Fantasy Premier League

2018 World Cup Pick’em Predictions

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In just a few days time, the entire world will be united by the love of one thing: the World Cup. Every four years countless fans around the world cheer on their team to glory amidst the drama, upsets, and goals as players are immortalized on the field. As fans, we may not be able to change what happens on the pitch, but like any other sport, we sure can predict it.

There is a huge range of possibilities for this year’s premier tournament, so we’ll try to cover a few of them. From the typical favorites to the dark horses, here are our 2018 FIFA World Cup pick’em predictions.

2018 World Cup Pick’em Predictions

Don’t miss out on our Fantasy World Cup Player Rankings.


The Dark Horse


Starting things off with our first bracket is the dark horse scenario.

Some notable options included Croatia, Belgium, and England, but you can never look past Lionel Messi. Messi and company have suffered heartbreak repeatedly in the recent tournament, enduring back to back Copa America final losses as well as the unforgettable last-gasp loss against Germany in the last World Cup. While Argentina scraped through qualifying, there is plenty of evidence that they have what it takes to be crowned world champions.

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With a skillful frontline of Messi, Dybala, and Di Maria likely to start in a 4-2-3-1 system, the trio will undoubtedly provide goals galore in the final third. Add in Aguero off the bench and creative midfielders like Lanzini and Banega in behind, and you have one of the most talented attacks in the competition. In classic Argentina fashion, if all else fails, Messi has proved countless times that he is capable of dragging his side into the final.

Outside of Argentina, France finds themselves in another international final, while heavyweights Germany and Belgium fall off in the semis.

A few more notable picks, Belgium edges Brazil in the quarters in a major upset, Uruguay sends home Euro winners Portugal in the round of 16, and Argentina knocks off Spain on their way to glory in the quarterfinals.

The main reason to follow this model is that Argentina will be a far less popular choice than the likes of Brazil, Germany, and France, giving you an edge over other fantasy players.

The Do-Over


France enters the tournament with an exciting, attacking squad featuring young stars like Griezman, Pogba, and Mbappe. This new golden generation was expected to culminate on home soil in Euros 2016, but Eder broke French hearts around the country with his infamous winner.

With a perfect combination of experience and youth, as well as uncomparable squad depth. On paper, this team has world class players in near every position, as shown by certain cuts on the team, namely Martial and Lacazette.

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With a solid center-back pairing of Umtitti and Varane with Kante collecting in front, the opposition will be forced to the flanks to find Mendy and Sidibe, two solid all-around defenders.

Further forward, Pogba will provide service to France’s frontline of Griezmann, Mbappe, and likely Giroud, with both aerial ability in Giroud and speed and skill in Mbappe and Griezmann available. Off the bench are the likes of Dembele, Fekir, and Tolisso to make an instant impact.

Aside from France, Spain makes another final appearance, heavyweights Brazil and Germany make the semis, and Portugal overcomes Uruguay early on while Poland defeats England. Expect this scenario to be more plausible than the last, but at the same time, a slightly more popular prediction as France are fourth-favorites to win.

The Avengers


Certain moments in football will stick with all fans. Take the ‘Agueroooooo’ incident, Maradona’s ‘Hand of God,’ or of course, the 7-1 demolition of Brazil. In their own backyard, in front of their own loyal fans, Brazil was humiliated by Germany.

But that was 2014. That was a team without Neymar. This Brazil team has improved upon their last World Cup squad in every form, and it has shown. While most teams struggled to qualify in South America, Brazil romped qualification this time around, with a staggering 41 points.

On top of this, Brazil is in great form entering the tournament, recently beating Croatia and Germany in friendlies and keeping clean sheets in five consecutive games.

With a favorable group and potential round of 16 opponent, Brazil doesn’t face its first true test until it lines up against likely Belgium or England in the quarterfinals. With Neymar back to full fitness, a solid, on form backline and an experienced yet hungry quad, there is no reason Brazil can’t avenge their 2014 loss.

Elsewhere in the bracket, Belgium defeats Germany in the quarterfinals, Spain gets silver, France also makes the semifinals, Colombia upset in England.

Click here to make a World Cup Pick’em of your own.

 

About Benji Elster

Benji is an avid fantasy sports player and football fan in particular. He recently finished in the top 5,000 for the United States during the 2017/18 FPL campaign and hopes to bring his knowledge of the game to you. If you have any FPL related questions, be sure to ask him on Twitter @benjielster

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