We’ve almost completed the first full round of matches at the World Cup in Russia, and well, it hasn’t exactly gone to plan. Argentina and Brazil were held to surprise draws by Iceland and Switzerland respectively, whilst Uruguay and France laboured to slender victories over Egypt and Australia. The biggest surprise however, went to Mexico as they produced a tactical masterclass to defeat Germany 1-0 and send shockwaves through Russia.
National team bosses will hope the tournament settles down in the second round of group stage matches, but we still have the Group H clashes to look forward to. In the most open group at this summer’s World Cup, every point will be vital. Colombia and Japan first meet in Saransk on Tuesday, with Poland and Senegal completing the first round of matches in Moscow.
Later, hosts Russia will look to build on their perfect start to the tournament against Egypt, who could become the first team to be dumped out of the tournament if results don’t go in their favour.
RealSport looks as who could be in line for a Man of the Match ratings boost on the World Cup update for FIFA Ultimate Team. There is no transfer market on the mode, but players can be found in packs and they will be updated to their new ratings if selected.
James Rodriguez (OVR 87 – 90)
The star man for Colombia, the performances of James Rodriguez will dictate how far his country reach in this World Cup. Four years ago, Rodriguez was involved in eight of Colombia’s 12 goals at the World Cup in Brazil, and they will be looking for their talisman to deliver once again this summer. With Colombia the strongest team in Group H, Rodriguez will look to show his quality, and in facing Japan, the weakest team in the group first, he can get his World Cup off to a dream start.
Keep an eye on: Radamel Falcao (OVR 84)
Robert Lewandowski (OVR 92 – 93)
Robert Lewandowski was the top scorer in European qualifying for the World Cup, and the Poland captain will, of course, want to take that form into the tournament. Despite winning the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich once again this season, it was a disappointing end to the season for Lewandowski who struggled against Real Madrid in the Champions League and lost in the German Cup against Hoffenheim. He'll be eager to impress against Senegal.
Keep an eye on: Piotr Zielinski (OVR 82)
Sadio Mane (OVR 84 – 86)
Senegal have an abundance of pace in their side, and they will see Mane as their main weapon against a disciplined Polish 4-4-2. Sadio Mane is clearly Senegal’s main outlet after bagging 20 goals for Liverpool last season. The Senegalese warmed up for the World Cup with a 2-0 win over South Korea and a brave 2-1 loss to Croatia, so Poland should not underestimate perhaps the best African team at the tournament.
Keep an eye on: Kalidou Koulibaly (OVR 84)
Aleksandr Golovin (OVR 82 – 84)
Denis Cheryshev (OVR 76) may have grabbed the headlines for his brace off the bench in Russia’s 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the World Cup, but there was no doubt Aleksandr Golovin was the star man in that tie. The central midfield picked up two assists before curling in a free kick to round off the victory. On the back of that showing the rumour mill has gone into overdrive, with the 22-year-old linked with moves to Arsenal, Chelsea and Juventus. Can Golovin increase his transfer price against an Egyptian side desperate to bounce back from an opening game defeat?
Keep an eye on: Mohamed Salah (OVR 88)