Lewandowski vs Messi is the headline in a group containing Argentina, Poland, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. It’s no surprise that Argentina come into the group as odds-on favourites to finish top. After heartbreak in 2014, followed by a Round of 16 exit in 2018, Argentina look revitalised under Scaloni, winning Copa America last year.
Including players from Argentina in your squad is among the best Qatar World Cup Fantasy tips. Their opponents shouldn’t cause them many problems. Poland have a history of underperforming at major tournaments, finishing bottom of their group in both World Cup 2018 and Euro 2020. Mexico, while defensively solid, lack a cutting edge up front. Their top scorer in qualifying, Raul Jimenez, managed just three goals in 14 games, all of which were penalties. Lastly, Saudi Arabia will be just making up the numbers once again. They have won just one of their last 12 group-stage games at the World Cup going back to 1994.
Group C teams
Must-have Qatar World Cup fantasy player from Group C
Lionel Messi, FWD ($10.5m)
Four goals and five assists in Argentina’s Copa America winning team of 2021, followed up with seven goals in CONMEBOL qualifiers, demonstrates how instrumental the 35-year-old still is to La Albiceleste.
Make the World Cup more exciting!
Right now Betsson offer up to €125 in first deposit bonus for new customers! 18+, T&Cs apply.
Do you want to make the World Cup more exciting? Here are two bets we like!
- Poland to qualify from group — 1.90
- Messi to win Golden Ball — 13.00
Odds from Betsson. They currently offer up to €125 in first deposit bonus. Claim your offer here. 18+, T&Cs apply.
Since Lionel Scalonin was named manager in 2018, Argentina have gone from strength to strength. A 35-game undefeated streak has the South American side on the brink of a historical record (Italy’s current record of 37).
A powerhouse of world football, Argentina scored 27 goals in qualifying and conceded just 8 in 17 games. They are a well-organised and hard-working side who outrun and outwork their opponents, swarming them in possession and strangling them into submission. They progress the ball quickly up the pitch and let their world-class front line of Di Maria, Messi and Martinez do the rest.
In their 35-game unbeaten run, they’ve played Brazil three times, winning twice and conceding no goals, as well as an impressive win over Italy (3-0). In fact, Argentina have kept a clean sheet in 19 of the 35 games in which they’ve gone unbeaten.
Best fantasy players from Argentina
Lionel Messi, FWD ($10.5m) ★★★★★
Seven goals in qualifying for the World Cup and nine goal contributions in seven games on their way to winning Copa America make Messi a great pick. As if you needed more reasons to choose the greatest player of all time in your side.
Lautaro Martinez, FWD ($8m) ★★★★★
Martinez has been tearing it up in the Serie A for over three years. He scored seven goals and provided three assists in qualifying, which betters Messi’s stats. He is an excellent pick at his price.
Angel Di Maria, MID ($8.5m) ★★★★☆
Not as prolific as Martinez and Messi, Angel Di Maria is capable of big moments in big games. He scored the decisive goal for his side to beat Brazil in the Copa America final. This likely being his last World Cup, he’ll be looking to go out with a bang.
Damian Emiliano Martinez, GK ($5.5m) ★★★★☆
Everyone’s favourite hip thruster, Emiliano Martinez, is fond of penalty heroics for club and country. With 19 clean sheets in their last 35 games, including three vs Brazil and one vs Italy, Martinez is a brilliant option.
Differential/budget player from Argentina
Alexis MacAllister, MID ($7m)
After making his debut for Argentina at 19, the Brighton midfielder has been in and out of the squad. However, after making a brilliant start to the season for the Seagulls scoring four goals, he could make a good differential selection.
As mentioned earlier, Poland have a habit of bottling big tournaments, finishing bottom of the group in both World Cup 2018 and Euro 2020 despite being favoured to qualify in second on both occasions. They are second favourites here again, most likely owing to the quality of other teams in the group.
It’s no surprise Poland rely heavily on their star man, Robert Lewandowski. Poland scored a staggering 30 goals in qualifying in just 10 games, though this should be taken with a pinch of salt, as 19 of those goals came against Andorra and San Marino.
Defensively, they are a bit shaky, keeping just three clean sheets in qualifying (two of which came against Andorra and San Mario at home).
It seems likely that Poland will get out of Group C as runners-up, but given their history, it’s hard to rule out another tragedy.
Best fantasy players from Poland
Robert Lewandowski, FWD ($10m) ★★★★☆
Nine goals and four assists in qualifying and three in three at the Euros make Lewandowski a reasonable, if risky, pick. His club form has been sensational as well as he looks to break Poland’s group stage duct in Qatar 2022.
Piotr Zieliniski, MID ($6.5m) ★★★☆☆
Offers a cheaper route into Poland’s attack at just $6.5m. His stats are modest compared to Lewandowski, but the 28-year-old can still find the back of the net for both club and country.
Matty Cash, DEF ($4m) ★★★☆☆
The Aston Villa fullback, who qualifies for Polish citizenship through his mother’s side, made his debut in June 2022 and has already nabbed himself a goal. He could be a great outside pick at only $4m.
Differential/budget player from Poland
Karol Świderski, FWD ($5.5m)
Five goals and one assist in qualifying put the 25-year-old firmly on the radar. The striker who plies his trade in the MLS scored 10 goals for Charlotte FC last season.
With a long and storied past in the competition, this will be Mexico’s 17th appearance at a World Cup. Eliminated in the Round of 16 the last seven times in a row, they look unlikely to do better this time around.
Qualifying 2nd in CONCACAF, separated only by goal difference with group toppers Canada but look an inferior side to their North American counterparts. A tough side to break down, scoring seems to be Mexico’s problem, especially against teams of similar quality to them. As mentioned above, their top scorer in qualifying was Wolves’ striker Raul Jimenez with just three goals, all of which were penalties.
However, overcoming the odds has been Mexico’s story at the last three World Cups, beating out Germany (2018), Croatia (2014), and France (2010) to secure qualification. Can they do it to Poland this time to continue this brilliant record?
Best fantasy players from Mexico
Raul Jimenez, FWD ($6.5m) ★★☆☆☆
As mentioned earlier, Jimenez had three goals in nine qualifying matches, all of which were penalties. Not the same player since a horrific head injury, but if Mexico score, this man is most likely to be involved.
Hirving Lozano, FWD ($6m) ★★☆☆☆
A player to get you off your seat, the Napoli forward is definitely in the category of a “fun pick”. 16 goals in 59 games for the national team is a decent return which could be added to this year in Qatar.
Differential/budget player from Mexico
Alexis Vega, FWD ($5.5m)
Scoring four goals in 20 appearances for his country at the age of 24, Vega is expected to play after Jesús Corona broke his leg. He provides a good differential as well as reasonable attacking threat.
This will be Saudi Arabia’s sixth appearance at a World Cup in their history. They have exited at the group stages in their last four appearances and seem likely to do so again later this year in Qatar.
Herve Renard’s team do deserve credit for beating the likes of Japan and Australia to win Group B of the AFC World Cup qualifiers. However, they are likely to find matters much more difficult when they come up against Messi, Lewandowski or Lozano.
As with most nations in their position, they will load ten men behind the ball and look to grab something from a set piece or counter-attack. Honourable 0-0 draws against the United States and Ecuador back in September prove they can be solid at the back. You won’t find many Saudi players included in the top Qatar World Cup Fantasy tips.
Best fantasy players from Saudi Arabia
Salem Al-Dawsari, FWD ($4.5m) ★☆☆☆☆
Seven goals in qualifying make the Al-Hilal winger your best bet for goals if you fancy taking a punt on a Saudi Arabian player. The 31-year-old is a mainstay in the side and quick on the break.
Saleh Al-Shehri, FWD ($TBAm) ★☆☆☆☆
Al-Shehri also scored seven in qualifying. He plays through the middle for his national side and Al-Hilal. With penalties also in his locker, he makes a decent punt for.
Differential/budget player from Saudi Arabia
Salman Al-Faraj, MID ($4.5m)
The captain of the team, Al-Faraj, provides nailed-on 90 minutes security. The 33-year-old has 8 goals in 68 games for his country and is fond of making late runs into the box. He could be decent bench fodder at $4.5m.
Continue to GROUP D
Odhrán Brennan is a data journalist for a sports data company, living in Finland. He’s been playing FPL since the 06/07 season and is a long-suffering fan of both Arsenal and the Republic of Ireland national team.