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World Cup

World Cup 2018 – Team Analysis – Russia

We begin our World Cup 2018 preview articles this evening with an assessment of Russia.

The hosts could be the nation to consider when searching for Fantasy differentials ahead of the tournament. Their attacking midfield contains some real potential which might be enlivened by the occasion of competing at a home World Cup.

But Fantasy managers are advised to steer well clear of Russia’s defensive assets as the country is currently experiencing an unprecedented crisis at the back.

Recent Matches

While the rest of the world engaged in rigorous qualification campaigns, Russia have been playing friendlies to prepare since the summer of 2016.

It proved a mixed couple of years in which they played 15 non-competitive matches against other nations, winning four meetings, drawing five and losing six.

To their credit, many of their opponents were among the world’s best and provided stern tests. Spain, Belgium and Chile were all held to draws, while Russia suffered defeats to Argentina, Brazil and France.

The only opportunity to see Russia in competitive action was at last summer’s Confederations Cup, which they also hosted. After beating New Zealand 2-0 in the opening match, they lost 1-0 to Portugal, before being eliminated in the Group Stages by a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Mexico.

Finding the net hasn’t proved too much of an issue for Stanislav Cherchesov’s men, who scored 25 goals in those 18 fixtures (1.38 per match).

In fact, when Russia drew 3-3 with Spain in November, it was the first time the former World Cup champions had shipped more than two goals in a match since being thrashed 5-1 by the Netherlands in Brazil four years ago.

The problem for Cherchesov’s men is at the back where injuries have run rife, creating the worst defensive shortfall in the nation’s history.

So it’s no surprise that they were breached three times in three of their last five friendlies (Spain, Brazil and France). Since those results it’s a 1-0 defeat in Austria and a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Turkey for Russia.

It’s five clean sheets since August 2016, all of which were secured against teams that failed to qualify for the World Cup (Turkey, Ghana, Romania, Hungary and New Zealand). Crucially, there have been no shut-outs in 11 months.

Most starts (Friendlies + Confederations Cup): Fedor Kudryashov (16), Alexandr Samedov (15), Igor Akinfeev (14), Fedor Smolov (13), Yuri Zhirkov (11), Denis Glushakov (10).
Most goals: Fedor Smolov (6), Alexandr Samedov, Own Goals (both 4), Aleksei Miranchuk (3).
Most assists: Alexander Samedov (7), Dmitri Kombarov (3), Aleksandr Erokhin, Aleksandr Kokorin, Aleksei Miranchuk, Roman Zobnin (all 2).

The Key Targets

With injuries in defence and transition occurring in midfield, striker Fedor Smolov (£8.0m) is seen by the Russian press as one of only a few players whose starting place is guaranteed for June 14’s opening match with Saudi Arabia.

Once heavily criticised for his lack of goals, he has become the nation’s most prolific forward since starring in the Russian Premier League with FC Krasnodar.

The top-scoring player in the domestic top flight in 2016/17 with 18 strikes, Smolov followed that up by finishing second in the goal table this time around (14).

In his last five club matches the 28-year-old netted twice and laid on four assists, the perfect preparation for a home World Cup.

Smolov has 12 goals in 30 international appearances, more than anyone else in the squad, with half of those coming in the last two years – and two of them netted against Spain in November.

The Krasnodar man is priced up at £6.4m on Fantasy iTeam‘s World Cup Fantasy game which is £0.1m cheaper than Artem Dzyuba, who lost his starting place to Smolov in the last 18 months.

Winger Alexandr Samedov (£6.0m on Fantasy iTeam | £7.5m on McDonald’s FIFA) is the creative hub of the team with seven assists in the 18 matches since Euro 2016, also chipping in with four goals in that time.

The Spartak Moscow man, now aged 33, is also the set-piece taker and is likely to be on penalties with the absence of injured striker Aleksandr Kokorin. Only defender Fedor Kudryashov (£4.5m) has started more games for the national side in the last two years than Samedov, so his place in the line-up is all but assured for June 14.

The Long Shots

Fantasy managers searching for a differential among Russia’s ranks should look to the promising 22-year-old midfield twins Alexei and Anton Miranchuk. They are considered to be the future of the nation’s football team, with the former more established name in the side.

A central attacking midfielder, Alexei (£6.5m on McDonald’s FIFA | £5.8m on Fantasy iTeam) has started seven of Russia’s preparation matches, appearing as a substitute in another six, and has three assists and two goals during that spell. A home World Cup could be just the catalyst he needs to develop his potential.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Aleksandr Golovin (£6.5m on McDonald’s FIFA | £5.9m on Fantasy iTeam) is considered by Russian press as one of the best of the national side’s new generation.

He is a quick and technically skilled player who can operate both in midfield and in attack. Golovin hasn’t scored at international level since March 2016 but has enjoyed another great season at club level. He struck five times and put up three assists in 26 appearances for CSKA in the Russian Premier League this year, also netting twice in the Europa League.

Finally, the name Alan Dzagoev (£7.0m on McDonald’s FIFA | £6.2m on Fantasy iTeam) might ring a few bells to those who had a Fantasy squad for Euro 2012, where he scored three times for Russia and was their best player.

Due to a series of hamstring problems, the 27-year-old talented playmaker has started just four international matches over the last two years but is in the frame for selection against Saudi Arabia. As one of the few individuals in this squad with experience of success at a major tournament, he could be an outside bet for some Fantasy points this summer.

Areas to Avoid

Given Russia’s recent problems at the back, and the attacking strength of their Group A rivals, investment in their defence looks a risk.

Key centre-backs Viktor Vasin (cruciate ligament rupture) and Georgiy Dzhikiya (ACL), supposed replacements for the previously ever-present now-retired Berezutski brothers, will both miss the tournament with serious injuries.

Veteran centre-back Sergei Ignashevich (£4.5m on McDonald’s FIFA | £5.5m on Fantasy iTeam), who broke his metatarsal last year, has been forced to come out of international retirement to replace injured Ruslan Kambolov in the 28-man preliminary squad too.

Clean sheets look unlikely, particularly against Egypt and Uruguay.

Mohamed Salah was the Premier League’s 2017/18 Golden Boot winner while only Brazil (41) scored more times than Uruguay in South American qualifying (32).

Furthermore, the aforementioned absentees mean that, with the exception of stalwart goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev (£5.0m on McDonald’s FIFA | £5.6m on Fantasy iTeam) and centre-back Kudryashov, the defence is a highly unsettled area of the team with the first choice line-up difficult to predict.

Upcoming Friendlies

None.

Further Analysis

Our comprehensive World Cup guide can be found here.

Group A Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay

Group BIran, Morocco, Portugal, Spain

Group CAustralia, Peru, France, Denmark

Group DArgentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Group EBrazil, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Serbia

Group FMexico, Germany, Sweden, South Korea

Group GBelgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Group HSenegal, Japan, Poland, Colombia

Our editor’s Fantasy World Cup tips as told to Proper Sport

FANTASY ITEAM

Fantasy Football Scout is supporting Fantasy iTeam, a free World Cup game available on a number of mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPodTouch and Android. We have an official Fantasy Football Scout League open to UK users only, with a £1000 of Amazon vouchers to give out, split between the top three performers. There’s also the small matter of £10k worth of prizes available in the main competitions: Overall World Championship and Manager of the Gameround.

Click here for details and here to sign up.

Our League name is Fantasy Football Scout and the pin is 1887.

Please note, users must be over 18 and based in the UK to join our league.

371 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Early plans for your GKs - cheap rotation or premium?
    Jacky boy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 24 days ago

    Which gk you will have next season you think?
    De gea (6.0)
    Ederson (5.5)
    Pope (5.0)
    Other cheap options
    Personally monitoring arsenal gk choice and it's price

    1. Gregor
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      I like a cheap rotation and I like the look of the Newcastle fella. If he comes in at £4.5m, I will see who goes well with him or maybe even double Newcastle if you can get their second choice for £4m.

      1. FFFrøg⭐️
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        Yeah a 4.5m rotation will probably be my call - if you do it right you can come out with more points than a premium option like De Gea and save 1m as well

      2. Niemi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        1 month, 24 days ago

        Second this. If Dubravka is still 4.5 I'll probably be getting him, together with another decent 4.5 option.

    2. Bury94
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      If Wolves get Butland I'd be all up in that

      1. Legomané
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Would Butland get a 5.0 valuation though...think that might put me off a little. Excellent shout though.

        1. G-Whizz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Hard to see a GK from a promoted side being as high as £5.0m tbh imo...

    3. Gregor
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Newcastle and Brighton rotated well last season, if that was the case again next year then Dubravka and Ryan would be a great combo presuming they were both £4.5m.

      1. Limited & Mediocre Mana…
        1 month, 24 days ago

        This

      2. Blue&White85
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        My thoughts too.

    4. speedyboyzz
      1 month, 24 days ago

      2 rotating 4.5's from decent defences imo.

    5. ZoumasBloomers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Already penciled in Dubravka, can't see myself going with a premium option this season

    6. rainy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      I'd love to see an Arsenal keeper with a good price to points ratio next season. Here's hoping 🙂

    7. Little Red Lacazette
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Two 4.5 rotation GKs would be ideal

    8. G-Whizz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Gonna wait and see what happens with Fabianski and Butland first but can't see myself spending more than £4.5m in the first place tbh...

    9. Holmes
      1 month, 24 days ago

      If Ederson is 5.5, him. Otherwise 1 gk and its backup depending on fixtures

    10. hamzilla
      1 month, 24 days ago

      I usually start off with a 4.5 and his 4.0 backup. Saves me the pain of points benched when I rotate 4.5s. Hard to predict clean sheets at the start.

    11. _sidney_will
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Ryan (4.5m) or Karius (5m)

    12. andy85wsm
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      I'll take De Gea at £5.5 🙂

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        So will everyone else, unfortunately. I hope he's 6.0 so we have a decision to make. 🙂

        1. RedLightning - Top 10k Any …
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          1 month, 23 days ago

          I expect him to remain at 5.5m, but it still leaves decisions to make.

    13. Wetdream
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      I read an analysis on goalkeepers a couple of years ago that showed that playing the same keeper every week rather than having rotating keepers actually harvested more point.So think i will be having one playing keeper and will have his back up as my reserve.A 4.5m keeper and his 4.0m backup.One less decision to make and you dont go through the disappointment of benched keeper points.

      1. Wetdream
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        *points

      2. SweepaKeepa
        1 month, 24 days ago

        Certainly true for me this season: I benched Fabianski for all his huge hauls against the big boys.

    14. SweepaKeepa
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Current thinking is Dubravka & McCarthy at 4.5 each.

    15. Balotellitubbies
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      I'll pay the extra 0.5 and go Burnley GK (whoever is 1st choice) and a (hopefully playing) 4.0 fodder. Did the same last season, got Pope in when Heaton got injured and that worked out fantasticly.

      Pope 4.3 PPM.
      De Gea 4.6 PPM.

      We got 3 seasons of data now and Burnley GKs have been absolutely gold. Consistent, bonus magnets + their defenders will likely be 5.0 next season. We probably want some defensive cover from Burnley, and it is probably the team where the GK is far superior to equivalent options in defence. Just a really good, safe, fire and forget dullard choice 🙂

      1. SweepaKeepa
        1 month, 24 days ago

        I think the problem is knowing who will be 1st choice for Burnley. Freindlies (and shirt #!) should help, but even then knowing that competition is so close in level, a small blip in form could cause a change.

      2. Wetdream
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Europa league could impact negatively on Burnley defence especially with such a small squad.

        1. SweepaKeepa
          1 month, 23 days ago

          True - and increase likelihood of keeper rotation.

    16. Axle11
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      de Gea (5.5) probably, alternatively I'm also eyeing Dubravka on my radar, will wait if he actually signs permanent move first, though.

    17. GreenWindmill
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Cheap and cheap for me - always been my approach. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't (like this season) but as long as you make reasonable choices in the lower price range it's incredibly rare for the expensive options to be worth the extra.

      1. Geoff
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        1 month, 24 days ago

        It's been mine too but I switched it up a bit this year, and wasn't a fan.

        I actually enjoy making the choice every week as well, even if it doesn't always work out it feels great when it does

        1. GreenWindmill
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 24 days ago

          Yep, I had great success starting the season with Foster and Begovic one year - I nailed the rotation for about two months, it was awesome!

          Probably why I stick so rigidly to the tactic now even though it continues to fail me!

          1. Geoff
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            1 month, 24 days ago

            I have great Foster/Begovic memories too.

            I also like 4.5m x2 because if you hit it right sometimes both get price rises and you have some extra when the WC comes in

    18. Kloppen Schloppen
      1 month, 24 days ago

      4.5 and 4.0 back up. Benching hauls from GK is truely horrible. Having said that I started with DDG this year because he was the safest/best way into United.

      Depends on premium prices but if I were to look at 5.5 and 4.0 GK combo, I would want to be making some decent picks in the 4.0 defenders (if there are any!!)

    19. asquishypotato
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      With Newcastle finishing mid table, I can see Dubravka being 5.0.

      Southampton and Wolves could be a goer, or for Jonty, where Flapihandski goes.

      I’d proudly go for the cheap players pending fitting City players, Salah, Kane and Aub into a rough team.

    20. Roosta
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Double 4.5s who have alternating home matches.

    21. Karan14 - (CWT Balegium)
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Dubravka or Butland at 4.5 would be nice.

    22. tisza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Will try to go DDG. Helped me have a strong start last season and Utd defensive rotation is always an issue.
      But will be looking for the bargain keeper that emerges once we're a few games in. Lot always depends on early fixture list with bargain keepers as well

    23. Rum Ham
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Assuming they're 4.5 each; two of McCarthy, Dubravka and Ryan.

    24. I Member
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      4.5 + 4.0 cheap as chips combo.

    25. Spencer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Two 4.5s would be ideal. Last season went 5 + 4 (Pickford and Elliot) and found it really difficult getting rid of either.

    26. tricky80
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Cheap rotation until save points become clearer ahead of wildcard. De Gea was staple after a while and thus value for money.

    27. WesMantooth
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 23 days ago

      I'll prob go with the 5.5 goalie with the best fixtures (extra weighting on the home fixtures) and a 4.0 goalie at the start of the season. I'm also a fan of the 4.5-4.5 rotating homegames tactic, but simply think its a safer route to get pts by sticking by a premium goalie ahead of the first wc. Hopefully by the time I activate my WC the landscape, of which 4.5goalies, who are worth their salt, gets clearer.

    28. XabiAlonso
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Cheap 4.5m goalie for me maybe dubrovka

    29. Legomané
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 23 days ago

      My first thought would be fir rotating 4.5's but wouldn't be adverse to a Pope Heaton double up if they somehow ended up 9.0 the pair. Think that's pretty wishful thinking though.

      I'd also consider DDG or Ederson if I couldn't see a better route into the UTD or City defence. Wouldn't be overly surprised if they were both valued at 6.0 this season though given the rotation threat to the back lines in front of them.

      1. Ramboros
        1 month, 23 days ago

        It's more logical to price the Burnley pairing at 10.5 than 9.0 next season. They are in top 3 scores for GKs two seasons in a row. Only Tottenham and United beat them last season, while only City and United beat them this season. Heaton even got 150 points while they were relegated. I assume Pope and Heaton will both end up at 5.0 due to the unclear situation.

        1. Legomané
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          1 month, 23 days ago

          You're probably right, which will probably count both out unless Dyche comes straight out and names his no.1. Probs be 5.0 across the back tbh.

    30. tambourineman
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Newcastle only shipped 47 goals this season so Dubravka will be 5m, you can see from the responses to this that at 4.5m it would be too much of a 'no brainer'. For 4.5 you will be looking at the 3 promoted teams along with keepers at West Ham, Watford, Bournemouth, Huddersfield, Palace and possibly Southampton. I'll probably go with the two 4.5s based upon the opening set of fixtures as my first wildcard normally gets activated early. (and judging on the last three seasons I will end up selling the best budget keeper of the season - Butland, Heaton and Fabianski - on that wildcard)

    31. liiusions
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 23 days ago

      2x 4.5s as it almost always works, last season being the outlier. Would love Dubravka to be 4.5 but can't see it

    32. HALFSPACE
      1 month, 23 days ago

      4.5 + 4.0

    33. timPgoodwin
      1 month, 22 days ago

      There's something about Ederson that excites me but not sure I want to waste one of my 3 City allocations on a GK ...

      Will probably see who starts for Burnley ...

    34. RECKLESS
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Doubt de gea will be 6mn. He was exceptional season before too still was priced 5.5mn which seems a norm for premium keepers in fpl pricing now

    35. Valencia's Left Foot
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 22 days ago

      Curious about the status of McCarthy at Sou at the start of the season. Save machine at the end of this one!

  2. ZoumasBloomers
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    1 month, 24 days ago

    Wonder if Fraser Forster will get a prem move this summer - he's certainly due a price cut after last season

    1. Berbinho's Forehead
      1 month, 24 days ago

      He is awful.

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        I think he just had a patch of bad form. If the WC was a year earlier, I think he would be in contention.

        Okay maybe a year and a half. 😆

      2. Rum Ham
        1 month, 24 days ago

        This.

  3. ZoumasBloomers
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    1 month, 24 days ago

    Would also be interesting to see if FPL decide to have non-0.5 increment prices for defenders and keepers.. would make some sense with keepers like

    DDG - 5.8
    Ryan 4.8
    Pickford 5.2

    1. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Nobody bought Pickford at 5.0 except around the blanks and doubles. Why 5.2?

    2. Holmes
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Pickford 5.2! 😆

    3. Limited & Mediocre Mana…
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Pickford 4.8

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        This is more like it imo. But I'd still only be tempted if Evertone have great starting fixtures before WCing him out, or WCing him in if their fixtures turn great after the first quarter

    4. RedArrows
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Telegraph so this but I quite like the neat halves in FPL. Makes it easier to decide when someone is a bargain or not.

      That said, the 0.5s are a bit crude for defenders and GKs (fine for mids and forwards though).

      1. RedArrows
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        *do this (across the board though)

  4. Kane Toads
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 24 days ago

    any Telegraph WC leagues out there? Mine: 8143460

    1. Athletic Bilbo
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Nice one KT, was on the lookout for a league. I can’t join without a passcode though

      1. Kane Toads
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        sorry... 1111

        1. Athletic Bilbo
          1 month, 24 days ago

          Nice one, I’m in, ‘Group Stage Exit’.

          Should be a fun competition with all those transfers, which still don’t seem enough!

          1. Kane Toads
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            1 month, 24 days ago

            cheers - yep should be good

  5. G-Whizz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    1 month, 24 days ago

    Good news for Brazil, bad news for everyone else. Neymar's return from injury is going "better than expected"
    https://twitter.com/BBCSport/status/999531691948507137

    1. Siva Mohan
      1 month, 24 days ago

      ha ha

      does the world know Lingard is coming to the world cup?

  6. Berbinho's Forehead
    1 month, 24 days ago

    Spurs want £75m for a 29 year old injury prone defender with 1 year left on his contract.

    😯

    1. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Sounds like they want to keep him

    2. Siva Mohan
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Levy is a great negotiator..

    3. RedArrows
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      As a CB he should have two years until he hits his peak, so his age isn't really an issue, but yes, it's a silly price given the contract situation. Still, they don't want to sell, and they might yet get a buyer.

      1. SW6
        1 month, 24 days ago

        Age certainly is an issue when it comes to the cost. if Utd sign him for £75m with probably a 4 year contract, their re-sale value is almost non-existent. His financial worth will drop and continue to through his contract. Compare that to if he were 25 they know that they would be able to recoup much if not all of any fee paid were they to sell him over the next 5 years.

        1. RedArrows
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 24 days ago

          I totally get your point but honestly the way the market is at the moment if you could get four years out of a world-class central defender, some clubs would pay 50m+ for that, resale value or not. If you end up selling a top player mid-contract then it's for a reason (form, injuries etc.) and you probably won't get much of your money back anyway.

        2. Deulofail
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 24 days ago

          On a 4 year contract, players of all ages will cost nothing in compensation after 4 years. There's nothing to recoup. I don't think clubs prioritise the fees they would get for selling the player earlier than they planned over getting the player they want and paying them what they will for their services. That kind of thinking works for clubs with less ambition in the champions league. Those who need to lock players down to increase compensation. But a lesser club than Spurs isn't going to buy from Spurs unless the player is already old, cheap and/or unwanted 🙂

    4. Niemi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Doubt that's true to be honest. Think he'll go for maximum 50 millions.

      Spurs do have an one-year extension option though, so effectively two years left on his contract.

      1. Berbinho's Forehead
        1 month, 24 days ago

        Spurs would be mad not to trigger the extension, they'd make more money on him.

        1. Niemi
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          1 month, 24 days ago

          Apparently they activate a 25 million release clause when they trigger the extension, which is probably why they haven't done so yet.

          1. Berbinho's Forehead
            1 month, 24 days ago

            Sounds like a messy situation.

            1. Geoff
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              1 month, 24 days ago

              Yeah, they won't trigger it because of the clause so he goes this summer, basically

  7. Siva Mohan
    1 month, 24 days ago

    Manchester United are close to signing Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred and hope to complete a deal next week. (Source: MEN)

    1. Berbinho's Forehead
      1 month, 24 days ago

      5ft5 according to Google? Doesn't sound like a Mourinho, or PL player for that matter.

    2. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      How about links as sources, Siva? Not so much point sharing it if we still have to Google it haha

  8. SW6
    1 month, 24 days ago

    Sarri looks likely to take over at Chelsea then. Just a reminder, he moved Dries Mertens from a winger to a central striker who then went on to score 56 goals in the last 2 seasons. Could he do the same to another similar Belgian..?

    1. RedArrows
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      I hope he does. This would make Courtois an absolute steal next season.

      1. SW6
        1 month, 24 days ago

        😀

      2. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        Yo RA. Good joke. What's your grav about? Looks very artsy

        1. RedArrows
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 24 days ago

          It's really meta, D. My grav is a grav (short for gravity reading). .I'm a home brewer as well as a FF nerd you see 🙂

          1. Deulofail
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            1 month, 24 days ago

            Another good joke! Meta is better

            1. RedArrows
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              1 month, 24 days ago

              For my part I like your new face. Thing is, if a World Cup happens but there is no McDonalds Fantasy Football with which to score points from it, does it happen at all?

              1. Deulofail
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                1 month, 24 days ago

                If there's no Maccy's Fantasy then I only have 2 words to describe my situation

                Face....off

                https://giphy.com/gifs/raising-arizona-hwZ51FKy98qv6

    2. edgardavids
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Eden has said before that he is more confortable on the wing, he wants and needs the ball all the time.

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        That's why he would need converting. He's not a CF at the moment. 😀

    3. I Member
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Doubt it. Hazard is perfectly suited to the role Insigne played for Sarri at Napoli.

  9. edgardavids
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 24 days ago

    World Cup 1st Gameweek is prior to the end of Ramadan, how much it may have an impact on performance of Saudi Arabia (vs Russia), Egypt (vs Uruguay), Morocco and Iran (vs each other)?

    1. SW6
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Perhaps Salah will be... faster.

      :mrgreen:

    2. G-Whizz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Sports and people travelling over a certain distance are exempt from Ramadan 🙂

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        How conwenient... 😀

      2. Holmes
        1 month, 24 days ago

        Only people travelling are... Sport has nothing to do with it 😮

    3. ZoumasBloomers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      I think professional athletes are allowed to skip it (although I'm by no means an expert)

    4. edgardavids
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      At least some players from Egypt seem to keep it on travel.
      Héctor Cúper: "The Egyptian Football Association has hired specialists to help me and the players during the fasting month of Ramadan. We will organize and monitor their eating and sleeping and hope that this will not affect them badly. It may be a problem to the coaches because the players will stop eating from sunrise until sunset, so it will not be easy during training but that is to do with the religion and I can't prevent them from observing Ramadan. We are working on this and seeking to find the best way to overcome fasting fatigue and prevent it from hurting the players.".

    5. noquarternt
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Can get dispensation from an Imam.

    6. Ask Yourself (Lenin is dead…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Religion is scary

      1. Limited & Mediocre Mana…
        1 month, 24 days ago

        So is Lenin's ideology.

        1. Ask Yourself (Lenin is dead…
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 21 days ago

          Lol just seen this I don’t like him anymore either

    7. Limited & Mediocre Mana…
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Relolgion

    8. circusmonkey
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 23 days ago

      I heard on talksport today that Salah won't eat before Saturday's game. Crazy.

  10. Captain Kakaroto
    1 month, 24 days ago

    So is this russian team step up and qualify to last 16?

    1. noquarternt
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Won't get out of the group.

    2. FFFrøg⭐️
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      I think they'll get out of the group only because Egypt and Saudi Arabia are so poor

  11. Kloppen Schloppen
    1 month, 24 days ago

    I’m in a pretty decent tipping comp for WC. About $1k pool winner takes all.

    Early thoughts on Russia V Saudi? I have zero clue!

    1. ZoumasBloomers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Russia should cruise it I reckon.. home advantage will be big in those conditions relative to Saudi!

  12. ludaslol
    1 month, 24 days ago

    Would who you rather have for a fantasy purpose Paulinho or Modric/Silva (also have Isco)? (same price)

    The fantasy I'm playing also gives points for a team win & when their team scores (if player is on the pitch)

    1. FFFrøg⭐️
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Paulinho

      1. ludaslol
        1 month, 24 days ago

        Thanks, he's also a little bit cheaper. He's pretty involved in the offensive end also, isen't he? Haven't watched him play to much.
        I also think Brazil will go far so that always help

    2. G-Whizz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Paulinho

  13. Tube!!
    1 month, 24 days ago

    FITeam

    Would you do anything different?....not totally happy with Neymar (Injury)

    DDG
    Marcelo Alba Meunier Guerreiro
    Pogba Isco Coutinho Samedov
    Messi Neymar

  14. Hasselbaink Forever
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 24 days ago

    https://twitter.com/danroan/status/999591014401798144

    The state of this. Apparently happened at a Sunday league match in London last weekend - who would choose to be a referee?

    Clubs should be named, shamed and banned.

    1. Berbinho's Forehead
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Looks really bad on the face of it but we don't know the details. What if the ref racially abused a player? Then it's deserved etc. A video or picture without context just provokes reactive comments.

      1. Anathallo
        1 month, 24 days ago

        Yeah, he could have just stabbed a player and all those people running out the crowds to kick him while he is down are total heroes.

        Or it's just awful.

      2. JJO
        1 month, 24 days ago

        So today the worst thing you can do is racially abuse someone?
        Dont get me wrong ,Im against it ofcourse
        But I have feeling GB,USA and other 'big' countries have some real,serious problem with racism
        Maybe you should clean your yard first and then try to 'make a world peacefull palce'

  15. Kane Toads
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 24 days ago

    I posted this a bit earlier:

    My Telegraph WC league "From Russia with Lovren"

    League PIN 8143460 Passcode 1111

  16. Adams6
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 24 days ago

    Good morning All

    I've been ignoring all things fantasy football since the season ended and thought I'd skip the World Cup fantasy and just watch it like a normal person. However, work is quiet so I'm thinking I might just dip my toe in...

    Which is the best game to play and which are most of you all playing World Cup fantasy wise?

    Thank you

    1. G-Whizz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Don't know about best but I've currently got a few in my sights (and waiting for Maccy D's to go live)
      Telegraph
      FiT
      Superbru

    2. FFFrøg⭐️
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 24 days ago

      When the official game goes live at some point in the first week of June that’ll be the main one but atm the Telegraph and Fantasy iTeam games seem quite popular and Superbru appear to be running an interesting game as well.

    3. Adams6
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Thank you guys

  17. Hotdog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 24 days ago

    anyone know when the official world cup fantasy football game goes live?

    1. CloudSky
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Short answer: no
      Long answer: sometimes between today and the start of WC

    2. G-Whizz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      McD's 1st June I believe...

      1. FFFrøg⭐️
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 24 days ago

        Has this been confirmed by anyone other than one guy on Reddit who claims to be itk but with very little proof?

    3. Spencer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Squads finalised on 4th June, so you'd expect it to be after that.

  18. Team Cruel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 24 days ago

    "Last RT from @DiMarzio suggests Manchester United have agreed a deal with Shakhtar for Fred at £44 million and the club also retain an interest in one of Mario Mandzukic and Marko Arnautovic"

  19. New Article Posted