We thought we'd like to test out the fantasy advice we've been giving in our recent preview articles. We also thought you might like to help us. So we've set up a group on the official FIFA website fantasy football competition for Londonist readers where you can take us on in a spirit of mutual learning, discovery and encouragement. The joining details are:
Group Name: Londonist
Group Password: goleo06
(Goleo is the official world cup mascot, you see...)
You have to select a squad of 23 players and then make sure you have the right players in your team of 11 on any calendar day. If you're going to be away for a while you can set automatic changes in advance.
Londonist readers can pick absolutely anybody they like from the squad lists. Londonist are, however, voluntarily going to limit ourselves only to players mentioned in the eight preview articles.
And this one.
Which is why we shall mention the names of Eric Abidal, Joshua Kennedy and our very own Peter Crouch. We were watching the French play their final friendly against China last night (note to Liverpool fans - drop Djibril Cissé from that fantasy team right away) and we couldn't help but be impressed by the buccaneering performance of Abidal, belatedly installed in the left back slot as William Gallas has been moved to the middle. A clean sheet or two is likely for Abidal and quite possibly a couple of assists into the bargain.
We noted after the recent friendlies that Crouch was playing well, but neither us, nor in all likelihood Sven or the Robot Man himself, expected him to be a starter come crunch time. However, that's what he now seems to be and, as we noted in our Group B feature, he's exactly the sort of man to profit from Paraguay's defensive weakness at set plays.
Joshua Kennedy is Australia's Peter Crouch in that he's a tall striker who's made a late bid for inclusion in his team(Australia) after some eye opening performances which could earn him a first game appearance against a side (Japan) who it is felt may find him a handful in dead ball situations. We want the option of picking him just in case Guus does.
By the way, not only is Cissé out of the tournament, but, in case you hadn't heard, key fantasy pick Michael Ballack has been declared officially out of tomorrow's opener against Costa Rica. Rush for a replacement (we suggest team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger) now! Furthermore Steven Gerrard is only rated at 50/50 for Saturday.
We look forward to meeting you in the Londonist league. At the moment, the only prize for winning will be pride and bragging rights. We'll have a root around to see if we can come up with something more tangible and appropriate. Possibly a Goleo. His makers could do with the money.
Tune in again tomorrow when we'll be suggesting an itinerary for making the most of this week's world cup watching in London.
Picture via lilmurmurs's Flickr stream.