Alright, lots to get to here with 20 players being looked at overall. We have already covered Cuadrado and Morelos in separate posts so they will be left out here. We’ll be covering all of the Team of the Group Stage players in four posts.
You will be able to find links to all of them in each post once they go live.
Zaniolo is going for Quick Sell totals right now. He has three-star skills and three-star weak foot. He has medium defensive work rates and medium attacking work rates. As an Italian Serie A player the links are easy, but there are also better options like Politano. His agility at 76 is really what you want to first take a look at because he’s not going to be a bad playmaker if you do that. The composure is what I would look at improving next because I don’t think he’s going to be a speed demon no matter what.
This is a card I would rather tactics into the middle of the pitch and use him in that way on a Serie A team. I do think you can get better cards for less than the 11K he costs, but I don’t think this is a bad central midfielder on a budget either.
First off, he will be a hassle to link being a Norwegian striker who is not even in the Bundesliga. That being said, you’re thinking of Haland as a super sub so it’s not a huge deal with the links. I think you double down on the pace with this card and allow him to be a dangerous finisher off the bench. He will fit that role nicely, but the downside is he only has three-star skills and a three-star weak foot.
Be that as it may, I like the value here at 15K. Again, you can find cheaper options, but if you want to get your hands on some of the latest cards and still have someone who is viable, Haland is a good option that many people won’t expect.
For those who scratched and clawed their way towards a player objectives Tolisso back in Season 1, this card probably will not interest you. This version is a better finisher and defender, but he’s a worse playmaker than that iteration. I have plenty of experience using him at this point, and I think the play remains knocking him back into the defensive midfield position and letting him work from there. With that in mind, this version is a little better than the Season 1 version, but it’s not a massive change.
Either way, you want to focus on boosting his pace and defense a little bit with a chemistry style. His passing and long shots are already decent enough to be a threat while playing from the back. He’s also easy to link being a French player on Bayern.
So in comparison to his base gold version, you’re getting a Sterling on the opposite side of the pitch. I actually think that matters because you’re getting another option in that 200K range for an EPL LW. If you don’t want to use Mane, you get someone who is easier to link across leagues now in Sterling. You still can drop down to that Sane range if you want to spend less as well. I think Sane is the better player overall, so I don’t choose Sterling over him, but optionality is always important with this stuff.
The virtues of Sterling are known overall, so I do not think this Sterling is worth 225K when his gold version is 75-80K. That being said, you’re getting a four-star skills player with incredible pace and balance on the ball, but he’s not top tier anywhere else.
Lautaro Martinez is a nice budget option at 66K. He’s 5-foot-9 with four-star skills and weak foot, and he’s got high attacking work rates so he’s going to be around the ball. You 100 percent want to slap a chemistry style on him that boosts his pace, and from there he’s going to be a really good finisher who has 91 agility before any alterations. The balance is a little suspect at 77, but smaller players are more dangerous this year, and Martinez fits the mold as someone who is undervalued with that in mind.
His 84 overall in-form is about 18K, but the upgrades here are sizable enough to justify the added cost. If anything, he’s the “budget” version of Mertens, and you will get a sizable portion of what you do get with him, but you can save a little money and maybe find some different links that make more sense in Martinez-driven lineups.