Many nations secured paths into the knockout stages in the second round of fixtures in the group stage at the World Cup. A few last 16 spots are still available as we head into round three as well as battles for first and second place in the groups.
The countries at hand will need their key men to perform to take them through to the knockouts, with the action on Day 12 kicking off the first of four days of four matches of football.
There is the added bonus of Man of the Match ratings boosts being handed out on FIFA Ultimate Team, which you can go vote for on the EA Sports FIFA website. RealSport predicts which names could be in the mix for Monday’s action.
Mohamed Salah (OVR 88 – 89)
Egypt may be already knocked out of the tournament, but they can at least leave on a high if they defeat minnows Saudi Arabia. Mohamed Salah missed out on their opener against Uruguay due to his shoulder injury, and although he was far from his best in the defeat to Russia, he did still manage to score from the penalty spot. After an incredible season with Liverpool, breaking the record for the most goals in a 38-game Premier League season (32), the right midfielder deserves to end it strongly. Against possibly the weakest team in the tournament, it’s the perfect opportunity to do so.
Keep an eye on: Yahya Sulaiman Al Shehri (OVR 73)
Artem Dzyuba (OVR 78 – 81)
Russia have had a dream start to the World Cup as hosts, and they only need a draw against Uruguay to secure top spot in Group A. Despite Uruguay labouring to 1-0 wins over Egypt and Saudi Arabia, you would still be surprised if Russia managed to keep the strike force of Luis Suarez (92) and Edinson Cavani (89) at bay. Russia will need a goal scorer, and they may have to look to the direct approach of big striker Artem Dzyuba. The striker will have his hands full against defensive pairing of Diego Godin (OVR 88) and Jose Maria Gimenez (OVR 85), but at the height of six foot five, he has the power to hold his own.
Keep an eye on: Edinson Cavani (OVR 89)
Raphael Guerreiro (OVR 80 – 83)
Portugal are relying entirely on Cristiano Ronaldo (OVR 96) at the moment, and they need the rest of their side to step up. The wide midfielders have been poor, so it could be down to left back Raphael Guerreiro to get the balls in the box for Ronaldo or Goncalo Guedes (OVR 78) to latch on to. Guerreiro has been under par thus far, but with plenty of quality in his left foot, it may just take one cross to get him back on track against Iran. Remember, a victory for Iran would likely knock Portugal out, so there will be nerves in the Portuguese camp.
Keep an eye on: Sardar Azmoun (OVR 79)
David Silva (OVR 87 – 88)
Spain too are yet to hit top form, but it isn’t for the want of trying. David Silva has played well in their first two games against Spain and Iran, but he just hasn’t had the space nor luck to work his magic. Morocco are already out of the competition and should play more freely, which could open up space for Silva, regardless if he plays out on the right wing or as a central midfielder. Spain need to get some more running players into their team, and it they can throw on the likes of Marco Asensio (OVR 84) or Iago Aspas (OVR 83), it will only create more space for Silva.
Keep an eye on: Hakim Ziyech (OVR 81)