Tuesday night’s encounter between Belgium and USA brought the curtain down on a dramatic round of last 16 fixtures, with all eight group winners progressing to the quarter-finals of Brazil 2014. With another day to go before France and Germany get us underway at 5pm tomorrow, we’ve time to take stock and cast an eye over the FantasyiTeam game, as we analyse the top scoring Fantasy managers and players of the tournament so far:
A free-to-play Fantasy football app, FiT is available on a number of mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPodTouch and Android. We’re supporting FiT throughout the summer and have an official Fantasy Football Scout League, with a £500 Amazon voucher available to the winner. There’s also the small matter of a £5k holiday available as the prize to the overall FiT World Cup winner.
Fantasy Football Scout League
Stefano Van Meedows reclaims his place at the Scout League summit, having dropped to second position in our last round up. Drafting in Thomas Muller, Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena with his three free trades in Matchday 4, Stefano also used the option to purchase a fourth (which costs 100 FiT Credits) to snap up Lionel Messi for Argentina’s narrow win over Switzerland. Now sitting on 351 points, he holds a six-point lead at the top and has set his team up in a 3-5-2 formation, with the armband currently sitting on Germany’s Muller for a showdown against Argentina.
Dimi Papamichael slips into second position on 345 points. He also made four trades last time around – indeed, his transfers were identical to Stefano’s as the pressure at the top builds. Dimi has doubled up on Holland, Germany, Argentina, Colombia and France and has also acquired Belgium’s Divock Origi – the youngster started up front in the win over USA, yet is classified as a midfielder in the FantasyiTeam game.
Sitting just one point further back is Dansen Low. He moves up from fourth to third after making four transfers in Matchday 4 –Juan Cuadrado, Robin van Persie, Romelu Lukaku and Ezequiel Lavezzi (listed as a midfielder but fielded up front in Sergio Aguero’s absence by Argentina) were all drafted in. Like Stefano, Dansen has already opted for Muller as captain ahead of Friday’s deadline.
Warren Grant climbs to fourth on 336 points. Another Fantasy manager who opted for four trades in the previous round, he drafted in Benzema, Mario Gotze, Messi and Eden Hazard – at present, he has three Colombians on board and has the armband on Messi for Argentina’s game against Belgium.
Peter Pickin completes the top five. Sitting a further seven points behind Warren, Peter has played the market better than any of his rivals and has boosted his team value from the initial £75.0m up to £79.8m – he’s already made one of his three free trades ahead of tomorrow’s deadline but with 1,135 FiT Credits in the bank, looks likely to make four transfers for the quarter-finals in his attempt to climb further up the leaderboard.
After four rounds of fixtures, the midfielder still dominate. The top three places are taken up by players who ply their trade in the centre of the park, with Colombia’s James Rodriguez leading the way on 43 points. Starting at a price of £6.5m, the Monaco playmaker has now risen in price to £7.0m in FantasyiTeam, having scored at least once in all of his appearances thus far – with five goals and a pair of assists accrued, Rodriguez has had a hand in seven of his side’s 11 strikes so far and leads the race for the Golden Boot ahead of tomorrow’s clash against Brazil.
Germany’s Thomas Muller is tucked in behind on 38 points. Another consistent performer, the Bayern man has produced Fantasy returns in every appearance so far, though a goal and two assists over his last three has helped Rodriguez overtake him at the summit. With a clash against France up next tomorrow evening, Muller now sets you back £8.6m, from a starting price of £7.5m.
Arjen Robben sits in third spot after picking up an assist in Holland’s late win over Mexico. In a similar situation to Muller, the Dutchman served up his most explosive display in his first appearance of the tournament and has been solid, if unspectacular, ever since – a goal and two assists over his last three matches has still ensured Robben’s owners have been rewarded and with a game against Costa Rica on his agenda, his popularity is set to increase ahead of tomorrow’s deadline.
In fourth spot, Lionel Messi is the top scoring forward in the FantasyiTeam game so far. Sitting on 31 points, the little Argentine is the only frontman to produce attacking returns in all four of the opening Matchdays, with an assist for Angel Di Maria’s winner over Switzerland adding to his four goals in the first three fixtures. If Alejandro Sabella’s side are to get the better of Switzerland, Messi – who has played a part in five of their seven goals – will be key to unlocking a backline that has conceded only once in open play so far. Unsurprisingly, given his consistency, the Barcelona man is the priciest striker around and is currently available for £11.4m.
Karim Benzema and Neymar are tucked in behind Messi on 29 and 28 points respectively. Both players been far less consistent over the tournament than the Argentine, however – Benzema served up three goals and a trio of assists in the first two games but has since drawn back-to-back blanks and has recently dropped in price from a high of £10.9m to £10.7m. Neymar, at £10.0m, has failed to produce points in two of his last three appearances, with braces in Matchday 1 and 3 keeping his tally ticking over.
Just behind Neymar is Colombia’s right winger Juan Cuadrado on 26 points. Having started at just £5.3m, he’s proven to be one of the bargains of the tournament for the South Americans and has delivered a goal or assist in each of his four starts – still very favourably priced at just £5.7m, the Fiorentina wide man’s consistency has made him a decent midfield double-up option along with team-mate Rodriguez .