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.
Kalidou Koulibaly is 6-foot-2 with two-star skills and three-star weak foot. He has high defensive work rates and medium attacking work rates. In comparison to his 89 gold card, he is +2 pace, +1 shooting, +1 passing, +2 dribbling, +1 defense and +2 physical. That equates to +1 acceleration, +2 sprint speed, +1 short passing, +2 ball control, +2 composure, +1 standing tackle, +2 strength, +2 aggression, and +1 marking. You get all this for a little over double his gold price at 110K or so right now, according to FUTBin.
I already considered Koulibaly one of the best CBs in the game. Being a Serie A defender from Senegal makes linking him tricky at times, but he’s a fantastic card. His strength and pace combination are really tough to beat at this price, and he’s big enough to deal with almost any situation. His passing has never been a huge issue to me, and he has solid composure to make up for some of the offensive weaknesses.
I’m content with just using the gold version, but I would not disagree with people if they wanted to upgrade to this Team of the Group Stage version. It gets moderately improved in some key areas, and turns strengths into bigger strengths in the process.
Kevin De Bruyne is my dude. He didn’t really deserve a Team of the Group Stage card, but we’ll just ignore that for these purposes. I consider him in the same class as Lewandowski where he should be way more expensive than he is, but the pace keeps him in “reasonable” territory right now at “just” 640K. That is double the price of his in-form 92 overall CM version, but the thing with De Bruyne is he’s very flexible on your team.
He’s got high-high work rates, four-star skills and a five-star weak foot. He makes easy links being a Belgian in the EPL, and so you have the chance to play him all over the place. I personally like him at CDM because his passing is incredible, and he can shoot from well outside the box and still be a menace. But there’s no reason you can’t play him at CAM or CM, and just let him finish plays left and right.
Bruno Fernandes has a cost of about 17.5K right now, which makes this an easy sell if you already like his gold at 12.5K. He’s actually a really fun card to use as well because he hits some absolute screamers from outside the box (much like real life). He has high-high work rates so he does have some flexibility as a midfielder, but I don’t ever really consider using him as a CDM. If anything, maybe you keep him on don’t press forward with his attacks, but he’s never going to be a great defender in this form.
Instead, utilize the solid passing, and just use either foot to rip some shots from all over the pitch. If you do want to kick him further back in the pitch, it starts to make sense to consider players like Liga NOS team-ups with something like in-form Acuna, Fernandes and the SBC for Nakajima or Battaglia. Telles is also someone to consider in that version of things, but he’s a slightly more complicated link than using Acuna if you want to have Fernandes in the lineup — and don’t want to toy with custom tactics much.
This is the fourth version of Harry Kane to be released, and this one costs about 180K, which is about 80-90K more than his last in-form card. The same arguments for Lewandowski apply here for Kane. You should not let pace rule everything about how you’re considering players in FIFA at this point. Lewandowski’s Group Stage card goes for about 100K more than this card, and that’s because Lewandowski has at least breached that 80 pace marker.
The big thing with Kane is he has 88 long passing versus Lewandowski’s 68 long passing. Beyond the league differences and nationality differences for linking, that’s really the biggest difference between them. Kane also has 96 composure to Lewandowski’s 90. The fascinating part about this with those elements in mind is there is a world where you position change Kane to a CF or CAM role and give him another option on your team if you don’t want to play him in a two-striker setup.
He will still hold the ball up and be an awesome finisher and passer in that role, but he’s not limited to just that role either.