER) or Ozil (GER) or Willian (BRA)
      Pogba (FRA)

      Neymar (BRA)
      Werner (GER) or Jesus (BRA)
      Greizmann (FRA)

  2. I think this would be useful. I’m planning on doing one and enjoyed the contributions through the premier league season.

    I am very tempted by Kane for the first 2 games at least.

    Cheers

      1. Here’s where I’m at Currently. Any thoughts welcome…

        Lorris
        Hummels
        Ota
        Kimmich
        Meunièr

        Hazard
        Coutinho
        Sane

        Kane
        Messi
        Jesus

  3. No price changes and apparently players will be introduced as the game goes along (very strange as the squads are available) no tolisso etc at the moment! Seems relatively easy to pick a team! Players seem reasonably priced!

    1. Yeah I found it fairly easy, especially compared to the Premier League game. Have you put together a team yet?

    1. Just seen this. I’m very surprised after the season he’s had. I’d planned to tweak the team further anyway so I’ll have to replace him. Are you doing a team?

        1. I haven’t set up a league yet but yes was hoping you would enter a team. Under some rules to make it a level playing field. Obviously I had my critics during the Premier League season but I’m fairly confident of my approach for the World Cup. This time around I’d like to set up a mini league for regular contributors to the blog with the restriction of only one team per person. This will ensure a level playing field with everyone entering before the tournament. Could I count you in?

  4. This is what I’ve come up with so far.

    M. Neuer

    J.Kimmich
    S. Ramos
    T. Silva
    S. Umtiti

    P. Coutinho
    D. Silva
    T. Kroos

    A. Griezmann
    Neymar
    G. Higuain

  5. defo love to enter world cup mini league throw me the pin number over when finalised…..should be epic..with all your regular bloggers entering cant wait ..count me in

    1. Good stuff – I’m hoping some of the regulars from the Premier League season have seen this post. It’s not had many comments so difficult to know how much interest there is at the moment.

    1. Hoping RR comments so we can get him involved. Would be good to get us all in a league from the beginning of the competition and set out some ground rules to make it fair. One team maximum entry for example.

  6. Liking your layout n selection mate. Defo keep it updated, there’s no right or wrong but defo good to see and find others opinions and strategies.

    1. I think mine will change a lot now I’ve mapped out the fixtures and players properly but I’ll keep this post updated with any changes.

  7. My current team:

    Lloris
    Umtiti
    Boateng
    Marcelo
    Hazard
    Coutinho
    Isco
    Muller
    Suarez
    Mbappe
    Lukaku

    I think it’s key to have either Suarez or Cavani to take advantage of their weak group, and just use a transfer later on. Mbappe is much better value than Griezmann as both should score well. Pogba is potentially a doubt even to start. Isco scores well for Spain. Hazard and Lukaku have a weak first opponent in Panama and can potentially swap Lukaku out for Kane after. Not 100% sure if I’ll stick with Coutinho. Lewandowski is a good shout with their group, he’s bound to bag a few, but they might not get past the last 16 as they’d play England or Belgium.

    1. Yeah I’d overlooked Uruguay to be honest as they were outside the top 8 teams in the betting. May well have a look at their fixtures. I think the initial team I selected will change a lot now I’ve mapped out the fixtures in a more visual way but I’ll keep this post updated.

  8. Just a quick one, appreciate the input of everyone on here and find your posts very useful when picking and transferring. So are we thinking the best way to play this is by single group games rather than over the 3? I’m a bit confused about the best way to play it.

    1. For me it’s looking like a good strategy to target individual games rather than the whole group stage. But I can’t see the 20 transfers going far at all.

  9. DTT, what’s ur thoughts on this team
    Allison

    Marcelo
    Alba
    Kimmich
    Meunier

    Hazard
    Isco
    Rackotic

    Cavanni
    Lewendowski
    Jesus
    1st transfer wld be cavani out, Messi in for Iceland game, also worth considering Godin, Jimenez for Uruaguy.

    1. Looks good, I’d agree that some Uruguay players could be worth a look based on their fixtures.

  10. Hi all,

    Thought I’d share my team and rationale against selections.

    Lorris – good group and think they will go far
    Marcello – most expensive defensive pick but I think Brazil will go far and he’s the best attacking full back in the tournament for me
    Kimmich – stats in qualifier justify selection
    Meunier – cheaper wing back ego will play in a solid team
    Gimimez – cheap option in a strong uruaguy defence who also have good fixtures

    Hazard – no explanation needed
    Isco – great affordable option in a good Spanish side
    Muller – as per hazard comment

    Neymar
    Kane
    Jesus

    2 Brazil in attack, maybe too much but they are so strong. I am tempted though to change Neymar for lukaku and upgrade Isco to either coutinho or di maria for Argentina cover.

    Thoughts welcome, hope you found this useful

    1. Looks like a strong team. What are you thinking in terms of transfers? Planning them in advance (as much as possible) or just seeing how it goes?

  11. GK- Lloris

    Def – Varane
    Def – Godin
    Def- Gimenez

    Mid- Ozil
    Mid- Sterling
    Mid- Fekir
    Mid- D Silva

    Att- Messi
    Att- Neymar
    Att- Cavani

    Can see Uruguay and France keeping clean sheets in their groups

    Ozil always performs for Germany
    Sterling looking sharp at the moment
    Fekir a risk i may swap for Dembele
    Messi and Neymar speak for themselves and can see Cavani scoring goals in his group

    Thouhgts?

  12. Does no one think it’s worth having any English players in? Defenders especially. England keep a lot of clean sheets?

    1. I’d be tempted due to their easier fixtures but it’s difficult without making loads of transfers to accommodate too many players from different teams.

  13. DTT just realised you added the fixture difficulty and approach to your blog. This is great insight and really useful. I’m going to look at it cloesely this weekend.

    Any thoughts on your revised team? Would be great to have an update with your rationale against selections.

    Cheers

    1. Thanks – glad you find it useful. It’s difficult knowing if I’m going down the right route with it when there’s so many options. I’ve posted my revised team below the fixtures. If you look out for an image with Team 1, Team 2, Team 3… I’ll be starting with Team 1 at the moment based on the fixtures I’m fairly happy with this team.

      1. Got it, thanks.

        I think it’s a solid team with your approach to transfers. I think the way you’re doing it is good. Would be interested to hear others thoughts.

        1. I would too – had a reasonable number of critics during the Premier League season so I’d be interested in hearing their thoughts before the competition gets going.

          1. It is easy to criticize after the event.

            I have always found you put alot of thought into your choices and have enjoyed the website as a whole.

  14. I’m finding your posts really insightful and helpful in picking my team!!! Would like to join ur mini league having come 2nd in the last one and hopefully can go one better this time !!

  15. Got a feeling that Argentina will not do that well in this World Cup and thinking I should avoid their players bar Messi/swap/change

  16. Hi there, your charts are great and really made me think. I agree the transfers will get swallowed up in the knockout stage (minimum 9, I reckon). Do you have a mini league pin?

    1. I’m trying to split transfers in half by having 10 for the group stage and 10 for the knockout. I’ll send over the Pin for the mini league

  17. my team
    GK Lioris fran
    DF Godin uru
    DF Marquinhos braz
    DF Hummels Ger

    MF Muller ger
    MF Lemar fran
    MF Coutnho braz
    MF Isco spa

    FW Jesus braz
    FW Kane eng
    FW Suarez uru

    Jesus for me. think he will score as many goals as Neymar

  18. Hi DTT, just looking at ur latest team, curious to know why no German or Spanish defender, teams that r likely to reach minimum semi finals, & ru thinking 4 midfielders will outscore 4 defenders, I’ve gone Marcelo, Kimmich, Alba, Meunier, they cld all reach semi finals, therefore using most transfers to rotate front six, I looked at gimenez, but the defence I have, should go further than Uruguay, & r goalscoring defenders with assists.

    1. Tried to work it out based on the starting fixtures. The plan is to have Lloris, Miranda, Hummels and Meunier going into the knockout stage. Having looked at the fixtures I fancied Uruguay more to keep a clean sheet in the first round of fixtures than I did with Spain facing Portugal.

    2. It’s a tough one, but based on groups and fixtures I think midfield and strikers will outscore the defence. That’s said, opening games in a World Cup are often tight so I’m starting 4-3-3 before a change to 3-4-3 at some point. How is the rest of your team shaping up,

  19. Anybody got any selections we haven’t seen on the blog yet ? I like the look of Paulinho for 3.0m 6 goals in qualifiers and a few assists? Also what about Julian Draxler £3.5m should be fresh as not a regular at PSG? Another which I’ve picked before in Euro 2014 Raphael Guerreiro 2.0m Defender. Portuguese defenders look really cheap for after the Spain game ?

      1. Sanchez for Uruguay, 1.5m and takes all corners and indirect free kicks. Gets a good amount of assists look him up

  20. Also seen Danilo starting in the friendly today. 3.0 for a Brazilian defender would be a good shout if we think he’s going to start?

    1. I liked the look of Paulinho as well but favoured Coutinho and Willian slightly. With regards to Danilo – I stayed away from him just in case he didn’t start and I didn’t want to waste a transfer. Could be a very good shout though if he does start every game.

      A few names I’d consider were Mbappe (good price), Costa (if Spain go the distance and he starts every game he should get goals), Fazio (cheap if Argentina do well) and Stones isn’t even a bad price at 3m given England have a couple of easier fixtures.

  21. Hi there, just got one dilemma to solve, the choice between
    3-4-3, Miranda, Kroos/Ozil
    3-4-3, Marquinhos, Rackotic
    3-4-3 Miranda, Modric
    4-3-3 Meunier, Marcelo
    A B C or D
    Any advice most grateful. which option will score most pts, minimum group stages.

      1. It would be Miranda, Ozil or even Reus for me. Both play a little more advanced than Kroos I think. I went for Miranda as it looks like he gets more game time than Silva based on qualifying and recent games.

        1. Thanx for replies, Callum & DTT, noticed reus, not sure if draxler gets a game, even in a star studded team, Kroos, can dictate any game, get the odd goal & claim star men awards.

      1. If I was certain he would start every game it would be very tempting but I’m hoping not to be forced into too many transfers with so many already planned.

  22. draft only at this stage
    standard 433
    cortouis
    giminez (urg) ramos mendy kimmich
    muller isco zielenski (poland)
    messi suarez neymar
    likely to make a few tweaks before friday comments more than welcome !!!

    1. Looks decent – I’m currently working out if I’ve started with the right approach. It bothers me not having Muller in for Germany’s first two games.

    1. Willing to share any thoughts on how you put this together? I know it’s a big ask considering most people don’t like to give away their teams before a tournament starts but I’m questioning my decision process today. Interestingly you’ve assigned the same number of transfers as me and I’ve been questioning if it’s too many too soon.

      1. Maybe too many, sure there’ll be a couple of necessary group transfers you don’t even know about yet. You can’t do transfers on a teams match day (I think) so you can’t see a lineup an hour before and choose, which may affect Willian/ Jesus etc. Also, teams who cruise through will have a different lineup for their third matches…

        1. Yeah my thinking was that if I try to plan too far ahead it may backfire. Having 10 transfers already planned seemed a bit extreme so I might rethink slightly before Thursday.

          1. Hello DTT, I like your strategy for planning transfers, and the easy-to-read spreadsheet. I think 10 planned transfers could be too many when you consider injuries, rotation in the 3rd game if already qualified, etc., but I do like the approach.

            1. I’ve had a bit of a rethink. Will be posting an update shortly as I agree 10 planned transfer may be a little too many.

      2. I made my team on Saturday and still plan it to keep it. I always find that the initial choices are the best ones.

        I don’t think my team will start well. There will plenty of teams where managers go through their transfers quickly. Some teams will have 5 transfers left for the knockout rounds. Plus with a wide range of tactics and a short sprint to a finish (unlike marathon of seasonal game) I’m not expecting a high rank.

    2. You don’t need to share your insights before the tournament if you don’t want to. But I don’t think I can see you in the mini league? Did you plan on joining? We never got to compete in a mini league last season from the beginning of the season so I’d be keen to get you involved.

      1. I joined now. I haven’t spent a great deal of preparation on the game so I haven’t contributed much here. My knowledge of world football is poor.

        I would say DTT is the favourite to win the mini league with SOTV and Jase teams likely to be strong contenders.

        1. Great to have you involved. I wouldn’t see myself as a favourite – I think it’s going to be a bit of a lottery. There are so many players to go for that could do well it could be very hit and miss around who will do well.

  23. not sure its mentioned yet but they look to be going Coutinho RW Jesus ST Neymar LW, so Willian isnt guaranteed a starting spot – otherwise i like your thinking as ever

    1. Yeah I like the look of Paulinho as well. I’m tempted to revert to 4-4-2 and put in Alba in place of the Willian slot anyway. Still mulling it over.

  24. Very impresssive analysis. I have gone along the same lines with a few differences.

    Ziyech – Hazard after first game.
    Erickson – CoutInho after 2 games.

    I have also used an extra sub swapping Kane to Ronaldo and then to Werner due to Iran v Portugal.

    This extra move makes it 43 appearance and 11 subs. I just feel that the final game of the group will be crucial for Portugal.
    Do you think this extra sub may be worth it with the possible points potential?

    1. I’ve had a bit of a rethink myself, just going to post an update. I’m thinking 10 planned transfers may be too many so I’ve tried to reduce this down. I’m not sure about the Ronaldo transfer – it’s easy to make a case for most of the big players against some of the smaller nations but I think it will take a big slice of luck knowing which games they will pick up the most points.

  25. From what I can see from The Sun top 5 players from each position defenders and midfielders have out scored forwards at the last World Cup. It probably wasn’t done on the WhoScored ratings back then but is it worth considering and going 442?

    1. I’ve literally just hit publish on an update to the team changing it to 442 so that was a well timed comment. I thought there might be some good potential for a good number of clean sheets in the group stage.

  26. Surprised you haven’t gone for Eriksen in midfield. For me he’s a guaranteed 8-13 points a game, Denmark’s main goal scorer and whatever goals he doesn’t score he’ll probably provide the assist/run the show and bag Starman. Compared to Pogba who plays more in the middle and with plenty of goal scorers and play-a-makers in the French team, surely Pogba’s less likely to bag as many points? (in the group stages)

    1. Pogba was the last spot I had to fill. I basically had 4.5m to pick from France, Spain, Portugal or Uruguay just for their first game as I plan to bring in Muller after this when I’ve got the funds. I’d rather have Muller than Eriksen for the group stages.

  27. Any opinions on Isco v Silva
    Isco scored hat trick v Argentina (friendly) got a few goals and assists also
    David Silva got less goals more assists and a dt favourite for star man! Sometimes Spain play false 9! Wud that b Isco or Silva u reckon? And ideas?

    1. Isco for me. Just for something different. Hoping he plays slightly more advanced and he’s a little cheaper.

  28. DTT, latest blog, tremendous analysis, using possibly 11 transfers for group games, but wld hope all players wld reach the quarter finals, still leaving 9, ru keeping griezman for all 3 group games, was going to give him 2, & try Lewendowski, 16 goals in qualifying, Lukaku & kane 1 each vs pannama, Ronaldo 2 vs Iran & Morroco, Werner in for last 2 & beyond, Messi games 1, 3, & beyond, gone for Reus above Muller, wld like a German defender in but struggling.

    1. I’d considered it but didn’t want to risk it with just one team (entered into mini leagues and published on here). With the other free teams I’ve done various blocks but none of those teams are entered into any mini leagues.

      1. Cool, think I’m going semi block with Uruguay players (3). Can you email me mini league pin and I’ll join.

        Cheers

  29. I like this set up, it’s much closer to my plan with a few changes, I thought ten was too many and would leave me short for the knockout stages also

  30. What are your thoughts on

    Danilo Vs Miranda I think he is nailed on RB

    Jesus Vs naymar. He plays point man for Brazil and scored more than naymar on the way to the tournament

    1. Hey tech

      Neymar didn’t play a team as many games as Jesus in qualifying (from memory) and I think Danilo will start right back but when another Brazil defender (can’t recall his name) is fit he will be benched.

      Tech, can I ask your view on block defences or semi block?

      Thanks

    2. If I was certain Danilo would start, then I’d go with him all day long as the cheaper option but I think transfers will be tight so wanted to go for the safer option. I also felt Neymar was safer than Jesus but did have the same thought about Jesus being the out and out striker. I may switch the two if Jesus looks like he’s going to be prolific.

    1. It’s really annoying. It will obviously have an effect but it’s impossible to tell how much. I think I’ll just stick with the team I’ve got which includes two Spain players and see how they start. It could ruin them but on the other hand they may just embrace it and have a decent run.

  31. Excellent job of trying to pan out the best way to use transfers for group stages. I assume you were tempted to go with kane for England’s first couple of games?

    1. I was – I had him in for the Panama game but it was costing me too many transfers. I think I’ll see how they go first.

  32. Spain manager leaving today could throw a spanner in the works, I think best bet is to carry on as before and see the Spanish players perform in their opening game.

  33. Hi just came across your site some really good info please could I join the league, should be fun againsed you guys my first time in this league

  34. Hi
    Ive read your articles with interest and contributed in the past. I would like to join your mini league please.
    Thanks

  35. A great effort, DTT with your World Cup Blog & Analysis. Haven’t read it all, but sure it will be helpful too many !
    I think i’m done with my 10 teams, like most, constantly tinkering. They were originally Brazil defensive blocks, but have now changed them to mainly Belgium defensive blocks, because i think Brazil will concede in their first game against Switzerland.
    Good luck everyone !…..and enjoy the month of footie !

    1. Thanks Anthony – I’m hoping it will be useful for people. There’s been around 16,000 hits to the website in June so lots of people have been looking at it. Bit of shame the vast majority don’t leave a comment but I think that’s just the nature of the web.

      1. The post updates, hadn’t appeared to be working, hence my post about it being very , very quiet on here. Hope more people can get involved…

  36. DTT you’ve gone with a defensive line up of 4 different teams, which of course there’s no harm in that, but is there any reason why you’re not going with a block or semi block, from the of ?
    Could you possibly be repeating your domestic season error of not going with a block or semi block ??

    1. It’s a difficult one. I’m basing this selection on only having one team to enter into a mini league. Which of course means you can’t have various blocks and progress the teams which get off to a good start. As a result I tend to spread my risk by having a good selection of players from teams who I think may go far. I think the block approach is too risky when only entering one team.

      I’ve used my other 9 free teams to play with and have various blocks in those teams. However this is the team I’m entering into mini leagues on the basis of only 1 team being allowed. I get the appeal of a block but it comes with a big risk.

      Also what’s interesting is looking at the top 5 defenders from the Premier League last season:

      Otamendi
      Alonso
      Azpilicueta
      Smalling
      Vertonghen

      The top 5 are from 4 different clubs not the same club. So it suggests having representation from various top teams isn’t a bad approach.

      1. You’ve started well, DTT. I’ve made the mistake of not going with Uruguay players, Ronaldo, Kane or Suarez, although i had Kane in two or three, i decided to take him out.
        Not the greatest start for me, but not the worst either. Lots of twists and turns to come. Trying not to use up transfers.

        1. Thanks – happy with my start. Trying to get that balance of not going mad with transfers but maximising points. Have you used many transfers yourself? Certainly agree that there’s a long way to go and I’m sure everything will change very quickly.

  37. I’m liking the look of the team! How often will you be changing your teams to maximise points? Will you be doing it daily or each round of games?

    1. Sorry I’ve just seen your table and your durations of teams! Very well set out!!! Good luck DTT I’ll be mirroring your team slightly throughout, so I’ll owe you a pint if you… We do well 🙈😂!

      1. Glad you find it useful. Hoping to have a decent tournament but no promises. I think it’s going to be a bit of a lottery.

  38. Hi All,
    Long time lurker of the site, 1st time posting,

    where i work im in the mini league and also work on a shift of 7 ( whoever gets the least points each month has to buy 7 breakfasts @ £40), I discovered D.T.T. last season and have gone from buying the majority of the brekkies to only getting one this season, im not a massive footy fan but ive picked up some really good advice and help from reading others comments and following the site so looking forward to keeping upto date with any tips and help through-out the world cup, if possible could i have the pin to join the d.t.t. league,
    Cheers , Dave.

    1. Glad you find the blog useful and that it’s saved you buying some brekkies. I’ve sent over the PIN for you.

  39. Well I’m joint second in league after day one.Best start I’ve had in years.Hoping for a good performance from Uruguay tomorrow

  40. Loving it so far but expecting to see ronaldo put in somewhere, not sure how with the budget, but a must have for the iran and morocco games surely. Hope to see an update soon 🙂

    1. Yeah it’s a difficult one. I couldn’t see much of a case for having him against Spain and how wrong that was. Will have a look at the fixtures to review after everyone’s played their first game.

      1. Understandable, no one would’ve expected it. It’ll be typical now for people to put him in for the other two and he won’t even score

    1. I’m keeping my one Uruguay defender for now and will swap for Hummels. So I’ll get 4 games from that position.

      1. I have a Uruguay block and thinking moving on two for France defenders. Problem is I will want them back for Saudi. What do you think? Save transfers or go for it?

        1. It’s going to cost you 4 transfers to get them out and back in. I’d personally hold fire but I’m less of a risk taker.

    1. I was going to try. Most of my planned transfers are mapped out in the table though. At the moment I’m fairly happy with what I’ve got planned.

        1. Should be fine. I plan to keep this post as up to date as possible. At the moment I’m happy with the plan I’ve set up but I’ll try to publish transfers as I do them.

        1. Just having a look now – nothing has really changed from my plan. But I’m just going to do a post now. Ronaldo is the only concern.

                1. Do we have the same team or have you got a different team? I’m not doing too badly I’d just rather be doing a bit better. Somehow I’m 40th in a league I wanted to do well in but there are around 150 teams entered.

                  1. Same team but there’s only 10 teams in my league. I’m tempted to take out neymar for Ronaldo plus neymar has missed training yesterday

                    1. Yeah I’m currently working on some sort of plan for the next few fixtures. I think the temptation is going to be to throw in players who have started well. There could be a case for changing your strikers every day but transfers would quickly run out. I’m trying to take a patient approach while trying to maximise points.

  41. Grrr needless handball by umtitti cost me two clean sheets,then a pogba deflection knocks me down in works league.And don’t mention Ronaldo.Still tomorrow is another day as they say.Thinking bringing Naymar in and hoping Werner is a points earner

  42. Sorry after posting that a whole heap of comments flashed up!! My bad 😂 so far so good with the team though!! I’m 1st in a couple of leagues but others I’ve noticed the people who are top are chopping and changing their team every week, hopefully this comes back to bite them later on in the comp! I did deviate from the plan and put kane in for today which went pretty well! I’m now considering putting Ronaldo in for the last 2 group games, he looked amazing against Spain! And Iran and morroco look like lambs to the slaughter…. If they don’t defend deep and play for the draw! What’s your thoughts?

    1. In hindsight I wished I’d put Kane in but I didn’t want to run the risk of using too many transfers. The game pretty much went how I thought – quite cagey but fortunately for Kane two balls dropped to him in the box. I was tempted by Ronaldo but it would take a lot of shifting around to get him in or taking Neymar out. I may go for Costa instead.

        1. Just posted an update. Happy with how today went despite Ronaldo getting 8 points. Wasn’t planning on making any changes tomorrow but now the momentum is with me it’s tempting to go for Griezmann again for one game as Suarez is coming out anyway. Not sure it will be worthwhile though.

  43. Very, very quiet on here, a shame, when DTT puts a lot of effort in. How are you guys doing ? How many transfers do you have left ?

  44. DTT, no more transfers for you until Kimmich for T. Silva, still undecided on my next move, Pogba, Rackotic, Modric, Perisic, my rival has Modric, with a 25pt lead on me, worried about the Messi factor they cld knock the French out.

  45. Will you earn DT points for the third place playoffs?
    If that is the case I wouldn’t bother looking as far as the final but rather looking at potential semi-finalist, at least then you know once your players have made it to the Semis, points are at your disposal.

    1. I believe this game will count – I think it’s a decent point. It’s not really worth worrying about the final and we should just focus on having players who will make the semis.

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