The return of the 2022 FIFA World Cup means one thing, more fantasy football. FIFA World Cup fantasy is slightly different to Fantasy Premier League, but most of the same principles apply, pick players that you think will score the most points. For the group stages, there are three matchdays for the three rounds of games, while the knockout stages have four matchdays from the round of 16 to the final.
Here is my fantasy football team for matchday 1 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
I have gone for two mid-priced goalkeepers that should have a chance of racking up some clean sheets and save points rather than going for any premium options that are more likely to not concede.
The cheapest goalkeeper from one of the traditional big teams is Portugal’s Diogo Costa at 5 million. Portugal are a team that prioritises defensive solidity under manager Fernando Santos and have a relatively easy group with games against Ghana, South Korea, and Uruguay. The other keeper I have gone for is Wales shot-stopper, Danny Ward. Fantasy football managers playing FPL have greatly benefited from Ward’s heroics for Leicester City over the last few weeks and will be hoping that the Welsh shot-stopper continues that form for his country at the FIFA World Cup.
Wales are likely to concede against England at the group stages but have two easy fixtures against Iran and the USA that could bring some points.
The money I have saved from going cheaper with the goalkeepers will be invested in defence. Defenders offer the most value in fantasy football due to their price, and I have looked to bring attacking full backs from big nations into my fantasy football team due to the potential of attacking returns and clean sheets.
In terms of the premium options, I have brought in Dutch wing-back Denzel Dumfries – one of the most attacking defenders in fantasy football – as well as England right-back Kieran Trippier, due to his set-piece delivery. Argentina also have three easy group fixtures against Poland, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia that could bring some clean sheet returns, and the easiest route into their defence is Nicholas Otamendi at 5 million.
Alex Telles is also likely to start for Brazil at left-back and offers incredible value at his price, while Danish wing-back Joakim Maehle has an excellent opening game against Tunisia at the World Cup.
My team strategy involves not overspending on my midfield and saving my budget for the premium forwards. Jamal Musiala has had an outstanding season with Bayern Munich and offers excellent value at 8 million. Steven Bergwijn is listed as a midfielder in the fantasy game but is the favourite to start up front for the Netherlands, while the Danish duo of Christian Eriksen and Andreas Skov Olsen have shown some stunning form for their country in the World Cup qualifiers and Nations League matches.
The final pick in my midfield is Ghana winger Kamaldeen Sulemana, a budget enabler for my fantasy football squad for 4 million.
I have saved the bulk of my fantasy football budget for the forward line and have gone for the three PSG forwards, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar. All three have great opening fixtures against Australia, Serbia, and Saudi Arabia respectively and should be amongst the top scorers in the group stages of the FIFA World Cup.