Monday, May 17, 2010

World Cup Preview: Brazil

Brazil are the second favourites (5/1) for the whole tournament thanks to good form in the qualifiers (top of their group) and an improved 'team' concept that should lead to a tighter defence (emphasis on the word 'should' rather than 'has'). Brazil have been drawn in Group G along with Portugal, Cote d'Ivoire and North Korea which is tough but should not prevent their advance to the next round.

A week 1 fixture against North Korea is beyond appetising and with 15 transfers to use in the group stages it makes alot of sense to bring a couple of Brazilians in for this week and move them later if they aren't hitting the highs of previous years.

Fantasy Picks
The team has been fairly unsettled during the qualifiers so it is hard to pick the final XI but there are several players who should feature in early games and therefore deserve fantasy consideration.

Kaka (MD)
Undoubtedly one of the top picks for this year's competition, Kaka is the only true world class attacking presence in the current Brazil squad and will be the lynchpin of everything they do. Despite not being regarded as having a great season, Kaka added 8 goals and 5 assists for Real this year and I like him to contribute goals and assist for this team too. The introduction of more steel into the Brazil midfield (Gilberto Silva/Ramires) should allow Kaka the flexibility to stay forward and lead the Brazil line.

Dani Alves (DF)
This pick is a riskier than it looks as the presence of Maicon makes it possible that one of this pair is benched. However, Alves featured alongside Maicon, taking his place in midfield, against Bolivia and Chile and his form for Barcelona should ensure his continued presence in the Brazil team. The wing backs don't play quite as an advanced role as Roberto Carlos and Cafu once did but nevertheless an increased clean sheet possibility (10 clean sheets in 18 qualifiers) along with a continued attacking presence should make Alves a top fantasy pick.

Luis Fabiano (FD)
Not a lock to start but has stated the majority of the qualifiers when fit and has been in good form for Sevilla this year (21 goals in 34). Someone in this team has to score goals as there is just too much talent to keep them down and with more defensive midfielders in the side, you feel they must come from one of the forwards. I find it hard to believe that Robinho plays all the games and with only four strikers in the squad (Fabiano, Nilmar, Robinho and Grafite) I think Fabiano gets a place in game one and becomes an interesting differentiator pick.

Possible First Team
  1. Julio Cesar
  2. Maicon
  3. Gilberto
  4. Luisao
  5. Lucio
  6. Gilberto Silva
  7. Dani Alves
  8. Felipe Melo
  9. Kaka
  10. Nilmar
  11. Luis Fabiano
Verdict
It appears to be safe that Brazil will escape from a tricky group and then see off the runner up of Group H (Switzerland/Chile/Honduras) to make the quarter finals. With no upsets they would then face the Netherlands and I can see Brazil losing there. The team is solid and I'm totally on board the 'team concept' but they just lack the weapons that some of the previous Brazil teams, and other squads this year have. It's easy to back Brazil and I might look foolish here come July 11 but I'm not picking them to get out the of Quarters.

Stay tuned this week for previews on all the top teams in this year's competition along with some ideas on how to play the strategy of the game.

5 comments:

auburn.tigers2011 said...

So in this SkySports league, do you make transfers on a day to day basis based on the matchups that day?

Chris Glover said...

From what I gather you get 15 transfers to use in the groups and 15 to use in the knock out phase. It seems you could have a Brazil defender on the Monday and then bring in an Italian defender on the Tuesday if he was playing. In effect you have 33 plays which you can divide in a number of ways:

11 players x 3 games
5 players x 3 games, 18 players x 1

I am thinking to employ the lattr - get a core of players who I think will play well over three games and hopefully advance, and then fill in my squad on a daily basis based on matchup.

David said...

fyi Chris, the Mcdonald's FL looks a lot better http://en.mcdonalds.fantasy.fifa.com/M/rules.mc

auburn.tigers2011 said...

I agree with David after putting together teams on both sites and looking at the rules

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