With the World Cup now a week old, our World Cup fantasy game is starting to take shape as far as early points-winners go. Germany and the Netherlands have enjoyed big opening wins against Iberian opposition, while Mexico have surprised most pundits by providing the best defensive displays so far in the competition with two clean sheets from their opening two games including one against hosts – and hot favourites to capture the trophy – Brazil.
These defensive performances mean that the Mexican defensive line is among the top points-scorers in our competition, with six out of the top eight players playing for Miguel Herrera’s squad – the other two being eighth placed Mats Hummels, and top-dog Thomas Müller, both of Germany.
The difference in this list is that Mexico have had two games in which their players have been able to nab points, while Germany have only had the one – making Müller’s position at the top all the more impressive. His 80 points stem largely from a hat-trick in the Germans’ opening game against Portugal, while Mexico custodian Guillermo Ochoa is level on points owing to the two clean sheets he has kept between the sticks for El Tricolor.
Elsewhere in the list, Brazil and the Netherlands have both performed well on individual levels, with host-nation duo Oscar and Julio Cesar tied on 40 points each alongside a host of other players, including France’s Karim Benzema and the Dutchmen’s former Chelsea midfielder Arjen Robben. Speaking of the Netherlands, striker Robin van Persie did well against world champions Spain during their 5-1 demolition day, and nabbed 35 points to himself thanks to his brace of goals – a booking did reduce that tally from 40 though.
As far as goalscoring goes, Müller leads the charts with three, with van Persie and Benzema tied on two – but the aforementioned Robben and host nation star Neymar have two each as well, meaning that the race for the Golden Boot is not really separated by an early-day favourite. Goals win points, though, and with Holland forward Stefan de Vrij nabbing himself a goal during the win over Spain too he has 15 points, which isn’t too bad really – especially when compared to his €7.00m valuation, giving him a decent points-to-value ratio of 2.1.
At this stage, as mentioned before, Mexico dominate the defensive areas of the pitch with two clean sheets from two games. That said, other sides such as Germany, Iran, France, Colombia and Nigeria are also yet to concede – so other sides could yet enter the fray that the boys in green have made their own during these early stages. Any fantasy managers with much of a Mexican flavour towards their back line will have enjoyed reaping those benefits massively so far!
For various reasons, 89 players presently sir in negative figures, with a surprising name right at the bottom of the pile. Spain no. 1 goalkeeper Iker Casillas has a shocking -45 tally owing entirely to the 1-5 loss at the hands of a nation managed by Man Utd-bound Louis van Gaal. Spain and Portugal tend to dominate the less desirable end of such figures, though it would appear debatable whether or not this trend continues, so don’t go about panicking and getting rid of your Iberian stars just yet fantasy bosses!