Just over a week remains in the World Cup, and all the nations left in the tournament will have thoughts of lifting the most famous trophy in football. On Saturday, England return from their penalty heroics to face the stubborn Swedes, whilst hosts and surprise package Russia take on the impressive Croatia.
In one of the most open World Cup’s we’ve seen, some players have grabbed the opportunity with some stunning performances. Man of the Match ratings boosts are being awarded on FIFA World Cup Ultimate Team, increasing the overall rating of players from the World Cup, even if you already own their card. You can vote for who you think should be the Man of the Match on the EA Sports FIFA website at the end of each day’s play.
This only applies to the World Cup update for Ultimate Team on FIFA 18, with players found in packs on the FUT store and unlocked from completing challenges.
RealSport predicts who could get an increase from the quarter-finals on Saturday.
Victor Lindelof (OVR 79 – 82)
Sweden have had an unconventional route to the Quarter-finals, topping their group from out of nowhere and then nicking a goal in a flat affair against Sweden. With scoring goals not really Sweden’s ‘thing’, they will look to frustrate opponents England with a compact defence.
Not much has been made about the performances of Victor Lindelof, who has built a solid defensive partnership with skipper Andreas Granqvist (OVR 87). The Manchester United defender had a difficult season with form and fitness issues and playing against England is the perfect opportunity to remind us of his quality.
Keep an eye on: Marcus Berg (OVR 81)
Raheem Sterling (OVR 84 – 85)
Raheem Sterling divides opinion both on and off the field, but the Manchester City star needs to show his ability on the international stage. The forward has started three of England’s four games thus far in the World Cup and has never looked like coming close to scoring.
Two goals in 41 games for his country is not good enough for a player of Sterling’s calibre, and the bare minimum the England man should be doing is opening up space and creating opportunities for the deadly Harry Kane (OVR 88). Kane has scored six times for six shots in the tournament, but with only one of those coming in open play, Sterling needs to aid his strike partner, especially against a resolute Swedish side.
Keep an eye on: Jesse Lingard (OVR 83)
Artem Dzyuba (OVR 78 – 84)
Russia camped on the back foot against Spain, and it worked. With the six foot five Artem Dzyuba up front, they will cause all sorts of problems, and with the entire Croatian defence prone to individual errors, the big man could be in luck.
Dzyuba will look to knock the long balls down to the midfield runners of Denis Cheryshev (OVR 81) and Aleksandr Golovin (OVR 82), and of course be the threat from set-pieces. With him on the park, the hosts can afford to surrender possession knowing they have a constant outlet in attack.
Keep an eye on: Denis Cheryshev (OVR 81)
Andrej Kramaric (OVR 80 – 82)
Croatia’s big names have turned up so far in the tournament, but it could be one of their lesser players who could make the difference against the compact Russia. Andrej Kramaric has netted 31 times across the last two seasons for Hoffenheim, so he should be not be underestimated.
The 27-year-old is not a conventional striker, and is likely to come on out wide, but expect him to run in the channels and offer the most support to Mario Mandzukic (OVR 83). Kramaric will provide a different threat, whilst still remaining a fox in the box.
Keep an eye on: Luka Modric (OVR 90)