Hopefully my article on Group A has given you some food for thought of who to put into your world cup fantasy football team, but now it is onto Group B. This article will look at one of the best groups in the whole world cup, featuring the last two winners of the European Championship, and arguably the match of the first round, in Spain vs Portugal.
Now onto the players you should be looking at from each team, and how the team may fare in this group and throughout their time at the World Cup.
My tip to win the whole tournament, and many peoples favourites, Spain will be hoping to brush off their performance at the last world cup and show the world why they are the best footballing team in the world.
My first tip is the highest point scoring goalkeeper in FPL last season, and many people’s best goalkeeper in the world, David De Gea. If Spain are to go all the way in the tournament, they will need David to be up to his typical best, and I do not expect anything less from him. Topping a qualifying group involving Italy with nine wins and one draw, Spain have shown they can beat the best, and what was particularly eye catching was that they only conceded three goals during the whole qualifying, having seven clean sheets during the ten games. So if you are looking for a certain starter in the goalkeeper position, and someone who will keep clean sheets throughout the tournament, De Gea could by your man.
Possibly one of the most controversial players going to the world cup, but one of the best, Sergio Ramos is someone who I believe will need a big performance at the world cup to get many fans off his back. But what we do not about Sergio is that he knows how to defend, and can grab a goal at the other end, so should be someone you are debating putting in your team.
My final pick from Spain is the magician himself, David Silva. This season he has shown the consistent form which has seen him be one of the most devastating players in the Premier League, and I think he will show this consistency during the World Cup. If he does, then Spain will go far, and therefore it is vital for them that he can provide the assists and grab some goals that can see Spain go all the way.
23-man squad: David de Gea, Pepe Reina, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Jordi Alba, Nacho Monreal, Alvaro Odriozola, Nacho Fernandez, Dani Carvajal, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Cesar Azpilicueta, Sergio Busquets, Isco, Thiago Alcantara, David Silva, Andres Iniesta, Saul Niguez, Koke, Marco Asensio, Iago Aspas, Diego Costa, Rodrigo Moreno, Lucas Vazquez.
The surprise winners of Euro 2016, Portugal will be hoping to pull off some shocks at this World Cup and possibly bring the trophy back to show alongside their trophy from the last Euros, and if they are to do that there will be one man they will be relying on, and that is Cristiano Ronaldo. What hasn’t already been said about him this season, considering people are saying he is finished. With 44 goals in 44 appearances this season, if he takes this sort of form into the World Cup he may take Portugal all the way, and who would put it past him? If you don’t have him in your team, then I would seriously consider it as we all know how devastating he can be.
Next up is the former Real Madrid man, and another player who loves a yellow card or two, Pepe. Now we all know how much he loves a good foul, but what a lot of people do not see is his defensive qualities, and if Portugal are to keep Spain from topping this group, it may be down to Pepe to bring some defensive stability to the Portugal defence.
Finally, is a player I am tipping to by one of the surprise players of the tournament, and someone who I am debating putting into my fantasy team, Goncalo Guedes. I know not a lot of people will know who he is, but trust me on this, Cristiano will need some help from his team mates, and I feel Guedes is the man who can support him and can grab a few goals and assists over the tournament.
23-man squad: Anthony Lopes, Beto, Rui Patricio, Bruno Alves, Cedric Soares, Jose Fonte, Mario Rui, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Ricardo Pereira, Ruben Dias, Adrien Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Mario, Joao Moutinho, Manuel Fernandes, William Carvalho, Andre Silva, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gelson Martins, Goncalo Guedes, Ricardo Quaresma
A team that may surprise a few people at this tournament, Morocco are definitely someone that could challenge Spain and Portugal to proceed from the group. With some very decent players, Morocco could cause an upset to the two teams who are expected to qualify from this group.
If they are to do this, they will need their captain, Medhi Benatia, to perform to the best of his ability. A man who has had a great season at Juventus, he could be someone that is cheap to put into your fantasy football team, as he could easily keep a clean sheet, and maybe score a few goals from set pieces.
Another player we have seen have a very good season in the premier league is Sofiane Boufal and who can forget that wonder goal he scored against West Brom. We all know he has the talent, but if he can use that talent in the group, he could be the man who sends Morocco to the last 16, and maybe even further.
The final tip from Morocco is the Ajax playmaker, Hakim Ziyech. A man who has been a star this season in the Eredivise, he will be hoping to show potential suitors what they are missing, and this could be the perfect stage for him to put himself in the shop window, so why not take a punt on Ziyech?
23-man squad: Mounir Mohamedi, Yassine Bounou, Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti; Mehdi Benatia, Romain Saiss, Manuel Da Costa, Nabil Dirar, Achraf Hakimi, Hamza Mendyl; Mbark Boussoufa, Karim El Ahmadi, Youssef Ait Bennasser, Sofyan Amrabat, Younes Belhanda, Faycal Fajr, Amine Harit; Khalid Boutaib, Aziz Bouhaddouz, Ayoub El Kaabi, Nordin Amrabat, Mehdi Carcela, Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En Nesyri
Last but not least in group B are Iran, and a team not many will be expecting to even get a point from any of the three games. However, they could easily cause an upset, and if they are too, they will be relying on a few players to help them.
One player in particular is the Rubin Kazan forward, Sardar Azmoun. With 7 goals in qualification to send Iran to the world cup, a lot of hope will be relying on his shoulders, so he may be worth a punt in your world cup team.
Another player who is central to Iran’s hopes is the Olympiacos midfielder Ehsan Hajsafi. Even though he may not have had the most impressive season for Olympiacos, with just one goal in seven seasons, his record for Iran is a lot better, with 6 goals in 94 appearances, and his ability to play anywhere in midfield could be the reason Iran get out of this group.
23-man squad: Alireza Beiranvand, Rashid Mazaheri, Amir Abedzadeh; Ramin Rezaeian, Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh, Morteza Pouraliganji, Pejman Montazeri, Seyed Majid Hosseini, Milad Mohammadi, Roozbeh Cheshmi; Saeid Ezatolahi, Masoud Shojaei, Saman Ghoddos, Mahdi Torabi, Ashkan Dejagah, Omid Ebrahimi, Ehsan Hajsafi, Vahid Amiri; Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Karim Ansarifard, Mehdi Taremi, Sardar Azmoun, Reza Ghoochannejhad
In my opinion, both Spain and Portugal should qualify from this group, possibly with seven points each depending on how they perform against each other. This is the reason as to why I would be looking at players from these teams, especially Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos. However, if Morocco are to possibly qualify from this group, they will need some sound performances from Benatia, so if I was looking at anyone from other than Spain and Portugal from Group B, he would be the man.
Written by Jack (@jack_hollinrake)