Most of the World Cup squads have been released, whether they are official or just provisional, and fans are now wondering who starts and who sits. So here’s our Unfit starting 11’s for teams 1-10 going to Russia (based on FIFA Official Rankings).
Prediction: (4-2-3-1) ter Stegen; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Plattenhardt; Kroos, Gündogan; Müller, Özil, Reus; Werner
Joachim Löw has chosen a similar squad to that of Euros 2016 and even the 2014 World Cup. Neuer will obviously start if he’s fit, but for now ter Stegen gets the nod. Khedira and Gündogan can interchange but Löw absolutely loves (pardon the pun) to Man City man who Pep Guardiola himself once called the midfield a genius. Gomez fits Germany’s style of play better but Werner has shown he can play well in Germany’s line up, earning him the number one spot.
Prediction: (4-3-3) Alisson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Renato Augusto, Paulinho; Coutinho, Jesus, Neymar
A massively talented squad missing one of their best talents in Alex Sandro. Filipe Luis had a fantastic season at Atlético Madrid, but without Dani Alves, bring Fagner over Sandro seems ill-advised. Alisson over Ederson, the former being vital to Roma’s late Champions League run. Miranda over Thiago Silva which is harsh but there’s no replacing Marquinhos now that he’s reach his potential and Miranda has been out of this world for Inter Milan this season. Jesus over Firmino only because of the style in which Tite plays, otherwise Firmino would surely be a mainstay.
Prediction: (3-4-2-1) Courtios; Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Dembélé, Carrasco; Mertens, Hazard; Lukaku
No provisional or official squad yet for the Red Devils, so this is based off recent call ups. Roberto Martinez could have them lining up with an extra midfielder, which would most likely exclude Dries Mertens and add one of Wistel or Nainggolan, but this 3-back, 3-forward system may work out for the Belgians. One of the best backlines in the competition and one of the best sides in general. But, plenty of rumors have gone about with players being unhappy with Martinez, including De Bruyne and Radja Nainggolan, the latter of which is at risk of not being selected because of it. Will the dissatisfaction cause this side to crumble?
Prediction: (4-4-2) Lopes; Cédric, Pepe, Dias, Guerriero; Bernardo Silva, Carvalho, Joao Mario, Guedes; Andre Silva, Ronaldo
Although they won Euro 2016, the Portuguese don’t have much pedigree in the World Cup. The backline of Pepe and Benfica’s Rúben Dias is probably the best bet to keep at least some goals out but Lopes is going to be very busy this summer. Questions of their offense still loom as well, even with one of the best goalscorer’s in history, but Bernardo Silva’s coming of age may help Portugal in this competition. Hopefully Andre Silva can find his shooting boots again in the summer as well.
Prediction: (4-3-3) Romero; Mercado, Otamendi, Fazio, Tagliafico; Biglia, Banega, Lanzini; Messi, Agüero, Di Maria
The biggest storyline of the Cup, will Messi finally lift that illusive trophy? Probably not. Argentina has a less than convincing defense, even with the Centurion Otamendi. Midfield is weak but could be fixed if Paredes and Biglia line up together, which they won’t. Would love to see Dybala as an attacking midfielder behind Agüero but that won’t happen either. A lot of questions for Sampaoli to answer and not a lot of time to answer them.
Prediction: (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Xhaka, Zakaria; Steffen, Shaqiri, Mehmedi; Embolo
The Swiss almost took Argentina down in the World Cup 2014, and much of the same squad remains from four years ago, just a lot older. The defense speaks for itself, with Dortmund’s young center back Akanji ready to announce himself on the world stage. Youngster Zakaria sits next the man he replaced at Mönchengladbach while Embolo and Shaqiri have matured in attack, hoping to score more goals than they did last time out.
Prediction: (4-2-3-1) Lloris; Sidibe, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Kante, Pogba; Mbappe, Griezmann, Dembele; Giroud
Didier Deschamps absolutely loves Oliver Giroud and to be fair, he performs for country quite well. The Giroud-Griezmann partnership got France to the Euro 2016 final and it look like Deschamps will continue to put faith in Griezmann playing off of Giroud. If Giroud is not a starter though, expect to see a 4-3-3 set up with Griezmann as a no. 9, Mbappe and Dembele/Fekir on the wings and Matuidi slot into the midfield three.
Prediction: (4-5-1) De Gea; Carvajal, Ramos, Pique, Alba; Isco, Iniesta, Busquets, Thiago, David Silva; Diego Costa
Spain are looking fierce in midfield but questions upfront still remain. Rodrigo, Iago Aspas, and Costa will fight it out throughout the group stages and Aspas may well win Lopetegui’s heart by the end with his directness and great link up play. Koke could also usurp Thiago in midfield, but only time will tell.
Prediction: Szczęsny, Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Rybus; Błaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Zielinski, Grosicki; Lewandowski, Milik
This could easily turn into a 4-2-3-1 where Milik swaps out for Sampdoria’s Linetty who would partner with Krychowiak in a midfield pivot. But, Milik and Lewandowski can function well as a partnership up front and Poland could be one to watch coming out of Group H.
Prediction: (4-3-3) Gallese; Ramos, Rodriguez, Trauco, Advincula; Hurtado, Yotun, Tapia; Carrillo, Farfan, Flores
Not much hope of Peru getting out of the group stages, but Jefferson Farfan has done well since his arrival to Russia on Lokomotiv Moscow. Flores and Hurtado will be vital to attacks as well. Hopefully we get to see the best of Andre Carrillo after a his move to Watford hasn’t been beneficial for him.