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And then there were eight… 
 

The quarter finals are now upon us as the 2018 World Cup continues to thrill at every twist and turn. With glory now on the horizon, which players should you be backing from a fantasy perspective? We’ve analysed the clean sheet and anytime goalscorer markets from bookmakers across the internet to help you with those all-important squad selection, transfer and captaincy decisions…   

 

Defensive odds 
 

Team Best clean sheet odds Implied chance of a clean sheet 
England 2.06 49% 
France 2.1 48% 
Croatia 2.25 44% 
Brazil 2.8 36% 
Russia 3.25 31% 
Uruguay 3.6 28% 
Sweden 3.75 27% 
Belgium 4.33 23% 

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Following their nerve-shredding penalty shootout win over Colombia, England top the bookies’ defensive rankings with a 49% chance of shutting out Sweden in their quarter final. The Three Lions are yet to keep a clean sheet in the tournament, so we plump for John Stones, who has scored twice so far, as our pick from Gareth Southgate’s back line. The Manchester City defender also sneaks our captain’s armband for this gameweek. 
 

France (48%) will tackle Uruguay on Friday afternoon and rank second in the bookies’ estimations. Benjamin Pavard scored what is arguably the goal of the tournament thus far in Les Bleus’ thrilling win over Argentina in the round of 16, so he makes our starting XI, with his £5.0m valuation also a positive. 
 

The 4-3-3 formation remains intact, with Croatia (44%), Brazil (36%) and Russia (31%) all providing us with value options at the back. Danijel Subasic, so impressive in Croatia’s penalty shootout triumph over Denmark, starts between the sticks for our squad, whilst Fagner, following injuries to Dani Alves and Danilo, offers us a £5.0m route into the Brazilian back line ahead of their blockbuster clash with Belgium. CSKA Moscow’s Sergei Ignashevich provides outstanding value at just £4.0m when Russia take on Croatia. 
 

On the bench, Dominik Livakovic and Ilya Kutepov offer goalkeeping and defensive cover from Croatia and Russia respectively. 

 

Attacking odds

 

Player Best anytime goalscorer odds Implied chance of scoring 
Harry Kane 2.1 48% 
Romelu Lukaku 3.15 32% 
Antoine Griezmann 3.2 31% 
Kylian Mbappe 3.2 31% 
Gabriel Jesus 3.2 31% 
Roberto Firmino 3.25 31% 
Luis Suarez 3.35 30% 
Mario Mandzukic 3.4 29% 
Jamie Vardy 3.4 29% 
Fedor Smolov 3.5 29% 
Olivier Giroud 3.5 29% 
Marcus Rashford 3.5 29% 
Edinson Cavani 3.6 28% 
Andrej Kramaric 3.75 27% 
Danny Welbeck 3.75 27% 
Philippe Coutinho 3.85 26% 
Michy Batshuayi 3.85 26% 
Artem Dzyuba 4.1 24% 
Eden Hazard 4.25 24% 
Ivan Perisic 4.35 23% 
Nabil Fekir 4.5 22% 
Raheem Sterling 4.5 22% 
Florian Thauvin 4.75 21% 
Jesse Lingard 4.75 21% 
Ousmane Dembele 4.8 21% 
Marcus Berg 5 20% 
Luka Modric 5 20% 
Dele Alli 5 20% 
Maximiliano Gomez 5.1 20% 
Christian Stuani 5.25 19% 
Thomas Lemar 5.25 19% 
Dries Mertens 5.5 18% 
Paul Pogba 5.6 18% 
Paulinho 6 17% 
Aleksandr Golovin 6 17% 
Willian 6.5 15% 
Aleksandr Samedov 7 14% 
Yannick Carrasco 8.5 12% 
Thorgan Hazard 8.5 12% 

 

Golden boot leader Harry Kane headlines our attack with the bookies giving him a 48% chance of scoring against Sweden on Saturday afternoon. The Tottenham talisman has already found the net 6 times during the tournament and will be looking to fire England into the semi finals for the first time since 1990. 
 

His closest rival, Romelu Lukaku (32%) and the effervescent Kylian Mbappe (31%) complete our strike force. The pair, who have struck 4 and 3 goals respectively this summer, will be hoping to continue their good form in tough games against South American duo Brazil and Uruguay on Friday. 
 

In midfield, Philippe Coutinho (26%) has also sparkled with 2 goals and an assist, and will certainly be looking forward to facing a Belgian side breached twice by both Tunisia and Japan. 
 

We complete our starting XI by doubling up on the Belgian and English attacks in the form of Eden Hazard (24%) and Jesse Lingard (21%). Chelsea’s star man has been a consistent source of points for his owners this summer, producing fantasy returns in each of his 3 games (2 goals, 2 assists), whilst Lingard was on the scoresheet against Panama in the group stage and looks like a vital cog in the England machine. 
 

A pair of budget midfielders complete our bench, with Russia’s Yuri Gazinskiy and Rodrigo Bentacur of Uruguay two secure starters in the £4.5m bracket. 

Bookies Dream Team

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CAN YOU PICK A BETTER TEAM THAN THE BOOKIES FOR THE QUARTER FINALS?

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Good luck with your World Cup fantasy teams this weekend!
May the odds be with you 🙏

Daniel Victory is a Fantasy football and anytime goalscorer betting enthusiast. Enjoys SSS – statistics, strategizing and spreadsheets. Follow his great tips on Twitter.

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