With the World Cup upon us, it’s seriously time to think about your fantasy teams.
With an array of talent and unknown entities to scan through and whittle down to a select bunch, it’s a heavy task. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
Here are ten defenders that 90min think are worth a gamble for your World Cup fantasy team!
There’s no doubt that Kim Min-jae is a fantastic defender – his performances since joining Napoli in the summer are testament to that – but his inclusion in your fantasy team solely depends on how you rate South Korea’s chances.
If you back them to surprise us all and find success in a tough-looking Group H, the solid, brick wall-esque Min-jae will undoubtedly be integral to that.
We all know what we’re looking for when picking defenders in a fantasy team: players who are going to surge upfield and deliver those sweet points. Well, Neco Williams specialises in just that for Wales.
The Nottingham Forest wing-back is consistently electric for his country, playing a key role in Cymru’s attacking threat – he’s a good bet to bag a couple of assists in the group stage, and potentially beyond.
An important part of Portugal’s work at the business end of the pitch, Nuno Mendes has claimed the left side of his country’s defence despite his tender age.
His pace and quality of delivery make him an absolute menace in the final third so, with the Portuguese expected to find themselves in the deep end of this competition, Mendes is a good bet to rack up some points.
Another frightening wing-back, Denzel Dumfries is expensively priced at $6m but will be a bulldozing threat for a strong Netherlands side in Qatar.
The Inter man has some classic target men to provide for and isn’t averse to the odd goal himself, either. After impressing massively at EURO 2020, where he netted twice before the Oranje bowed out in the round of 16, Dumfries will certainly be a popular pick.
Although Lisandro Martinez represents another expensive option, the diminutive centre-back is certainly among the most reliable.
He’s demonstrated his fantastic quality in a largely brilliant beginning to his Manchester United career and will be a stalwart in an Argentina tipped by many to win the tournament. Having kept six clean sheets in his previous seven international appearances, Martinez is definitely one to bank on.
Denmark boast a wonderful mix of robustness and excitement on the pitch, which wing-back Joakim Maehle epitomises.
His performances at EURO 2020 tell you all you need to know about his reliability, defending well throughout as well as picking up three goal involvements. At just $4.5m, he’d be a very shrewd investment for any manager.
Priced at $5m, Bayern Munich defender Alphonso Davies will likely be in many fantasy teams this winter.
The poster boy for an exciting Canada side, Davies holds down a much more advanced role on the international stage, usually being deployed on the left wing or even as a number ten – almost making him a ‘cheat pick’ as a defensive option for managers.
A tough group stage campaign with Belgium, Croatia and Morocco as opposition and fitness doubts, however, make his inclusion a gamble – but, if fit, you can bet anything that Davies will have been central to his team’s exploits.
It’s tough to know how well France will perform in Qatar, with injuries and uninspiring performances in recent months casting doubt over the reigning champions’ chances.
Their squad, however, is littered with sensational quality and, in the shape of Theo Hernandez, they have one of the best wing-backs around.
A speed merchant with a rocket of a left boot, his potency in advanced position is often too much to handle for his opposition. Costing a very thrifty $5m, he’s a great option for those point-hungry fantasy bosses.
Also a surprisingly economical option is Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier who, in Reece James’ absence, will likely play a major role in England’s campaign.
The right-back has been in spectacular form for the Magpies this campaign, with his capabilities on the front foot there for all to see on a regular basis. The Three Lions might be in poor form but, at just $5m, Trippier is simply begging to be picked for those fantasy teams.
Putting Joao Cancelo in your side just makes sense. He might not exert the same sort of playmaking influence in Portugal colours as he does in a Manchester City shirt, but he’s certainly a threat.
He can pretty safely be considered one of the best full-backs in the world right now and will be one of the first names on the team sheet for a glory-hunting Portuguese side; with the attacking quality he boasts, the $6m defender will surely be a fountain of points this winter.