World Cup

World Cup 2018 – Team Analysis – Germany

Germany’s ability to share goals around their midfield and rotated strikers means that the best source of Fantasy returns in their squad is actually in defence.

Full-backs Joshua Kimmich and Jonas Hector look almost essential investments for World Cup Fantasy managers this summer.

Meanwhile, the positional classification of the experienced Thomas Muller demands our attention too.

ROAD TO QUALIFICATION

It is hard not to expect Germany to put up a strong defence of their World Cup title earned in Brazil four years ago. Joachim Low’s men won every single qualifying match and ended that campaign with a goal difference of +39. In ten fixtures they found the net a whopping 43 times, averaging 4.3 goals scored per game and they conceded just four. In the middle of qualifying, a mostly second-string squad was sent to Russia to contest the 2017 Confederations Cup and won the tournament at a canter.

Everything Germany needs to become the first nation since Brazil in 1962 to win back-to-back World Cups is at Low’s disposal. Those who have retired from international duty since the last finals have been replaced by players at their peak, the current squad has a healthy contingent of former winners and Low now has quality cover in virtually every position. Such is Germany’s strength in depth, Low was able to leave behind Leroy Sane who had his best ever club season in 2017/18 scoring 10 goals and assisting another 15 with Manchester City.

Low has alternated between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-3 formations of late and has his team operate with a high-press, quick counter-attack, accurate passing and good movement off the ball. The defence is comfortable in possession too while his wide players are very good at cutting inside. As ever, Germany look a well-oiled machine ready to do the business in Russia.

The only blotches on an otherwise perfect pre-World Cup report card are the fitness and form of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and the team’s record in recent friendlies. Neuer missed nearly all of the 2017/18 season campaign with a broken foot and only returned to international duty this month. The 32-year-old shot-stopper couldn’t stop Die Mannshaft suffering a 2-1 defeat to Austria in his first game back, and in five 2018 friendlies they’ve drawn three times and been beaten twice. If history has taught us anything, though, it’s that these results will mean nothing by the time Germany kick off against Mexico on June 17. They know exactly how to get mistakes out of their game before it really matters.

UEFA QUALIFYING

Most starts: Joshua Kimmich (10), Thomas Muller (9), Jonas Hector, Mats Hummels (both 8), Julian Draxler, Toni Kroos (both 7).

Most goals: Muller (5), Draxler, Leon Goretzka, Timo Werner (all 3), Kimmich, Hector, Sami Khedira, Mario Gomez (all 2).

Most assists: Kimmich (9), Muller (7), Hector, Mesut Ozil (both 4).

THE KEY TARGETS

In a squad where goals are very much shared around the team, it can be hard to find clear-cut Fantasy options. That’s where defender Joshua Kimmich (£6.5m on McDonald’s FIFA World Cup Fantasy) comes in to show off his involvement in a whopping 11 goals during qualifying. The Bayern Munich full-back’s marauding runs and advanced positions saw him score twice and assist nine times. No player from any position was the provider for more goals in Europe during qualifying. Add into the equation the strong clean sheet potential from six shut-outs in UEFA Group C and Kimmich really is an essential Fantasy asset for the World Cup.

Kimmich’s importance is matched by compatriot Thomas Muller (£9.5m) who involved himself in 12 of Germany’s qualifying goals, more than any other team-mate. Five were scored himself with another seven contributions coming in the form of assists. Not only is the Bayern Munich forward priced relatively modestly, he has also been classified as a midfielder on McDonalds, allowing him to earn extra points for goals and also receive clean sheet bonuses too. For a player with such World Cup pedigree, he scored five times at both the 2010 and 2014 tournaments, it would be remiss of Fantasy managers not to consider including Muller in their squads given his classification and price.

On the opposite flank to Kimmich is Jonas Hector (£6.5m) who also offers excellent Fantasy potential. The attacking Cologne left-back netted twice in qualifying and assisted four goals, the same number as creative midfielder Mesut Ozil (£9.0m). Hector has only started two of the last five friendlies but was an important player in qualification and should hold onto his place for the opener against Mexico.

The aforementioned Ozil has found his way back into Joachim’ Low’s favour since qualification ended, making him another key target. The Arsenal man has started four of the last five friendlies, scoring and assisting across those appearances. During qualification he was only named in the first XI five times but was still able to score once and assist four goals in 434 minutes of football. That’s a goal involvement every 86.8 minutes, so with Ozil’s increased chance of game-time at the World Cup and his role as the set-piece taker, he could be a steady source of Fantasy points.

THE LONG SHOTS

With five goals in qualifying not enough to earn Sandro Wagner a place in the squad, it is difficult to predict who will start up front for Germany. Timo Werner (£9.5m) and Mario Gomez (£8.5m) have been competing for the position and both offer vastly different attributes. The quicker and more mobile Werner scored three goals from two qualifying starts and featured from the beginning in three of the last five friendlies, adding another goal. The 22-year-old forward is in fantastic club form having scored 34 times in 63 Bundesliga appearances for RB Leipzig too. Gomez is the more experienced of the two and offers strength and height instead, netting twice from two qualifying starts and on the scoresheet eight times in 16 league appearances since joining Stuttgart in January. Werner’s spell in the side between November and March might suggest he has the upper hand although he’s not started since then, while Gomez was given the nod against Brazil.

Julian Draxler (£8.5m) is an important player having started seven qualifiers and four of the friendlies since a place in Russia was booked. The Paris Saint Germain midfielder scored three times in UEFA Group C and assisted once. What makes him more of a ‘long shot’ than a ‘key target’ is the fact that Draxler hasn’t contributed to a goal since qualifying ended and even then he was substituted off in five matches during that stage of the competition.

Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (£5.5m) is highly thought of by Low and could easily start ahead of Manuel Neuer (£6.0m), who has made just one start for the national team this season. Should the Barcelona man get the nod he is a slightly cheaper way of investing in Germany’s defence.

Rotation at centre-back makes Mats Hummels (£6.0m) the only one certain of a start in Russia. Both Antonio Rudiger (£5.5m) and Niklas Sule (£5.0m) have started games while Jerome Boateng (£6.0m) has been out injured, but the latter has started two friendlies and is pushing for a return to regular appearances in time for Russia.

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.

561 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KingZamalek
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Finally found the perfect team:
      5-2-3
      ElHadary - Uzoho
      Alba - Marcelo - Kimmich - Sidibe - Meunier
      Isco - Muller - (Nandez - C.Sanchez - N'diaye)
      Griezmann - Jesus - Lewandowski

    • Brosstan
        1 month, 8 days ago

        A) Muller, Carrasco, Sidibe
        B) Mandzukic, Isco, Granqvist

        1. Brosstan
            1 month, 8 days ago

            not McDs game btw

          • KingZamalek
              1 month, 8 days ago

              A

            • Kaptenen
                1 month, 8 days ago

                A

              • Pegboy
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  A. easily

              • maaaaloney
                  1 month, 8 days ago

                  Does anyone remember the substitution glitch from the last McDonald's World Cup game? There was some issue where if you subbed in a player that subsequently adjusted your formation, it automatically dropped a player furthest from the left or right? I can't remember the specifics, but I remember it ruining some players gameweeks and I don't want to make the same mistake week 1.

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

                    It was that the rightmost player would get benched when you changed formation. Looks like it can be avoided by explicitly choosing the players to be subbed in/out rather than using the formations button.

                    1. maaaaloney
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        Thanks, I hope you're right errrr correct. I don't remember messing with any formation buttons last year, but I remember the result pretty much ruining my mini league.

                  2. Aek1997
                      1 month, 8 days ago

                      Rate my team :
                      Caballero
                      Mendy . Kimmich . Meunier . Marcelo
                      Lingard . Carrasco . Isco
                      Neymar . Greizman . Iwobi
                      Bench : Rayan . Trezeguet . Hakimi . Yamaguchi

                      1. Hullcitytiger96
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        Lingard looked a class option but Rashford was so good that got to worry if Lingard starts or not now. Also Mendy unlikely to start all 3 games as nowhere near fit so maybe look elsewhere

                        1. Aek1997
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            Caballero
                            Guerrero . Kimmich . Meunier . Marcelo
                            Iniesta . Draxler . Carrasco
                            messi. Greizman . Iwobi
                            Bench : Rayan . Trezeguet . Hakimi . Sanchez
                            How about now ?
                            Confused btwn :Draxler ,Willian or Forsberg (Sweden)

                      2. 420king
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          If anyone is interested how the price changes work in this game, here's my formula:

                          +0.1m rise for cheap players = X points in last 3 rounds
                          +0.2m rise for cheap players = X+6 points in last 3 rounds
                          +0.1m rise for expensive players = X+3 points in last 3 rounds
                          -0.1m drop for all players = Y points & played in at least one game

                          (expensive players: 6m+ in GK and DEF, 8m+ in MID, 9m+ in FWD)

                          my guess for X and Y:
                          X=11-16
                          Y=3-5

                          1. 420king
                              1 month, 8 days ago

                              guess not

                          2. Rotation
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            I've nosed around the rules and seen no reference to being unable to play 2 chips in a week.

                            Can anyone confirm? Could you BB and WC in the same week, or BB and MC at the same time?

                            FPL always used to say explicitly that you couldn't. Might just be clinging to false hope...

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

                              someone yesterday clicked on a chip yesterday and discovered you cant unselect it. he also said he couldnt select both

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

                                Shame. Like the idea of a BB / WC combo in GW2

                              2. 420king
                                  1 month, 8 days ago

                                  this is correct

                            2. Juansilvagas
                                1 month, 8 days ago

                                Anyone else had any thoughts on Uribe from Colombia? Cheapy mid looks like a starter, good distribution.

                              • I Member
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                1 month, 8 days ago

                                Jesus or Mbappe?

                                Feel Jesus is more likely to score but could lose some minutes to Firmino.

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

                                  For me it's Neymar or no one, up front.
                                  Jesus still a work in progress whereas Neymar desperate to take over the mantle from Messi and that other fella

                                2. DantheManinaPan
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  1 month, 8 days ago

                                  I quite like Jesus, and Brazil's manager does too, I think. Obviously Neymar or Griezmann is preferable but if you're lacking money I think Jesus is probably a good bet, even if he doesn't get 270mins.

                              • Mahrez The Magician
                                  1 month, 8 days ago

                                  RMT : Itb: 0.5

                                  Muslera
                                  Mendy Danilo Ignashevic Jones
                                  Carrasco Isco James
                                  Griezmann Cavani Neymar

                                  Bench : Uzoho - Ndiaye - C.Sanchez - Varela

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

                                    Looking good , who's that Ignash fella though ?

                                    1. Mahrez The Magician
                                        1 month, 8 days ago

                                        Ignashevic : Russian CB

                                        1. chilli con kone
                                            1 month, 8 days ago

                                            38 years old. Will be 39 before the end of the world cup. Avoid

                                            1. chilli con kone
                                                1 month, 8 days ago

                                                Mendy and Jones is madness as well. Why would Mendy play 3 games in 10 or so days when he's barely played since he did his ACL?

                                                Jones highly unlikely to get a game. Too uncomfortable on the ball

                                      • Diaby's Doctor
                                          1 month, 8 days ago

                                          Repost Bottomed::

                                          Does Dybala get a start now Lanzini is out? Surely they will squeeze him in now?

                                          1. Kaptenen
                                              1 month, 8 days ago

                                              I think so

                                            • I Member
                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                              1 month, 8 days ago

                                              I still don't think so. Sampaoli doesn't seem to think Dybala and Messi can coexist.

                                            • Rotation
                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                              1 month, 8 days ago

                                              Not sure. It wasn't like Lanzini was keeping Dybala out because he's the better player.

                                              Argentina have a raft of talent, and whilst Dybala will see some game time it won't be as a Lanzini replacement.

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

                                                Exactly. Was a tactical choice, don't see how Lanzini's injury changes that.

                                          2. GertJan
                                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                            1 month, 8 days ago

                                            Trying to register by email on the FIFA fantasy site, but no matter what screen name I pick/choose, the site is not letting me sign up. Anyone else with issues?

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

                                              Have you played Mcdonalds fantasy before ? if so just put in email and say forgotten password.
                                              Had a similar problem at first trying to register as a new player

                                            2. Gregor
                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                              • Has Moderation Rights
                                              1 month, 8 days ago

                                              Has to be a unique name, try throwing some underscores and numbers in and then click away from it to see if accepted.

                                          3. Kaptenen
                                              1 month, 8 days ago

                                              Thoughts on Guedes from Portugal?

                                              1. Kaptenen
                                                  1 month, 8 days ago

                                                  Not the MacDonalds game btw

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

                                                    Where? M or F? Price?

                                                    1. Kaptenen
                                                        1 month, 8 days ago

                                                        Bethard, mid, 8mil, its between him or dele for me

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

                                                          Too expensive, it’s between him and André Silva not sure what Santos will choose. For me Guedes is a no brainer, but we never know.

                                                  2. Debauchy
                                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                    1 month, 8 days ago

                                                    on the radar but no rush with playing Spain first up

                                                • dunas_dog
                                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                  1 month, 8 days ago

                                                  Is Dembele likely to start for France or best to avoid? Price makes him an OK 3rd striker option.

                                                  1. Kaptenen
                                                      1 month, 8 days ago

                                                      Avoid

                                                  2. Jòse
                                                      1 month, 8 days ago

                                                      Any ideas who to replace Lanzini with, for 6-7.5m?

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

                                                        Carascoo

                                                    • melvinmbabazi
                                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                      1 month, 8 days ago

                                                      Is Caballero starting keeper for Argentina?

                                                      1. chilli con kone
                                                          1 month, 8 days ago

                                                          Nobody knows it will be a guess as not much in it

                                                      2. DantheManinaPan
                                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                        1 month, 8 days ago

                                                        Ok, first draft time!
                                                        Whaddya think!?

                                                        Gallese, Uzoho
                                                        Marcelo, Carvahal, Sidibe, Tagliafico, Varela
                                                        Muller, Isco, Golovin, Carrasco, C.Sanchez
                                                        Griezmann, Jesus, Werner

                                                        Plan is 4-3-3 / 3-4-3 / 5-2-3 depending on how the players do during the rounds. Any glaring errors? (I'm very happy with the front three so may take quite some persuading to get me to switch those around!)

                                                      3. Brosstan
                                                          1 month, 8 days ago

                                                          Pretty happy with this team:
                                                          Muslera
                                                          Marcelo - Kimmich - Hector - Dahlsgaard - Granqvist
                                                          Hazard - Carrasco
                                                          Neymar - Lukaku - Muller

                                                          Playing the Norwegian WC game.

                                                        • dunas_dog
                                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                          1 month, 8 days ago

                                                          A Neymar Cavani (Dembele)
                                                          B Jesus Suarez (Griezman or Lukaku)

                                                        • Tikka MoSalah
                                                            1 month, 8 days ago

                                                            Suarez worth the extra £1m over Cavani?

                                                            1. Gregor
                                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                              • Has Moderation Rights
                                                              1 month, 8 days ago

                                                              Probably not.

                                                            2. Brosstan
                                                                1 month, 8 days ago

                                                                no, but he will be a nice differential if you want a higher risk pick.

                                                            3. BlzE_94
                                                                1 month, 8 days ago

                                                                best 4.5 mid and best 4.5 gk on mc donalds ff? (Already have uzoho)

                                                                1. bitm2007
                                                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                  1 month, 8 days ago

                                                                  Carlos Sanchez is the only nailed 4.5m i'm aware of, but he's never scored in 80 odd internationals so don't expect many points !

                                                                  I'm on the Iranian keeper, could get CS point against Morrocco and should get plenty of save points against Spain and Portugal.

                                                              • Hullcitytiger96
                                                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                1 month, 8 days ago

                                                                What are peoples thoughts on the best 4.5m mid? Looking at Hamed from Egypt at the minute

                                                                1. The Nuttman
                                                                    1 month, 8 days ago

                                                                    Probably NDiaye and the Colombian Sanchez

                                                                    1. bitm2007
                                                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                      1 month, 8 days ago

                                                                      NDiaye is 5.0m

                                                                2. Jòse
                                                                    1 month, 8 days ago

                                                                    Griezman Jesus Messi
                                                                    KDB Ljajic Coutinho
                                                                    Varela Smolnikov Carvajal Kimmich
                                                                    Szczesny
                                                                    Uzoho Beresynski S. Sane Inui

                                                                    Opinions??

                                                                  • TheProfesssor
                                                                      1 month, 2 days ago

                                                                      A. Muslera + Cueva

                                                                      B. Caballero + Carrasco

                                                                      also have Uzoho, realise he plays same day as Cab but cant see Nigeria keeping any clean sheets anyway

                                                                      Alternatively, any other good 5.0 GK options?

                                                                    • MMN
                                                                        1 month, 2 days ago

                                                                        Godin or Guerreiro?