The knockout stages of the World Cup is here, and tipster Bakchod FPL shares his observations and plans for the World Cup Fantasy round of 16.
We look at each of the knockout fixtures one by one and mention the key picks based on their performances in the group stage.
Factors that we are looking at:
- xG for/xG against at a team level
- xG+xAG/90 mins for key picks
- Shots/Key Passes
- Rotation risk
🇳🇱 Netherlands vs. USA 🇺🇸
- While the Netherlands have scored five goals and the USA have scored two, xG and SoT are similar for the two teams after three games.
- USA has a higher xG of 2.6 with seven SoT, while the Netherlands has an xG of 2.4 with eight SoT.
- Netherlands and USA are evenly matched for xG against as well, both have an xG against of 2.7 and have conceded one goal each.
- xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Depay – 0.6 (139 mins), FDJ – 0.36, Klaasen – 0.32 (145 mins), Gakpo – 0.22; Pulisic – 0.49, Weah – 0.34, Dest 0.26.
- Depay has six shots (two on target) despite the fewer minutes, Gakpo is next with four shots (three on target); Gakpo has scored three times and has the highest xA as well for the Netherlands across three games – 0.5 (on corners as well).
- Pulisic highest for shots (6), SoT (2), xG (0.6), xA (0.6), and key passes (5) for USA.
- Noppert has a save% of 90.9% (10/11 SoTA saved).
🇦🇷 Argentina vs. Australia 🇦🇺
- Argentina has an xG of 6.00 after three games, 17 SoT; meanwhile, xG for Australia at 1.7, seven SoT.
- Argentina have the lowest xG against (in the group stage) of 0.7, three SoT; Australia have the fourth highest xG against at 5.6, 13 SoT.
- xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Messi – 1.03, Tagliafico – 0.99 (102 mins), Alvarez – 0.65 (138 mins), Lisandro Martinez – 0.62 (122 mins), Mac Allister – 0.38 (151 mins), De Paul – 0.23, Di Maria – 0.22 (216 mins).
- Messi was highest for SoT at six, Alvarez next at four (138 mins); Messi highest for key passes as well at nine, Di Maria next at six.
- Only four Argentina players have played all minutes till now – Messi, De Paul, Otamendi, and Martínez.
🇯🇵 Japan vs. Croatia 🇭🇷
- Japan and Croatia have both scored four goals in the group stages; however, Japan did score two each vs. Spain and Germany, while Croatia scored all four against Canada.
- Croatia has a slightly higher xG at 3.8, Japan at 3.6; Croatia has 15 SoT vs. 10 for Japan.
- Japan has conceded three goals (xG against of 4.3), and Croatia has conceded once (xG against of 3.8).
- xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Kramarić – 0.5 (205 mins), Kovačić – 0.32 (252 mins), Perišić – 0.27, Modrić – 0.26, Sosa – 0.16.
- Meanwhile, for Japan, xG+xAG/90 mins: Mitoma – 0.92 (108 mins), Sakai – 0.75 (73 mins), Asano – 0.75 (108 mins), Tanaka – 0.52 (156 mins), Doan – 0.41 (131 mins).
- Kovačić has five key passes and an xA of 1.00; Perišić next with four key passes (xA of 0.6), followed by Modrić with three key passes (xA of 0.5)
- Modrić has taken seven corners till now, and Kovačić has taken five.
- There is a lot of rotation in the Japan team. Only three players have played all minutes till now – Goalkeeper Gonda and defenders Itakura and Yoshida.
🇫🇷 France vs. Poland 🇵🇱
- France has an xG of 7.2 after three games, 15 SoT; Poland has an xG of 2.8 with only four SoT.
- xG against of 1.6 for France (only six SoT), 5.9 for Poland (18 SoT).
- xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Mbappé – 1.35 (205 mins), Griezmann – 1.25 (197 mins), Giroud – 1.23 (150 mins), Rabiot – 0.77 (208 mins), Dembele – 0.71 (162 mins) Theo Hernandez – 0.64 (164 mins).
- Mbappé highest for shots (16) and SoT (7); Griezmann highest for key passes (10), followed by Theo Hernandez (9).
- For Poland, Lewandowski has the highest xG+xAG/90 mins at 0.75; Zielinski at 0.19.
🏴 England vs. Senegal 🇸🇳
- England have scored nine goals in the group stages, xG of 5.2 and 17 SoT; Senegal have scored five goals at an xG of 3.8, 11 SoT.
- England have had four SoT against them, xG against of 2.3; Senegal have had 10 SoT against them, xG against of 2.5.
- xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Rashford – 1.12 (108 mins), Foden – 0.9 (110 mins), Kane – 0.77 (222 mins), Saka – 0.43 (146 mins), Luke Shaw – 0.22; Sarr – 0.55, Sabaly – 0.23 and Dia – 0.22.
- Rashford has the most shots with nine, Foden next with five; Maguire, Saka, and Kane have four each; Shaw is highest for key passes with five, followed by Kane with four.
- Sabaly is highest for Senegal for key passes (7) and xA (0.6).
🇲🇦 Morocco vs. Spain 🇪🇸
- Spain have scored nine goals (just like England), xG of 5.3, and 15 SoT; Morocco has scored four with an xG of 2.3, and eight SoT.
- Morocco have conceded 1 goal in this WC, xG against of 2.9; Spain have conceded 3 with an xG against of 2.5.
- xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Morata – 0.91 (127 mins), Torres – 0.75 (143 mins), Olmo – 0.61, Asensio – 0.55 (167 mins), Azpilicueta – 0.45 (135 mins) and Alba – 0.38 (167 mins).
- Only three players have played all minutes till now for Spain – GK Simon, Rodri, and Olmo.
- Olmo is highest for Spain for shots (10), SoT (5), xG (1.4), and key passes (5).
- For Morocco, Ziyech has the highest xG+xAG/90 mins at 0.27; Saiss next with 0.26, followed by Hakimi at 0.15.
- Ziyech is highest for Morocco for shots (6) and key passes (4); Hakimi is second for key passes (3) and has two shots.
🇧🇷 Brazil vs. South Korea 🇰🇷
- Brazil have 21 SoT (2nd highest after Germany), xG of 5.7; South Korea has an xG of 4.2, 12 SoT.
- At the same time, Brazil have the 2nd lowest xG against (0.9) and have conceded only one goal till now; South Korea have an xG against of 3.6, 10 SoT against.
- xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Raphina – 0.8 (170 mins), Vinicius Jr – 0.64 (165 mins), Richarlison – 0.6 (150 mins), Marquinhos – 0.36 (216 mins).
- Rodrygo has six shots till now; Richarlison, Bruno G, Vinicius Jr, Casemiro, and Antony have five shots each.
- Vinicius Jr is highest for key passes at six, followed by Raphinha at five; Fred, Jesus, and Marquinhos have four key passes each.
- For Korea, Guesung has the highest xG+xAG/90 mins of 0.52 (196 mins), Son at 0.4, and Kim Young-Gwon at 0.32.
- Gue-sung is highest for South Korea for shots (9), SoT (5), and xG (1.1); Son is highest for xA (0.6) and key passes (6).
🇵🇹 Portugal vs. Switzerland 🇨🇭
- Portugal have 12 SoT, xG of 4.7; Switzerland have 10 SoT, xG of 4.00.
- Portugal have an xG against of 4, 12 SoT against; Switzerland have an xG against of 3.1, 14 SoT against.
- xG+xAG/90 mins for key players: Bruno Fernandes – 0.79 (180 mins), Ronaldo – 0.63 (232 mins), Félix – 0.29 (168 mins); Embolo – 0.77 (235 mins), Shaqiri – 0.68 (139 mins), Vargas – 0.39 (220 mins).
- Emiliano Martinez looks like a good choice for a keeper; Noppert and Lloris are other good options.
- 2/3 forwards are to be taken from Messi, Mbappé, and Kane (the former two preferable), and the 3rd can be in the lower range – Gakpo, Depay, Richarlison, Alvarez.
- Midfielders: Olmo, Saka, Ziyech, Rabiot, Pulisic, Bruno Fernandes, and Perišić can be considered.
- Defenders: Alba, Shaw, Theo Hernandez, Hakimi, Sosa, and Marquinhos are all good picks.
- With a higher budget, it is possible to have a Messi-Mbappé-Kane front three without compromising other positions.
All data is taken from fbref.
You can find additional World Cup Fantasy resources for the 22/23 season here.