We know that choosing your World Cup fantasy football team can be a stressful task.
When you're working to a budget it can be difficult to pack the best players into the team and often it will be a case of making sacrifices in one area to strengthen another.
However, for World Cup fantasy football, one area of the pitch it's generally not worth skimping on is the goalkeeper.
With World Cup fantasy football games heating up, Goal is here to help you choose the best custodian for your team.
Best World Cup fantasy football goalkeepers
When considering which goalkeeper to choose for your fantasy football team you will have to take a number of key factors into consideration, such as the following:
- Clean sheets
A goalkeeper's ability to keep clean sheets not only relies upon their skills at preventing the ball from going into the net, but also their defence's ability to reduce other teams' threat to a minimum. So, a goalkeeper who may not necessarily be considered special may achieve plenty of points based on his team's overall defensive performance. Likewise, a brilliant goalkeeper who plays in a relatively weaker team may end up conceding a high number of goals.
Making crucial saves and interventions is also rewarded in fantasy football and the better the goalkeeper, the more likely they are to accumulate points. It is worth noting that a goalkeeper who faces more pressure and shots to block (one from a weaker team, for example) can potentially gather more points than those in traditionally stronger teams.
In a tournament scenario with a knock-out element involved there is a chance that games will go to penalties and it goes without saying that denying a spot-kick is worth plenty of points in fantasy football. If a certain goalkeeper has a knack for saving penalties, it might be a good idea to include them in your team.
Of course, the more games your selected players are involved in, the more points they can potentially gather, so it is worth choosing goalkeepers with a good chance of reaching the closing stages of the tournament.
Below, we run through some of the best possible picks for World Cup fantasy football.
*Note - prices based on FIFA's official fantasy football game
Alisson | Brazil | €6m
Brazil had the best defensive record in CONMEBOL qualification and they have looked tough to break down in Russia, with Alisson being a commanding presence in the box.
Crucially, with the likes of Miranda and Thiago Silva in the squad, he is ably assisted in keeping the opposition out.
Fernando Muslera | Uruguay | €5.7m
Uruguay emerged from their group without conceding a single goal and their net was only breached in the last 16 against Portugal.
La Celeste have the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani in their squad, but the real stars of the team are at the back, where the trio of Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez and goalkeeper Fernando Muslera form stout resistance.
Thibaut Courtois | Belgium | €6m
Belgium's Thibaut Courtois is widely considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
The Red Devils boast a supremely talent squad and they are out to prove a point, so they will be a good bet to go far into the knock-out stage, if not reach the final.
They may possess the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard in their ranks, but Courtois will be equally as important to Roberto Martinez's side.
Hugo Lloris | France | €6m
France were beaten finalists in Euro 2016 and they are among a clutch of teams considered to be heavy favourites to win the World Cup in Russia.
Key to that will be their captain and undisputed number one Hugo Lloris, who has been ever-present for Les Bleus at this and the two previous tournaments.
As an elite shot-stopper the Tottenham man has a hefty price-tag, but, unfortunately, that's what you have to pay for quality.
Best World Cup fantasy football bargain goalkeepers
Of course, a huge part of fantasy football success is making your budget stretch as far as possible, which means picking up the odd bargain here and there.
Below is a selection of goalkeepers who are somewhat cheaper to buy, but who still offer gamers a strong chance of picking up points.
Danijel Subasic | Croatia | €5.6m
Since finishing third at the 1998 World Cup in France, Croatia have disappointed in subsequent tournament appearances. However, they remain a formidable outfit, with a number of world-class players.
Step forward Danijel Subasic; the Monaco shot-stopper has plenty of experience and will be relied upon to inspire confidence into the defence.
Jordan Pickford | England | €5.5m
England have emerged as surprise contenders to win the World Cup and a huge reason for that is Jordan Pickford.
The Everton custodian has been quietly going about his business between the posts for the Three Lions, but he came up with the goods in the quarter-final against Colombia, saving a penalty in the shoot-out.
Robin Olsen | Sweden | €5m
One of the main reasons for this impressive run in Russia has been Robin Olsen, who has made some big saves for the Scandinavian side.
Igor Akinfeev | Russia | €5m
Tournament hosts Russia have defied expectations this summer and their biggest moment came in the last 16 when they knocked Spain out on penalties.
Igor Akinfeev was the hero, saving a penalty in the shoot-out and he will be key for them as they attempt to win a first world title.