It’s been a fantastic Round of 16, with matches going all the way, right up to the wire. Like seriously, why can’t they just put all that effort into the normal 90 minutes of play and save us from all the heart attacks. But then where’s the fun in that now J. Only the top team from each group has survived to go through to the Quarter Finals of this beautiful competition. You might get a bit surprised with our team selection for this round, however we think you’ll understand the logic behind it as you read on.
Let’s get to it then. Here are our top 23 picks for the Quarter Finals:
Jasper Cillessen (Team: Netherlands; Price: 3M)
We’re sticking with him to be our guy between the sticks. Confirmed starter, cheap price and a good save rate keeps him in our good books. We’re not going to underestimate any team from now on, as Costa Rica could pull a goal or two. Although we could be jinxing it as well.
Rais M’bolhi (Team: Algeria; Price: 1M)
Algeria have been knocked out. We know. But we’re sticking with him only to complete our 23 man squad. His cut price of 1 million is too hard to resist. Since we never go ahead with subbing keepers, might as well keep him as a good luck charm.
Alireza Haghighi (Team: Iran; Price: 1M)
As much as we love his name, but we love his price more.
Mats Hummels (Team: Germany; Price: 7M)
We had almost switched him out for Mertesacker due to slight concerns of him being benched for the match. But thank god the official team sheets are released one hour prior, allowing us to get him back on the team in time. Benzema and company are going to have a difficult time trying to get past a rock-solid defensive line led by the in form Hummels.
Daniel Van Buyten (Team: Belgium; Price: 4.5M)
Currently he is the most influential defender in the game. Ball recovery and pass completion rates are sky high with Daniel. He’ll be tasked to catch Messi, but that won’t be easy at all. We’re keeping faith in his aerial prowess to deliver the goods.
Federico Fernandez (Team: Argentina; Price: 5M)
With Marcus Rojo suspended, we’re going ahead with Federico to deliver those expert crosses in the box and fetch us those valuable points.
Junior Diaz (Team: Costa Rica; Price: 3.5M)
A regular starter for Costa Rica, with decent ball recovery rates. Seeing how Netherlands haven’t been all that prolific in front of goal in their recent matches, Costa Rica have a good chance of keeping a clean sheet if they defend deep.
Cristian Zapata (Team: Colombia; Price: 4M)
Colombian defense is a worthy investment, especially with the form they’re in. Zapata would be the right defender for this purpose.
Pejman Montazeri (Team: Iran; Price: 1M)
Another one of our squad completion players.
Rafik Halliche (Team: Algeria; Price: 1M)
You’ll get the picture.
James Rodriguez (Team: Columbia; Price: 8M)
Still is the highest rated midfielder in the game. What a stunning goal he scored in the last game against Uruguay. This young talent is looking relentless, and all the hype about him does not seem to bother his form one bit. If not tackled by the Brazilian defense, he could be responsible to show the hosts the door. He’s a worthy captain contender, if your captain fails on the first day.
Philip Lahm (Team: Germany; Price: 7M)
His surging runs forward, along with successful passes and blocks makes him fit to return a good score. We predict Germany to go through, although you can never be sure of anything these days.
Kevin De Bruyne (Team: Belgium; Price: 5.5M)
His goal and assist from the last game, puts his form at the highest level. Will definitely be selected to start against Argentina and attack the goal right from the blow of the whistle.
Mathieu Valbuena (Team: France; Price: 5M)
We just can’t turn our back on this little guy, no matter who he has to face. His pass completion and ball deliveries in the box is amongst the best in the tournament. Expect a good return from him.
Yeltsin Tejeda (Team: Costa Rica; Price: 3.5M)
Costa Rica could be the dark horse in the tournament, and Yeltsin could be our budget friendly knight. Play him as a sub incase any other player fails to deliver.
Hashem Beikzadeh (Team: Iran; Price: 1M)
Yup. You guessed it right. Chosen just to complete the squad.
Bakhtiar Rahmani (Team: Iran; Price: 1M)
Another one like Hashem.
Nabil Bentaleb (Team: Algeria; Price: 1M)
Retained again thanks to his price.
Lionel Messi (Team: Argentina; Price: 10M)
Just cannot be avoided. His form is out of this world. If he can continue his form, then Argentina could make history once again.
Arjen Robben (Team: Netherlands; Price: 9M)
Responsible for almost every goal of the Netherlands so far. His passion and pace are clearly visible, and can no longer be dismissed. We just had to get him in. We sacrificed RVP for him, only due to his consistency.
Thomas Mueller (Team: Germany; Price: 8M)
His instincts and anticipation of the game are unparalleled. Guaranteed to start and worthy to be the captain of your team, since his game is the first to be played. Chipped in with an assist in the last game against Algeria, but will definitely be hungry for some more goals.
Neymar (Team: Brazil; Price: 9M)
All eyes will be on him to lift Brazil and take them to the Semi Finals. He was quiet in the last game, but we expect him to shine in this round. If Mueller fails as a captain, then make sure you choose Neymar as your next. He’s also on set piece duty to give you that extra bit of confidence.
Abdelmoumene Djabou (Team: Algeria; Price: 1M)
Our budget friendly helper once again.