Picking the perfect World Cup fantasy football team can bring about plenty of selection headaches.
Working with a limited budget inevitably causes frustration when trying to ensure you've got the ideal blend of points-scorers across the team.
Budgetary restraints prohibit fantasy managers from bloating their team with the best stars and that calls for some shrewd selections.
With World Cup fantasy football into the knockout stages, Goal is here to help you choose the best engine room for your team.
Best World Cup fantasy football midfielders
When mulling over which midfielders to choose for your fantasy football team you will have to take a number of important factors into consideration, such as the following:
- Clean sheets
- Goal threat
There is no need to choose players who you feel would play well together in real life - the key is to choose players who will get you points. That means players who will supply assists and score goals, so attacking midfielders or wingers are generally the best choices in that regard. Equally, midfielders who take set-pieces have a good chance of picking up points.
As well as that, you want to avoid players who are ill-disciplined and have a tendency to pick up yellow and red cards.
It's crucial to remember that the more games your selected players are involved in, the more points they can potentially gather, so it is worth choosing players 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
Philippe Coutinho | Brazil | €9.2m
Brazil will have designs on winning the World Cup and Philippe Coutinho is arguably their most important player after Neymar. With the Paris Saint-Germain man still getting back up to speed on his return from injury, Coutinho was expected to step up and lead; he has done that in spades.
Luka Modric | Croatia | €9.1m
Having emerged as winners of a group containing Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland, Croatia overcame Mexico in the last 16 and they are now among the favourites to win the tournament. Central to their impressive displays has been their captain, Luka Modric, who has already scored twice in the competition.
Paul Pogba | France | €8.9m
France are making their way through this World Cup without seeming to crack into gear, but the expectation is that Les Bleus will continue to improve as the tournament goes on. Paul Pogba has been industrious and, with N'Golo Kante behind him, he has more license to get forward.
Emil Forsberg | Sweden | €7.5m
Sweden are one of a handful of surprise participants in the latter stages of the tournament and Emil Forsberg is undoubtedly one of their key men. The RB Leipzig winger scored the decisive goal in their last 16 win over Switzerland and his crossing ability makes him a dangerous attacking force for the Scandinavians.
Ivan Rakitic | Croatia | €8.5m
Croatia were not among the favourites to win the World Cup at the outset, but they have risen to the occasion and, one of their star players, Ivan Rakitic, is among the best fantasy football midfield players. The Barcelona midfielder looks to join in with attacks and he added to his goal tally for his country by bagging a strike in the 3-0 win over Argentina.
Jesse Lingard | England | €7.6m
England are attempting to end decades of World Cup heartache this summer in Russia and one of their chief attacking threats at the tournament has been Jesse Lingard. The 25-year-old made a habit of scoring for Manchester United last season and appears to have carried that into the international fold.
Best World Cup fantasy football bargain midfielders
Arguably the main component 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 midfielders who are somewhat cheaper to buy, but who still offer gamers a strong chance of picking up points.
Denis Cheryshev | Russia | €5.7m
He may not be a guaranteed starter for Russia, but Denis Cheryshev has been an influential figure for the hosts during this World Cup, coming up with crucial goals and contributions. The Villarreal man is also a serious bargain at €5.7m.
Viktor Claesson | Sweden | €5.6m
Sweden's progress at Russia 2018 has largely been down to the strength of their defence, but they have also demonstrated incisiveness in attack. Viktor Claesson, in particular, has chipped in with two assists for Janne Andersson's side and they will be hoping the Krasnodar playmaker can add a goal or two to the cause.
Aleksandr Golovin | Russia | €6.6m
Aleksandr Golovin has been one of the breakout stars of the World Cup and the 22-year-old CSKA Moscow attacker has been instrumental in Russia's run to the knockout stage. Golovin has been much more effective than the likes of Pogba, despite being priced much cheaper.
Rodrigo Bentancur | Uruguay | €5m
Uruguay are considered dark horses to win the World Cup and they have already dumped out Portugal. One of the constants in their tournament thus far has been Juventus youngster Rodrigo Bentancur, who has started all four of the South American side's games.