Scout Notes

Lukaku and Lewandowski net braces in final friendlies

Romelu Lukaku and Robert Lewandowski furthered their cases for inclusion in World Cup Fantasy squads with braces in their final warm-up matches.

Elsewhere, Japan’s modestly-priced differentials finally got a win under their new manager ahead of competing in Group H.

We’ve got all the goals and assists from the latest and final international matches before the World Cup begins.

BELGIUM 4-1 COSTA RICA

Romelu Lukaku scored twice and registered an assist as a strong Belgium team came from behind to thrash Costa Rica.

The Manchester United forward put the home side in front after Bryan Ruiz had netted Costa Rica’s opener and Dries Mertens had equalised. Eden Hazard provided the assist for Merten’s strike.

Mertens then became the provider in the 42nd minute when Lukaku scored his first of the night. Substitute Nacer Chadli registered the assist for his second.

Lukaku capped off his performance by assisting Michy Batshuauyi’s strike just after the hour.

BELGIUM XI (3-4-2-1): Courtois; Vertonghen, Boyata (Dendoncker 66’), Alderweireld; Carrasco, Witsel, De Bruyne (Tielemans 71’), Meunier (Chadli 46’); E Hazard (Dembele 70’), Mertens (Batshuayi 52’); Lukaku (T Hazard 65’).

COSTA RICA XI (3-4-2-1): Navas; Duarte, Gonzalez, Acosta; Oviedo (Calvo 46’), Tejeda, Borges (Azofeifa 76’), Gamboa (Smith 66’); Bolanos (Guzman 62’), Ruiz (Campbell 66’); Urena (Venegas 46’).

POLAND 4-0 LITHUNIA

Robert Lewandowski scored a brace in Poland’s thrashing of Lithuania to take his record to 37 goals in 37 games under national manager Adam Nawalka.

He fired in the opener after 19 minutes after a cross from defender Maciej Rybus before doubling the leading in the 32nd with a free-kick which hit the bar on its way in.

The Bayern Munich forward was substituted at half-time, replaced by Lukasz Teodorczyk, but Poland did not lose any potency going forward.

21-year-old Dawid Kownachi made it 3-0 in the 71st minute with his first international goal since earning a call-up to the senior team.

Jakub Blaszczykowski rounded off the rout in the 82nd minute converting a penalty in the absence of Lewandowski.

Lukasz Fabianski started the game in goal but was replaced by Wojciech Szczesny at half-time.

POLAND XI (4-4-1-1): Fabianski (Szczesny 46’); Rybus (Blaszczykowski 70’), Cionek, Bednarek (Pazdan 53’), Jedrzejczyk (Piszczek 46’); Kownacki, Goralski, Krychowiak (Zielinski 77’), Bereszynski; Milik; Lewandowski (Teodorczyk 46’).

JAPAN 4-2 PARAGUAY

Shinji Kagawa was the star of the show as Japan got their first win under new manager Akira Nishino.

The midfielder started his first match in any competition since February.

Paraguay took the lead when Oscar Romero converted Antonio Bareiro’s pass in the 32nd minute and went into half-time still in the lead.

A 12-minute brace from Takashi Inui got things back on track for Japan, with former Manchester United man Kagawa providing the assist for both goals.

The Samurai Blue extended their lead in the 77th minute when Gaku Shibasaki’s corner was deflected into the net by Federico Santander.

Richard Ortiz pulled one back for the visitors in the 90th minute but Kagawa got his deserved goal in stoppage time to round the scoring off.

Shinji Okazaki enjoyed a rare start and played 74 minutes while regular at the back Maya Yoshida was an unused substitute.

Elsewhere left-back Hiroki Sakai, who has three assists in the build-up to the World Cup, missed out on a starting place again but did feature as a second-half substitute.

JAPAN XI (4-2-3-1): Higashiguchi (Nakamura 46’); G Sakai, Shoji, Ueda, Endo (H Sakai 46’); Yamaguchi, Shibashaki; Inui (Usami 79’), Kagawa, Muto (Osaka 64’); Okazaki (Haraguchi 74’).

SENEGAL 2-0 SOUTH KOREA

Moussa Konate’s second-half penalty sealed Senegal’s first win since their World Cup qualification campaign ended in November.

The defeat was Korea’s third in their last five matches, having also only won just once since booking a place in Russia.

Senegal took the lead in the 67th minute after Kim Young-gwon turned into his own net.

Both Sadio Mane and Son Heung-min started the match for their respective nations and both lasted the full 90 minutes.

SENEGAL XI (4-4-2): K N’Diaye; Koulibaly, Sabaly, Sane, Wague; Sakho, Kouyate, A N’Diaye, Sarr; Mane, Niang (Konate 46’).

SOUTH KOREA XI (4-4-2): Cho; Jang, Kim Y-G, Kim M-W, Lee Y; Son, Koo, Ki, Lee J-S; Lee S-W, Kim S-W.

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

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.

World Cup Data
We’re delighted to offer World Cup data as an early addition to our regular season offering to help those playing Fantasy games over the summer.

We’ve secured Opta data, not only for the tournament itself, which begins on June 14 but also from the Qualifying Rounds for Europe and South America and for international friendlies involving the participating nations. This includes all the matches played right up to the tournament kick-off.

Just to stress, this World Cup offering comes packaged with the regular Fantasy Football Scout membership.

Check out this new trailer previewing the World Cup content below…

1,230 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Aubaaaaa
      7 days, 7 hours ago

      Who is the first choice keepe for Poland?

      1. Daniello
          7 days, 6 hours ago

          Szczeny imo

      2. 007-BALEGIUM&ENGLAND
          7 days, 7 hours ago

          Hi, any thought about Muller vs Eriksen?
          Thinking that Eriksen form is better than Muller so I have Eriksen.
          Ta.

          1. NoWayJose
              7 days, 7 hours ago

              Came here with the same dilemma. Still unsure.

            • ★Kuntheman(c)★
                7 days, 7 hours ago

                Leaning Muller because he had a better system around him and he’s going for the record. I also think Peru is heavily underrated on here.

                1. NoWayJose
                    7 days, 7 hours ago

                    Agree. I've gone Muller too. Werners original winger roots make him run channels and I see Muller get into the box often as a result, in recent games where both have started.
                    Also pedigree, better team.

                2. Bun Rab
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  7 days, 6 hours ago

                  I have both. Muller as likely to go further.

              • ★Kuntheman(c)★
                  7 days, 7 hours ago

                  So if the US, Mexico, and Canada are hosting the WC 2026...does that mean there won’t be any Concacaf qualifying?

                  1. NorthernBoysLoveGravs
                      7 days, 7 hours ago

                      Debating this at work haha.
                      64 team World Cup mate so, all of the CONACAF would qualify haha.

                    • jarvish
                        7 days, 7 hours ago

                        6 CONCACAF teams - the 3 hosts, plus 3 qualifiers. There could be another through the play-offs too.

                        1. ★Kuntheman(c)★
                            7 days, 7 hours ago

                            Sounds like an easier WC

                            1. jarvish
                                7 days, 7 hours ago

                                48 teams so there is going to be a lot of shite

                          • NorthernBoysLoveGravs
                              7 days, 7 hours ago

                              Pencilling myself in for a WC trip! Russia & Qatar are NOK

                              1. jarvish
                                  7 days, 6 hours ago

                                  Potentially matches in Orlando - go and watch the footy while you pack off the wife and kids to Disneyworld. Everyone's a winner.

                                  1. NorthernBoysLoveGravs
                                      7 days, 6 hours ago

                                      Wish I could say "what kids?" but 8 years ahead..

                              2. NoWayJose
                                  7 days, 7 hours ago

                                  Pickford ElKajoui
                                  Meunier Danilo Tagliafico Pavard Varela
                                  Muller JRodriguez Carrasco Meza Belhanda
                                  Lukaku Jesus Cavani

                                  Think I may never be in better shape for a bench boost. Thoughts?

                                  1. NoWayJose
                                      7 days, 7 hours ago

                                      Anyone?

                                    • Jacky boy
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      7 days, 7 hours ago

                                      Jesus vs swis is a difficult game
                                      Trippier a better option than pickford
                                      Varela

                                      1. Jacky boy
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        7 days, 7 hours ago

                                        Just see varela

                                      2. NoWayJose
                                          7 days, 7 hours ago

                                          I'd love Trippier too but Muslera is 5.5, Varela is 4.5

                                      3. Hazard is an FPL legend
                                          7 days, 6 hours ago

                                          Haha. Looking at an almost similar squad. Also thinking bb

                                          1. NoWayJose
                                              7 days, 6 hours ago

                                              Cheers

                                        • Loftus-Queef
                                            7 days, 7 hours ago

                                            Would I be crazy to go without Brazil attack in the first round? I think they will beat Switzerland but can see that game being 1-0 or 2-0. Thinking of going heavy on them from 2nd round onwards.

                                            1. NorthernBoysLoveGravs
                                                7 days, 7 hours ago

                                                What's the point? Just bench them and save yourself the points hits.

                                                1. Loftus-Queef
                                                    7 days, 7 hours ago

                                                    BB 1st round and wildcarding 2nd round.

                                                    1. NorthernBoysLoveGravs
                                                        7 days, 7 hours ago

                                                        Blowing your load!

                                                2. Aubaaaaa
                                                    7 days, 7 hours ago

                                                    Best 4.5m defender?

                                                    1. ★Kuntheman(c)★
                                                        7 days, 7 hours ago

                                                        Pavard Varela Mojico Advincula

                                                        1. 007-BALEGIUM&ENGLAND
                                                            7 days, 6 hours ago

                                                            Mojica nailed to start?

                                                        2. Wenger Knows Best
                                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                          7 days, 7 hours ago

                                                          Akanji, Pavard, Dalsgaard, Varela, Mojica, Hakimi

                                                        3. Loftus-Queef
                                                            7 days, 7 hours ago

                                                            I think it's Mojica personally.

                                                        4. NorthernBoysLoveGravs
                                                            7 days, 7 hours ago

                                                            Can anyone try to explain the wildcard week 2 logic other than fixture swings? Feels like a ridiculous tactic when you could just bench assets/risk blanks for one week to avoid hits.

                                                            1. Loftus-Queef
                                                                7 days, 7 hours ago

                                                                Playing the fixtures.

                                                                For example, you don't really want any Spain players in the first round. 2nd and 3rd round I'd say they're essential

                                                                1. NorthernBoysLoveGravs
                                                                    7 days, 6 hours ago

                                                                    Not sure a few players are worth a spunked wildcard though?
                                                                    I plan to hold for Week 5 when most players are eliminated and only 3 transfers.

                                                                2. Loftus-Queef
                                                                    7 days, 6 hours ago

                                                                    I know you mentioned 'other than fixture swings' but fixtures are gonna be huge.

                                                                3. 007-BALEGIUM&ENGLAND
                                                                    7 days, 6 hours ago

                                                                    Hi, how about this, which one better?
                                                                    A. Coutinho, Dalsgaard (have GJesus)
                                                                    B. Muller, Idowu
                                                                    Thanks.

                                                                    1. Bun Rab
                                                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                      7 days, 6 hours ago

                                                                      A to get more points total i would say.

                                                                      1. 007-BALEGIUM&ENGLAND
                                                                          7 days, 6 hours ago

                                                                          But Im going without Muller then. Surely will need him in knock out stages.

                                                                          1. Bun Rab
                                                                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                            7 days, 6 hours ago

                                                                            See how he does in the group stages then reassess if needed. I have Muller anyway so we're covered. Ps New article.

                                                                            1. 007-BALEGIUM&ENGLAND
                                                                                7 days, 6 hours ago

                                                                                Ok, thanks.

                                                                      2. deyell
                                                                          7 days, 6 hours ago

                                                                          Gallese or El Kajoui?

                                                                          Uzoho is on my bench.

                                                                        • socho
                                                                            7 days, 6 hours ago

                                                                            Is Cahill nailed for England?? Cheers!

                                                                          • DarkSideOfTheLoon
                                                                              7 days, 5 hours ago

                                                                              1) Cueva or Ljajic
                                                                              2) Werner or Jesus

                                                                              Thanks a lot

                                                                            • csemis10
                                                                                7 days, 5 hours ago

                                                                                Best 4.5 mid ?

                                                                              • veranceftw
                                                                                  7 days, 3 hours ago

                                                                                  El-Kajoui
                                                                                  Pavard-Varela-Trippier-Meunier-Kimmich
                                                                                  Eriksen-Ziyach-James-Meza-Inui
                                                                                  Cavani-Jesus-Lukaku

                                                                                  I think I'm done here after 24 hours rambling on this. I really would enjouy some suggestions and your insights about the lineup

                                                                                  Regards

                                                                                • gebinsky
                                                                                    7 days, 3 hours ago

                                                                                    Why everyone go for Meza and Pavard?
                                                                                    Are you sure that Sidibe will be on the bench?

                                                                                      1. gebinsky
                                                                                          6 days, 23 hours ago

                                                                                          thank u a lot!

                                                                                    1. Tampan Sakti
                                                                                        6 days, 4 hours ago

                                                                                        How to change captain and subtitutions?