The countdown to the World Cup is now measured in hours. After months of anticipation, it’s almost time to put everything in your life on hold and get reacquainted with your sofa for the next four weeks.
And part of the World Cup is getting one over your mates by proving your knowledge of Panama is better than theirs. Our friends at FansBet have the perfect opportunity to do just that with the first-round Fantasy game.
Best of all, the game is FREE to enter and there’s a guaranteed prize pool of £25,000 on offer! All you need to do is sign up by clicking here, select a squad with a £100million budget and get stuck into watching every minute of the action.
Need some help selecting your dream team for the first round of group fixtures? Look no further, we’ve got five value picks to help turn your team from also-rans into winners.
With Arsenal flop Nicklas Bendtner missing the World Cup due to injury, Tottenham star Christian Eriksen will be the Danes’ most dangerous player by a distance. But it will also mean responsibility devolving to some of the side’s lesser-known players.
One of those is RB Leipzig attacker Poulsen and there will be a particular onus on the 23-year-old to reduce the goal-scoring burden on Denmark’s forwards after netting in the 2-0 friendly win over Mexico on Saturday.
With just three goals scored in their last four Denmark’s attack has not been prolific in the build-up to the World Cup. But they kick off their Group C campaign with a must-win game against Peru – competing at their first tournament since 1982 – the perfect opportunity for Poulsen to get among the goals.
But, just as at Stamford Bridge, the former Manchester United transfer target is quietly effective in what he does and, and has three assists in his last four for the Seleção – including in the 3-0 trouncing of Austria on Sunday.
Brazil head into the tournament as favourites, priced at 4/1 with FansBet, and kick off Group E with a tie against a Switzerland side generously ranked sixth in the world. They will be a tough nut to crack but with the attacking power Brazil have that shouldn’t prove impossible.
Reportedly an Arsenal transfer target earlier in the summer, the absence of ex-Manchester United man Zlatan Ibrahimović means the 26-year-old will be – by some distance – the Swedes’ most important player.
No member of Janne Anderson’s squad won possession more often in qualification than Forsberg (59) or had more shots (38). Against a stubborn South Korea side in their Group F opener, the Swedes must win if they have hopes of advancing from a group which contains reigning champions Germany.
One of the most common traps when selecting a Fantasy team is the overlook the importance of the backline and simply buy the cheapest defenders available. However, with careful planning, you can maximise the effectiveness of your defence and Barcelona star Alba is a shrewd pick.
Spain, champions in 2010, start their campaign in Group B with a game against 2016 European Championship winners Portugal in what promises to be the game of the first round. But the Portuguese – Cristiano Ronaldo aside – are not particularly menacing going forward.
They will, however, put up a stubborn defence and the pace of Alba – who was third among full-backs in Europe for touches in the opposition box per 90 (3.24) in qualifying – will give La Roja another dimension to their attack.
Outside of the usual suspects, few forwards will be heading into the World Cup in as good form as Mitrović. The Newcastle United striker might be an outcast at St James’ Park but he powered Fulham to promotion in the second half of the campaign with 12 goals in just 18 Championship starts.
And it seems as though the 23-year-old has taken that form into the summer with Serbia, bagging a hat-trick in the 5-1 thrashing of Bolivia on Saturday after netting a brace in victory over Nigeria at the end of March to take his international tally to six in five in 2017/18.
The Serbs kick off their Group C campaign against Costa Rica. The Central Americans were a surprise package in 2014 but are unlikely to manage a repeat of that. Mitrović, who had more shots (32) and goals (6) in qualifying than any of his team-mates, is best placed to reinforce that.