As we dive into the final round of group games, Dream Team World Cup gaffers should be taking stock of which players have over-performed and which assets have sadly disappointed.
For the next couple of minutes, we’re going to highlight the latter group.
These are the five most-popular players with fewer than five points at this stage.
- 11.7% ownership
- 0 points
The England midfielder has been limited to just 20-odd minutes of playing time in Qatar so far.
His ownership reflects the feelings of many supporters of the Three Lions that he should be starting for the Euro 2020 finalists having already scored eight goals and provided three assists for Man City this season.
Gareth Southgate may well appease the masses by naming Foden in his starting line-up to face Wales this evening, which would give the 22-year-old an opportunity to get off the mark in Dream Team World Cup.
However, chances are he will find himself back among the substitutes in the round of 16 if England progress as expected.
- 11.7% ownership
- 0 points
Mexico, Tunisia and Uruguay are the only three teams yet to score a goal at this year’s World Cup.
The latter’s inclusion in that list is particularly surprising given the quality of their squad.
Liverpool’s new striker had a night to forget against Portugal and like everyone else on the pitch he fell victim to the tedium that infected the second half of Uruguay vs South Korea.
Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani are both past their best and that’s what led Dream Team World Cup gaffers to lump on Nunez prior to the tournament but he’s yet to repay his backers with a single point.
Diego Alonso’s side take on Ghana in what will be an emotionally-charged game on Friday given the ill-feelings between the two nations stemming from the 2010 quarter-finals.
The clash may favour Nunez as the Black Stars conceded five goals in their first two games, as well as scoring five.
- 13.2% ownership
- 4 points
The Man United centre-back did his job valiantly to help Argentina keep a clean sheet against Mexico but he narrowly missed out on a 7+ rating so he had to make do with five points at the final whistle.
Unfortunately, the minus point he incurred after coming off the bench against Saudi Arabia in that shock 2-1 defeat put his owners on the back foot.
You would think that Martinez has shown enough to maintain his place in the starting XI when the Albiceleste take on Poland this week but Lionel Scaloni has often preferred to pair Cristian Romero with Nicolas Otamendi at the heart of defence.
- 19% ownership
- 4 points
Much of what applied to the Old Trafford resident is also relevant to Argentina’s first-choice goalkeeper.
Martinez was by far and away the most-popular asset in his position before the tournament got underway and he still holds that title although not to the same extent following that shocker against Saudi Arabia.
Victory and a clean sheet against Poland would reaffirm the idea that the Aston Villa custodian is great value at £4m but if Robert Lewandowksi or one of his pals score then gaffers may have to cut their losses.
Kevin De Bruyne
- 22.2% ownership
- 3 points
The lowly returns of Belgium’s creator-in-chief are not only disappointing because of how popular he is but because of his price – at £7m he’s comfortably the most-expensive asset in his position.
Roberto Martinez’s side have arguably been the most underwhelming of the big sides (they’re ranked second in the world after all) but they could yet book their place in the round of 16 with a positive result against Croatia.
De Bruyne has the quality to produce a Star Man showing and double-digit haul out of nowhere but at this stage it seems likely that a lot of gaffers will be seeking a replacement before the knockout rounds get underway.
The 31-year-old’s three points came from a 7+ rating against Canada.