Just 16 teams progress to the knockout stages of the bigger football tournament in the world, including some favourites and some unexpected teams that fought their way through the group stages. In this article, tipster Aaron shares his thoughts on each of the last 16 games in World Cup Fantasy.
With the matches in the group stages having wrapped up. I would know like to look ahead to the games to come. The Last 16 matches. I’ll take a look at these games through the eyes and eyes of Gaffr.
🇳🇱 Netherlands vs. USA 🇺🇸
From the Netherlands, the standout performer was PSV attacker Cody Gakpo. In Gaffr Gakpo, will only cost you 6.5M. I believe he is worthy of outlaying that amount of cash for a player who will undoubtedly move after the World Cup. Other than that, I would like to pick out the back line for some praise. Daley Blind, Denzel Dumfries, Virgil van Dijk, and Nathan Aké all made the difference as the Netherlands came through the group stage with minimum effort.
From a USA point of view, points are spread evenly around the group. Timothy Weah, on 17 points, is their forward of choice. Christian Pulisic is their man in midfield, while at the back, Sergiño Dest and Antonee Robinson have been mainstays at the backline for the Americans. This game will be interesting as the USA, I see, is building to the next World Cup and will be looking to go as far, but if they go out to the Netherlands, it’ll be how they go out.
🏴 England vs. Senegal 🇸🇳
Gaffr points are very much spread around the England side ahead of the Last 16 match vs. Senegal. Up front, Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane almost share the points: 23 – 19. In the English midfield, there are three standouts, just like the forward line. Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, and Raheem Sterling share the points between them. 19 points and 17 apiece for all three players. England will more than likely be favourites going into this game, but the Senegalese will be up for the task.
Ismaïla Sarr has been the main man for Senegal heading into this game vs. England at the weekend. 22 points from the midfield maestro. Iliman Ndiaye is closest to Sarr in Gaffr on 11 points. Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Yousseff Sabaly are the duo at the back, the Chelsea man scoring the all-important goal against Ecuador to secure a last-16 spot.
🇫🇷 France vs. Poland 🇵🇱
Starting with France and in the defensive end, Theo Hernandez has been Le Bleux’s main man with 22 points in Gaffr. The two obvious picks are Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Greizmann, who are both sitting on 32 and 22 points, respectively. Only six points behind Griezmann is Olivier Giroud, or ‘that sexy Frenchman’. Heading into the Last 16 game against Poland, the French are obvious favourites.
Poland though will be looking outside the olive cart. If you watched the match vs. Argentina recently, you’d have noticed big time that they were all about defence. That bears itself out in Gaffr, as the majority of Poland’s points all come from their defenders. Bereszyński, Glik, Cash, and Kiwior have all come away with 14+ points so far. I doubt they can continue past the French in the next round.
🇦🇷 Argentina vs. Australia 🇦🇺
There is only one player for Argentina: Lionel Messi. 35 points to date in Gaffr. Between the midfield and defence, points are more or less shared around. Enzo Fernandez, Angel Di Maria, and Alexis Mac Allister are the differentials for Messi to pick from in the midfield. The same goes for Nicolas Otamendi and Nahuel Molina in the Argentine backline. Messi and Co. now move on to face surely the surprise package of the tournament: Australia after getting a little fright against Saudi Arabia.
Moving onto the surprise package of the tournament: Australia. Much like Argentina, points are shared around the midfield and defence for Australia. If you are looking for a differential pick from the Aussies, then look no further. Other than Mitchell Duke on 6.0M, it’s 5.5M and under for these Australians. Matthew Leckie, Riley McGree, and Craig Goodwin in midfield will allow you to spread the cash around. Stoke City defender Harry Souttar from Hearts, Kye Rowles, and Aziz Behich are our picks for Australia.
🇯🇵 Japan vs. Croatia 🇭🇷
What a match on Thursday night, Japan secured qualification to this stage with a victory over Spain as they head into the game against Croatia. Their heads will be high, and they will be confident of getting through. In Gaffr their points are evenly spread throughout the team. Kou Itakura and Maya Yoshida have been the Samurai Blue’s top dogs at the back. Ritsu Doan was the hero against Spain (21) along with Junya Ito (15) and Ao Tanaka on 12 points. Much like Australia, Japan will be classed as differentials come the next round.
The same goes for Croatia, in that points are spread around the team in Gaffr. Ivan Perisic in midfield sits on 20 points, but three follow on 10 points apiece: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, and Marko Livaja all currently sit on 10 points. Celtic FC defender Juranović and former Liverpool defensive line Dejan Lovren are both doing well on 19 points. Not too far behind are Joško Gvardiol, and young Borna Sosa sit on 18 points. All four will cost a max of 5.5M in Gaffr.
🇲🇦 Morocco vs. Spain 🇪🇸
Morocco have to be again, one of the surprises of the World Cup so far. Also, they have to be seen as differentials, such as Japan and Australia. Achraf Hakimi and Romain Saïss of Wolves at the back have been stalwarts, along with Hakim Ziyech of Chelsea in the midfield have helped to carry Morocco to the Last 16 stage. On a personal level, Youssef En-Nesyri of Sevilla has really come to the fore for Morocco this tournament, with one goal in three matches so far.
It is all about ‘the pass masters’ of Spain then, all across the board. Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Unai Simon starts us off on 14 points so far. FC Barcelona defender Jordi Alba follows on, who stands on 26 points. Over double digits ahead of his closest colleague Cesar Azpilicueta on 12 points. The same is said for Dani Olmo on 22 points, with Gavi being a little bit closer in terms of points at 13.
🇧🇷 Brazil vs. South Korea 🇰🇷
Again for Brazil, much like the last couple of teams. Points are shared throughout the team. Marquinhos and Thiago Silva are the two main defenders on 19 and 12 points, respectively. In midfield, it is where it is at, though, with points shared throughout the side. Richarlison leads the way with 19 points, closely followed by Vinicius jr with 17. Casemiro is not too far behind on 16, and Raphinha is bringing up the rear, so to speak, on 12 points.
Much like their AFC counterparts in Japan, South Korea are one of the darlings of this tournament. If you are looking for differentials for the next round, South Korea or Korea Republic are the team to look towards. For example, In-Beom only costs 5.0M but has scored 10 points to date from midfield. In the defensive line, Young-Gwon and Moon-Hwan are costing people 4.5M and 4.0M, respectively, and currently reside on 17 and 14 points overall.
🇵🇹 Portugal vs. Switzerland 🇨🇭
For Portugal, the only man in midfield is Bruno Fernandes on 27 points, absolutely bossing things. Up front, other than Ronaldo, things are pretty even amongst his striker counterparts. Joao Felix, Rafael Leao, and Braga winger Ricardo Horta are sharing points getting responsibilities, with all three on 10 points so far.
For Switzerland, Breel Embolo is the standout pick if you are looking for some attacking coverage now that players like Jordan Ayew have left proceedings. Other than that, once again, points are shared, and the price output isn’t too much for the Swiss players. Xherdan Shaqiri leads the way with 21 points, with Remo Freuler, Ruben Vargas, and Djibril Sow all clustered on 14, 13, and 12 points, respectively.
Finally, how do you think these teams will fair?
You can find additional World Cup Fantasy resources for the 22/23 season here.
The name is Aaron and I am an avid viewer of AJ-League soccer. Writing for Fantasy Tipsters on the Fantasy J-League game. Hailing from Ireland, here we go!