World Cup 2022 – team reviews and player watch lists

World Cup 2022 – team reviews and player watch lists

As I’m ramping up my research for the upcoming World Cup game, I wanted to share where I’ve got to with my thinking so far. 30 transfers is a big leap compared to the Euros and I’ll be looking to utilise these as effectively as possible. The first step is to identify the big names for each of the bigger nations and look out for some potential bargains. I’m looking at the top teams based on how soon in the tournament they feature. It’s important for me to play the fixtures to get as many games from players as possible. 


Prediction: Quarter finals

England are clearly not in form going into the tournament but aside from that, their run in the Euros cost me a decent position as I didn’t opt for many of their defenders. Should they set up defensively again in a relatively easy group, it could be dangerous to overlook their players. They will also be highly owned given that some players of the game will simply pick England players because they want them to do well. Here’s the players that have jumped out to me so far:

Trippier – has done wonders for my season team since I’ve bought him in. Could have a good competition.

Shaw – if he starts at left back he should be good value. Could be one of the cheapest starting England defenders and scored well in the Euros.

Sterling – hasn’t had a great season for Chelsea but will play more like a striker. I’d say he’s a midfielder who has a high probability of getting a goal now and then.

Foden – could be an even better option than Sterling. Clearly a huge talent and may be one of the stars of the competition.

Kane – high ownership and England rely on him for goals. Didn’t score in the group stages of the Euros but came good in the knockout stage. 


Prediction: Quarter finals

Netherlands have a good group draw and should have an easier opposition in the last 16 but I’m not sure I’d see them going any further than that. Regardless, given their group fixtures, they are a hard team to ignore, especially considering they play early in the schedule. Here’s the players who have stood out so far to me:

Dumfries – was a bargain in the Euros but looks to be priced much higher this time around. His attacking runs and goal threat were a highlight of the Euros but I’m not sure I’d be prepared to pay a really high price tag for the World Cup game.

Ake – early price indications suggest he could be a bargain if he starts.

De Jong – he’s the stand out option in the Netherlands midfield, not sure about his goal threat as he could take up a much deeper position. 

Depay – the main man up front for Netherlands. Did well for me in the Euros, could be a decent pick to start with. 


Prediction: Semi finals

One of the favourites to win the tournament, and a hard team to ignore. They should go deep into the competition. They also have good group fixtures. The players I’m currently considering are:

Emiliano Martínez – I’m on the lookout for the cheapest goalkeeper from a team who I think will go deep into the tournament. Martínez looks like he will be this option based on the preliminary prices.

Tagliafico – depending on his starting value Tagliafico could be a good pick for building up a semi block of Argentina defenders.

Molina – could be another good defensive option for Argentina depending on his starting price.

Messi – impossible to overlook, will have to feature in my team at some point.


Prediction: Final

Another team that I’d fancy to go really deep into the tournament and possibly even make the final. Scary front line but should be reasonably strong defensively as well. Awkward group fixtures as they play Denmark in their second group game. The players on my list for consideration at the moment are:

Pavard – should start at right back and could be a good option if you want a way into the France defence. 

Lucas Hernandez – on the other side Hernandez should start at left back. I’d probably go for whoever is cheaper out of these two.

Mbappé – another player who is hard to overlook, may potentially need to get him into my team for certain games.

Benzema – I’d imagine most people will go for Mbappe but Benzema could be a better option with a potentially higher chance of scoring goals. Both could potentially be the way forward for some games.

Griezmann – would probably be my third choice out of the big front three for France. Has a great scoring record for his country though.


Prediction: Quarter finals

Have been disappointing in the last few major tournaments so who knows what the World Cup will bring for Germany. One thing is for certain, they can’t be written off completely. Here are the players who have caught my eye so far:

Süle – based on the initial prices Süle looks a decent price to get into the Germany back line. 

Sané – I’m struggling to find good midfield options so thought I’d drop Sané onto this list. If Germany do well, he could have a good tournament.

Musiala – could be a bargain player given his starting price range. Still very young though but may be worth a punt.

Gnabry – didn’t do an awful lot in the Euros but appears to have a decent goalscoring record for Bayern, should play fairly advanced for a midfielder. 


Prediction: Semi finals

Aren’t the team they once were but could have a good run to the semi-finals. Really depends if whether they top their group or if Germany beat them to it. The fact that they play Germany in their second game means I may avoid their players to start with. However, they do have some players that are of interest to me:

Simón – could be a good value goalkeeper based on his current price range. 

Alba – should start at right back and has the potential for attacking returns. Not sure I’ll go for him early on due to that fixture against Germany.

Pedri – an exceptional talent but question marks over if he will have enough goal involvement to rack up the points.

Sarabia – might be a good cheaper option in midfield but he’s far from a certain goalscorer.


Prediction: Last 16

Belgium could have a difficult time in the World Cup. They’ve obviously got talent but they are paired with Germany and Spain’s group so they are likely to face a difficult tie in the last 16. They obviously have stars in the team but I’m not sure about them defensively. The two players who stand out to me at the moment are:

De Bruyne – probably the best midfield option in the game, but if Belgium don’t go too far in the tournament he might not be worth owning.

Lukaku – scored well in the Euros and was a player I owned for a number of games. Due to Belgium playing later in the schedule and more big names to pick from, I’m not sure if I’ll go with him at this stage.


Prediction: Final

The hot favourites for the tournament and when you look at their squad you can see why. It’s a shame they play much later in the schedule as I’d prefer to start with some of their players from the off but I’ll probably have to end up bringing them in over time. There are a number of their players that I’m interested in, this would include:

Sandro – if he starts at left back he could be a good pick at a decent price in another team that could reach the final.

Danilo – a good alternative to Sandro, I probably won’t start with either of them due to how late in the schedule they play so we should be able to check their line up.

Vinícius Júnior – a huge talent and a player I’m almost certain to want to own at some point.

Raphinha – could be another good midfield option if he starts for Brazil.

Neymar – not personally my favourite player but he’s a player it’s going to be dangerous not to own given his talent.

Jesus/Richarlison – owning the main striker in such an attacking team like Brazil could reap some good rewards during the tournament. I’d personally go with whoever starts out of these two.


Prediction: Quarter finals

Portugal aren’t really a team that I’d expect to go really deep into the tournament. However, they do have two players that need to be considered:

Cancelo – we know he’s a favourite of the point scoring system and may have a good tournament.

Ronaldo – impossible to write off but given his recent form at Man Utd, you wonder if he will have a big tournament or not. At some point we are going to have to miss out on some of the big names in some fixtures or we will run out of transfers. Ronaldo may be one of those big names.

12 thoughts on “World Cup 2022 – team reviews and player watch lists

  1. Hey guys, hope all is well, I’ve been doing some groundwork on potential starting 11’s, with 30 transfers this tournament, aswel as alternating strikers, I think we can do the same to a degree for defenders, picking out certain fixtures, I like some of the players you have mentioned Paul, Shaw, Trippier,. Ake, Musiala, Pedri, Argentinian goal keeper Martinez, some others who could do well early on, Bellingham, Martinez, Argentinian striker, Maehle, Danish goalscoring defender, S. Olson Danish midfielder, excellent reviews, just waiting on final prices for players.

    1. Thanks Dave, looking forward to the tournament getting started now, it’s always difficult picking a starting 11. Like the names you’ve thrown in there, I’ll check them out.

  2. What formation is everyone thinking? 433?
    I would usually go with a 343 but noticed alot of clean sheets in these tournaments & defenders seem to score a lot more points.
    Definitely starting with Martinez in goals, Trippier Shaw Dumfries & maybe Maehle or Tagliafico in defense. Gets tricky with the midfield so not sure but you have to start with Kane i guess against Iran.

    1. Martinez
      Militao meunier dumfries telles
      De Paul tielemans sarabia
      Depay Messi lukaku
      Th midfield is hard this year but I believe these will get you goals and assists and are playing more forward infact sarabia plays in a front 3. My strikers will obviously rotate probs have kane and messi rotating a bit. I was tempted to do a bit of a block defence but I think meunier and dumfries will get you goals and assists and they’ve got easyish groups.. I’m predicting Argentina Brazil final

      1. Looks good Luke, I’m following a similar logic. I’ve had some feedback that Depay will miss the first game so I’m thinking about taking him out of my first draft team.

    2. I’m struggling with budget and the midfield as well. I’m thinking 433 on that basis, I think clean sheets are a high probability for some teams.

  3. Don’t you find that a block defence always seems to work well in these quick fire competitions I was crucified by guys with full England blocks during the euros and left it to late to follow suite so ended up with an Italian block but just couldn’t make up the ground on the top 3 yet again I’m not convinced by this England team but am very wary of the same thing happening so am going to definitely have one team with a few England defenders

    1. 100% agree BUT if we are focusing on one team its a high risk strategy. I’ll be making blocks from my other four teams but if the block goes on a bad run it’s effectively game over. Not sure I’m prepared to take that risk in my main team. But might split my defence across two teams instead.

      1. Italians in the euros hadn’t conceded in 19 games prior or lost in 19 games and were pretty convincing so was an obvious pick! I think this is wide open so a semi block of 2 teams in a week group could prove pivotal, gotta hold on to them transfers as long as possible I reckon

        1. I’ll have to mix it up at the back in my main team to avoid putting all my eggs in one basket early on. I’ll be using plenty of transfers during the group stage though as I think there could be a lot of points up for grabs.

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