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 11-20 going to Russia (based on FIFA Official Rankings).
Prediction: (4-2-3-1) Schmeichel; Stryger, Kjær, Christensen, Durmisi; Delaney, Kvist; Poulsen, Eriksen, Sisto; Jorgensen
Denmark was fired into the World Cup because of superstar Christian Eriksen and the midfielder will continue to have the weight of the country on his shoulders this summer. Kasper Schmeichel always seemed to be the first choice keeper, but Jonas Lössl’s performance at Huddersfield Town this season could win him the No. 1 spot. They have a decently easy group and with Jorgensen or Dolberg upfront, the Danes should at least make it out of the group.
Prediction: (3-4-2-1) Pickford; Walker, Cahill, Stones; Trippier, Dier, Henderson, Young; Dele, Sterling, Kane
Gareth Southgate looks set to evolve England with a back three because of the selection of Alexander-Arnold, Trippier and Walker. The Dier-Henderson midfield might come to an end if Southgate wants one defensive midfield next to a creative one. Dele and Sterling will likely play off of the shoulder of Kane to liven up that attack.
Prediction: (4-3-3) Balbouli; Naguez, Meriah, Ben Youssef, Ali Maaloul; Sassi, Skhiri, Khaoui; Badri, Sliti, Khazri
Tunisia’s defense is solid but can they stop a full firing Belgium and England? Attack isn’t bad either with Sliti having a good year at FC Dijon and Khazri having a few tricks up his sleeve. Watch for Khaoui who can add to any attack with his keen eye for a pass and wicked left foot.
Prediction: (4-3-3) Ochoa; Layun, Rafa Marquez, Moreno, Salcedo; Guardado, Herrera, Fabian; Vela, Hernandez, Lozano
Irving Lozano has had a break out season for PSV and is undoubtedly the star of El Tri. Miguel Layun has become quite the winger at Sevilla, but with Carlos Vela performing well in America, he will likely be thrown back into defense. Rafa Marquez returns for his fifth World Cup and will most likely be at the heart of Mexico’s defense. Javier Hernandez joins up with his compatriots after an indifferent year at West Ham but could still be useful with his hold up play.
Prediction: (4-2-3-1) Ospina; Arias, Mina, Davinson Sanchez, Fabra; Carlos Sanchez, Lerma; Cuadrado, James, Izquierdo; Falcao
Even with a young defense, Colombia look poised to be hard to get through. Mina and Sanchez are two of the most talent young CBs in Europe and them being best friends is just the icing on the cake for the partnership on the field. Colombia’s attack is threatening as well, with James pulling the strings and the rest attacking the box with ferocious speed. Luis Muriel, Edwin Cardona and Carlos Bacca are frightening options off the bench.
Prediction: (4-4-2) Narrow/Diamond Muslera; Pereira, Godin, Gimenez, Caceres; Vecino, Bentancur, Torreira, Nandez; Cavani, Suarez
Another brick wall center back paring with Godin and Gimenez. Caceres could be chosen on the right side of defense, where he has played well for Lazio for half of this season, but with the lack of depth at LB, his versatility might see him switch flanks. Uruguay’s midfield is solid with Vecino and Nadez guarding the backline, while the creative Torreira and slippery Bentancur will help in attack. Their striking pair is scaring good.
Prediction: (4-3-3) Subasic; Vrsaljko, Vida, Lovren, Strinic; Rakitic, Modric, Badelj, Kramaric, Mandzukic, Perisic
Zlatko Dilac could play with one of either a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 with Modric becoming a proper No. 9. He’ll most likely play a hybrid of the two and Modric will be the more creative of the bunch in midfield. There still questions at the back with Lovren who seems to only play well next to someone who can organize him. Ante Rebic and Marcelo Brozovic are great names off the benc, both have promising seasons at Inter and Frankfurt, receptively.
Formation: (4-4-1-1) Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Ingason, Magnusson; Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, Hallfredsson, Bjarnason; Gylfi Sigurdsson; Finnbogason
The biggest question here is the status of Icelandic star Gylfi Sigurdsson after sustaining a knee injury in March and being ruled out all season for Everton. He’s rehabbing the knee now but will he still produce the spectacular like that in Euro 2016? Most of the squad is the same from Euro 2016 with Alfred Finnbogason taking the place of Kolbeinn Sigthorsson who hasn’t been able to play much this season for Turkish Champions Galatasaray because of repeating injuries.
Prediction: (4-4-2) Olsen; Lustig, Granqvist, Lindelof, Olsson; Claesson, Ekdal, Larsson, Forsberg; Berg, Gudetti
Emil Forsberg from RB Leipzig is the star in this squad. His playmaking ability will be the only exciting thing to watch from this Swedish side. Claesson is a pacey winger off the right as well, keep an eye on him to feed balls into Berg or the large Ola Tovionen if picked over Gudetti.
Prediction: (5-4-1) Navas; Gamboa, Duarte, Acosta, Watson, Oviedo; Campbell, Borges, Tejeda, Ruiz; Ureña
Keylor Navas was tremendous years ago in the 2014 World Cup and hasn’t stopped since. Now in another Champions League Final with Real Madrid, the keeper will have to do the impossible again to keep Oscar Ramirez’s side in the tournament. Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz are very good in midfield while Marcos Ureña has become a mainstay at MLS side LAFC because of his pace and build up play.