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World Cup Fantasy Football Tips, Group Stage: Defenders

Júlio César, one of our World Cup Fantasy Football tips for the group stage
César… Unbelievably still QPR’s player, technically (Image: Майоров Владимир)

As educated guesses go, our World Cup Fantasy Football tips for group stage defenders (and goalkeepers) are 25 per cent more educated and a whopping 83 per cent more guessed than your average World Cup Fantasy Football tips for group stage defenders (and goalkeepers).

Bear that in mind, and bear also that our World Cup Fantasy Football tips are based on the official FIFA version of the game – mind you, the principles should apply more or less across the board.

Probably.

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Anyway, on with the group stage defenders (and goalkeepers)…

World Cup Fantasy Football Tips, Group Stage: Defenders (and goalkeepers)

Nice fancy heading there.

The group stage encompasses of course three games for each team, and although you can rotate your squad within it you are not allowed to make any transfers until the knockout stage.

You therefore face a choice of either gambling on three or four expensive defenders while padding out the rest of your required seven selections with ‘cheapest possibles’, or try to make it more balanced in case of injuries and/or suspensions.

We’re tempted to take the former gamble with a 3-4-3 formation in mind, saving as much as possible for elsewhere in the squad by lining up with a first-choice three, a reasonably competent and likely-to-feature deputee, then the three cheapest players you can find in the hope that you don’t have to rely on them at any point.

Ditto with goalkeepers: do you go with one good goalkeeper and two bargain basement understudies, or try to inject some balance with maybe a couple of ‘okay’ goalies in case something happens to either?

We’re going for the one good/two cheap-as-possibles approach, which shall no doubt come back to bite us when our chosen ‘keeper gets injured, sent off and hit by a falling anvil all in one move.

So, who’s likeliest to score points in the group stage? Júlio César’s continued reign as Brazil’s number 1 may strike as comical on these shores but – with games against Cameroon, Croatia and Mexico and home advantage in all three, such is the host nation’s privilege – he looks worth a punt at £5.5m.

With some tough groups knocking about, Brazil’s defensive options look to be worth availing of. The likes of David Luiz and Dani Alves might even get you points going further forward as well, albeit they don’t come cheap at £7.5m apiece.

Italy full-back Ignazio Abate could be good value at £5m, Belgium’s Jan Vertonghen ditto at £5.5m. And how about Leighton Baines at £6m? Provided he’s still on corners, including him could be fruitful.

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