Due to some family issues, I may be offline for parts of the next week. However, I wanted to be sure to share my line-up (barring any "Friday trades") for week one of the competition. We're playing the ESPN World Fantasy game - join "Beat the Bloggers 1". You should be able to see my picks for the starting XI and captain by clicking the image above. Below is my full 15-man squad with my take on each player.
M. Neuer - "ze Germans!" Neuer was a buck cheaper than the likes of Cesar or Casillas and the money can be reinvested elsewhere.
D. Benaglio - back-up plan. He's just 4 and might make the line-up against Honduras. A useful enabler, then.
P. Lahm - "ze Germans!" Like Neuer, he was cheaper than Maicon or Ramos but which ever flank he's on, he'll get forward and the Germans are good bets to keep clean sheets and advance far.
A. Pereira - We do love us some wing-backs and Uruguay could make the 3-5-2 fashionable again.
M. Cech - I never learn, do I?
N. Belhadj - See Cech, Marek.
G. Dos Santos - A striker listed in midfield against the host nation who only make the 32 because of geography.
Á. Di María - The cheapest entry in to the Argentina attack.
M. Özil - He'll either play centrally or wide right, but either way the new hope of German football should be the major presence in their attack. The only caveat is that Schwienie will likely take penalty kicks.
M. Fernandez - Our dark horse pick. Attacking midfielder on an attacking side for 5. A VERY useful enabler.
Kaká - He gets in (and gets the armband) against the North Koreans. Likely to be CRon by week 2.
M. Jovanovic - Another striker listed as a midfielder. He's cheap and he'll make my starting XI against the Socceroos at least.
L. Fabiano - Golden boot?
Robinho - Always seems to shine for the national team and should enjoy himself in week one. Another Brazilian who may make way as the opposition toughens.
D. Forlan - On the bench this week against France, but he should pay off big against Mexico and especially South Africa. One of the cheapest stars in the game at striker.
I'm heavy on Brazil, hoping that they put a beating on North Korea. I figure with 12 transfers, I can move from Brazil to Portugal (CRon, etc) or Cote d'Ivorie when they line up against the hermit kingdom. Or Spain after they move beyond the tough Swiss.
So that's that, then. Good luck to all. It's going to be an awesome month.