This World Cup just keeps giving. Over the weekend we saw Argentina, Portugal and Spain exit the competition, as well as Denmark's penalty defeat to Croatia. This tournament is one of the most open of all time, and those playing in Monday’s action can take a massive step towards World Cup glory.
Countries will need their star men to take them deep into the tournament, and with Man of Match rating boosts being handed out on FIFA World Cup Ultimate Team, this can impact your team on the World Cup update in FIFA 18. If players you already own receive a Man of the Match boost, they will improve. Otherwise, you can hunt for players in packs from the FUT store or unlock them by completing challenges.
RealSport looks at who’s in contention to claim a boost on Day 19 out in Russia.
Neymar (OVR 93 – 94)
After the exits of Germany and now Spain, Brazil are the hot favourites to claim a sixth World Cup. The South Americans produced their best performance in the 2-0 win over Serbia at the end of the group stage, but there is more to come from this team and Neymar in particular. Phillipe Coutinho (OVR 89) has been the star thus far, but you feel if Brazil are to go all the way, Neymar needs to start performing.
Watch out for: Gabriel Jesus (OVR 85)
Hirving Lozano (OVR 84 – 85)
Mexico got their World Cup campaign off to a dream start with a 1-0 win over defending champions Germany, but they failed to maintain that level with a poor 3-0 loss to Sweden. They only remained in the competition due South Korea’s surprise win over the Germans, but with a poor performance out of their system, Mexico will be eying another shock. Their ability on the counter-attack is a sight to behold, with PSV Eindhoven’s Hirving Lozano the biggest threat. The left winger will be up against Brazil’s weakest player in Fagner (OVR 77), so expect him to run at the right back all afternoon.
Watch out for: Javier Hernandez (OVR 84)
Romelu Lukaku (OVR 87 – 88)
Belgium have a reputation for being World Cup chokers, but they have a great platform to go deep this summer. After defeating England with a rotated side, their key men are rested, and they perhaps face the weakest nation left in the competition in Japan. Romelu Lukaku’s strength and running looks to be too much for the Japanese defence, who have already over-performed in getting past the group stage. With Lukaku able to link up with the likes of Eden Hazard (OVR 91), Dries Mertens (OVR 86) and Kevin De Bruyne (OVR 90), it could be a long 90 minutes for the Blue Samurai against the Red Devils.
Watch out for: Eden Hazard (OVR 91)
Yuya Osako (OVR 81 – 82)
You struggle to see a way through for Japan, so they will need striker Yuya Osako at his very best. The forward bagged the winner against Colombia from a corner, and it may be another goal from a set-piece against the run of play that gives Japan a chance against Belgium. Despite their quality, the Belgians do suffer from defensive lapses, and Osako, who joins Werder Bremen next season, will be looking to pounce.
Watch out for: Shinji Kagawa (OVR 82)