The qualifiers begin on June 12, which leads to the first round of the knockout stages on June 28. The idea is cool, the prize is cool and it only costs $11 to enter.
If you’re reading this you already have an advantage. Head on over and read Dan Dobish’s take on the tournament to have a double advantage. That’s right, a double advantage.
As always, make sure to check the scoring rules because they are vital to the process of making roster decisions. Here’s a direct link to the game with the rules at the top.
I’m going to be bold and warn you against falling into the Lionel Messi trap. He’s super expensive; he hasn’t scored in a World Cup yet and is playing a difficult squad.
I feel extremely good about my lineup. I hope you do too.
G, Diego Benaglio, Switzerland, $20.25
The Swiss goalkeeper allowed six goals in 10 qualifying matches. I think that says it all right there. Granted, Ecuador is probably a better team than anyone else in that group. The fact that Benaglio is so cheap compared to the other starters makes this an easy play.
D, Patrice Evra, France, $18.00, and
D, Mathieu Debuchy, France, $17.50
These next two player choices are the French left and right backs (hopefully). France plays Honduras, which failed to score a goal in the last World Cup. Yes, I said that correctly. Evra and Debuchy both move up and down the flanks, which also boosts their value because you get points for crosses at StatClash.
D, Maxi Pereira, Uruguay, $16.00
Here’s another defender that loves to move up the field; he should have free range to do that in this game. Costa Rica’s offense is also quite suspect, so the possibility of a clean sheet exists.
M, Oscar, Brazil, $18.00
I originally chose Giovani dos Santos for this spot, but changed my mind while writing this up. Brazil is playing a tough Croatian team, but they have the ability to score multiple goals no matter who they’re playing. Oscar is a vital cog in their midfield and can create in any number of ways.
M, Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland, $17.00
Ecuador’s defense isn’t all that bad, but they can be susceptible. If Switzerland finds the back of the net, Shaqiri will likely be the reason. His speed will immediately be a problem. Besides, you definitely want someone named Shaq on your squad.
M, Pedro, Spain, $16.00
Don’t tell anyone, but Pedro isn’t really a midfielder. In addition, his price tag is extremely cheap for someone who could possibly be Spain’s leading scorer in the World Cup.
M, Shinji Kagawa, Japan, $17.25
There are going to be goals in this match. Kagawa and Keisuke Honda will both be huge problems for the Ivorian back line, and neither team’s defense is all that great. If you need to save some cash, Honda is two bucks cheaper, which is crazy.
F, Neymar, Brazil, $24.25
I trust Neymar more than any of the expensive forwards, including Messi. Brazil will not be held scoreless because of Neymar. If he and Oscar can combine for a couple of goals, this lineup will be toasty.
F, Didier Drogba, Ivory Coast, $16.75
As I said before, you can expect goals in this game, very likely four or five of them. Droggy is a complete beast no matter how old he is, and the Samurai Blue are going to have their hands full no matter how they play defense. I want to say it’s almost a guarantee Drogba scores in this one. I really wanted to use Yaya Toure as well, but he has an injury issue.
F, Alexis Sanchez, Chile, $17.75
Here is yet another pick that I absolutely love. The Barcelona forward has assisted on Chile’s last five goals! Why is he so cheap? He’ll face Australia, believed by many to be one of the worst teams in the tourney. A couple of goals is almost a given for the Chilean high-flying attack.