Despite coming into this tournament as favourites to win the whole thing, Brazil’s group still promises to be intriguing. Two improving European nations, Serbia and Switzerland, who finished above so-called superior teams to secure automatic qualification, and the giants of African football, Cameroon, will ensure this group is hotly contested.
Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland were actually all in the same group at the last World Cup in 2018, Brazil topping that group with seven points, while Switzerland came in behind them with five.
Despite all teams’ good defensive records, with such an array of attacking talent on display, you can expect plenty of goals in this group. Therefore, backing heavily on any of these teams’ attacking players seems a good strategy.
Group G Teams
Must-have Qatar World Cup fantasy player from Group G
Neymar, FWD ($10.5m)
A man who has arguably failed to live up to his own hype, Neymar is nonetheless a sensational player and unstoppable on his day. 75 goals in 121 games for his country speaks for itself.
If you only have one player from this group, make it Neymar.
Brazil come into this tournament as favourites to wrestle back world footballing dominance from the European nations as they hunt for their first World Cup in 20 years and sixth overall. Ever present at the World Cup, this will be their 22nd appearance.
They also come in good form, having gone through the CONMEBOL qualifiers unbeaten. In fact, their only loss in the last two years came at the hands of Argentina, 0-1 in the Copa America final in 2021. In that time, they have only conceded six goals in 21 competitive games.
Scoring 40 goals in 17 qualifying games, it’s safe to say there are good picks all over the pitch in this Brazil team. Lining up in a 4-2-3-1, Selecao have significant threat in wide areas with wingers that like to come inside and shoot, as well as overlapping fullbacks who can whip crosses in.
Best fantasy players Brazil
Neymar, FWD ($10.5m) ★★★★★
Nine goals and seven assists show that Neymar comes into this tournament in red-hot form. Eight goals and eight assists in ten qualifying games demonstrate how key he is to this Brazil team.
Vinicius Junior, FWD ($10.5m) ★★★★☆
Real Madrid wonderkid Vinicius Junior has taken the world by storm these last two years. Yet to really do it in yellow and blue, he’ll be eager to showcase his talent on the biggest stage come winter.
Richarlison, FWD ($7.5m) ★★★★☆
17 goals in 38 games is an excellent return for any striker. Richarlison has shown what he can do as the number 9 in this Brazilian team. Three goals in two games in September means he surely starts.
Alisson Becker, GK ($6m) ★★★★☆
Brazil’s number one comes into the tournament boasting a record of just five goals conceded in qualifying. Even with the attacking talent in the other teams, Alisson is more than equal to the task.
Differential/budget player from Brazil
Lucas Paqueta, FWD ($7m)
West Ham’s record summer signing Lucas Paqueta is a midfield maestro with an eye for goal. Playing as the number 10 for both club and country, his accuracy and range of passing oozes quality. He’s not shy of a long-range effort either, scoring nine goals for Lyon in Ligue 1 last season.
Switzerland finished top of Group C in UEFA qualifying, beating Italy to book their place in Qatar 2022. Many are tipping Switzerland as dark horses this winter. A settled side with many players in their prime, an extended run in the competition is not unlikely.
Unbeaten in eight group games, Murat Yakin’s men scored 15 goals and conceded just two. This Swiss side have a stout defence as well as extra protection in midfield by playing a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1.
A good run in Euro 2020, which saw them knock out France on penalties after a dramatic 3-3 draw, the Swiss will be dreaming about a first quarter-final appearance since 1954. With plenty of experience and good organisation, Switzerland could be the surprise package this winter in Qatar.
Best fantasy players from Switzerland
Breel Embolo, FWD ($6.5m) ★★★☆☆
Three goals and three assists in four qualifying matches make Embolo a decent pick at £XRm. The Monaco man has started the season well domestically, too, with five goals in 11 games.
Haris Seferovic, FWD ($4.5m) ★★★☆☆
With the best goals-to-games ratio in the team (25 goals in 88 games), the Galatasary forward is the focal point of the Swiss attack. He scored twice in the dramatic comeback win vs France at Euro 2020.
Fabian Schar, DEF ($4m) ★★★☆☆
Newcastle’s defender Schar makes for an excellent option at only $4m. The centre-back has good heading ability and is known to take some direct free-kicks. With Switzerland’s defensive record, he could be a shrewd pick.
Differential/budget player from Switzerland
Xherdan Shaqiri, FWD ($7.5m)
One of Liverpool and now of Chicago Fire, the Swiss playmaker is certainly the talisman of this Swiss side. But, getting on in years now, this will surely be his last tournament, and he’ll be hoping to go out with aplomb.
His dead-ball capabilities and the occasional screamer make him an exciting differential pick.
Serbia, like Switzerland, qualified top of their group unbeaten, as they won away against top seeds Portugal with a 90th-minute winner on the last day of the group to steal the automatic qualifying place.
Having failed to get past the group stages in the two tournaments they’ve qualified for since becoming a FIFA member in their own right, Serbia will be hoping to cause an upset and do one better this time out.
Coached by national hero Dragan Stojkovic, the squad has a good mix of youth and experience and work relentlessly to overrun their opponents. Setting up in a 3-4-1-2, the Serbs keep things tight and fill the midfield, hoping one of their front three will produce some magic to win the game, something they are pretty good at.
The bookies have them slight outsiders. It seems a coin toss between them and Serbia for 2nd place in the group.
Best fantasy players from Serbia
Aleksander Mitrovic, FWD ($7m) ★★★☆☆
The Fulham forward has been on a sedulous scoring spree for the last two years. 14 goals in 14 games for Serbia and 50 goals in 53 games for Fulham make him the standout choice.
Dusan Vlahovic, FWD ($8.5m) ★★☆☆☆
Mitrovic’s strike partner, 22-year-old Vlahovic plys his trade in Serie A as Juventus’ leading man. Despite the team’s wretched season start, he has managed six goals and one assist. At $1.5 more, he’s the second choice behind Mitrovic.
Differential/budget player from Serbia
Dusan Tadic, MID ($8m)
Veteran attacking midfielder Tadic is the creative hub of this Serbian team. Double-digit assists four years in a row for Ajax, he provides excellent service to strikers who can finish what he provides. 18 goals in 90 appearances for his country shows he can score as well as provide.
Having missed out on the 2018 edition, World Cup veterans Cameroon booked their place in the finals after a 124th-minute goal against Algeria sent them through on away goals. This will be their 8th appearance at the World Cup and first under new first-team coach Rigobert Song, a former player who played in four World Cups himself for the Indomitable Lions.
Setting up in a basic 4-4-2, Cameroon play quite attacking football and aren’t afraid to pile men forward. However, this leaves them more open at the back and, with a lack of a cutting edge in midfield, can often struggle against well-organised defences.
Ordinarily, a team like Cameroon would fancy their chances of making the Round of 16, and it is definitely possible. Still, with the quality of the other three teams in the group, it will be a very tough ask.
Best fantasy players from Cameroon
Vincent Aboubakar, FWD ($8m) ★★☆☆☆
Penalty taker extraordinaire and current top scorer by some distance in the squad, he scored seven goals in eight games at AFCON in 2022. So if Cameroon do score, he’s the most likely to get it.
Karl Toko Ekambi, FWD ($7m) ★☆☆☆☆
Usually playing off the left wing, the Lyon man scored three goals in qualifying and has begun the season in good form for his club, scoring four and assisting once in 11 matches.
Differential/budget player from Cameroon
Eric Choupo-Moting, FWD ($7.5m)
Somewhat of a journeyman of European football, Choupo-Moting now 33 years old plays second striker to Aboubakar. 18 goals in 68 appearances for his country show he knows where the goal is, and his height makes him a menace at set-piece time.
At just €7.5m he could be a great differential.
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Continue to GROUP H
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. You can follow him on Twitter here