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UEFA World Cup Qualifiers: Friday Cheat Sheet

Andrew M. Laird

Andrew M. Laird, the 2017 FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's Senior Soccer Editor and a fantasy football contributor. He is also a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Football Writer of the Year Award.


2:45 p.m: England v. Scotland
2:45 p.m: France v. Sweden
2:45 p.m: Romania v. Poland
2:45 p.m: Czech Republic v. Norway



England: Wayne Rooney, Jordan Henderson
Scotland: Matt Ritchie, Robert Snograss
France: Dimitri Payet
Sweden: Jimmy Durmaz
Romania: Nicolai Stanciu
Poland: Jakub Blaszczykowski, Kamil Grosicki
Czech Republic: Borek Dockal, Ladislav Krejci
Norway: Per Skjelbred


Tomas Vaclik, CZE v. NOR:
The Czechs are the lowest home favorite, though that's nothing to sneeze at given France and England both have fairly big mismatches. And while Poland's Lukasz Fabianski is a fine play given Poland is expected to beat Romania, he is on the road, which some people prefer to avoid. Vaclik did have a tough outing against Germany two starts (for his country) ago, but Norway shouldn't present nearly as big of a challenge.


Pavel Kaderabek, CZE v. NOR: Kaderabek is expected to get the start at right-back, though Theodor Gebre Selassie is also a possibility and is worthy of selection too. Kaderabek struggled in his last WCQ start against Germany, though like Vaclik, that's nothing to be too worried about now against Norway, who have already lost to Belarus and Azerbaijan on the road. He's unlikely to put in a ton of crosses, but he's also not afraid to shoot.

Djibril Sidibe, FRA v. SWE: Sidibe gets involved in the attack much more for his club team, AS Monaco, than he does for the national team, but facing an overmatched Sweden side should still allow him to get forward. He sends in a decent number of crosses, draws fouls and still gets a solid number of tackles for a fullback, and the clean-sheet bonus is firmly in play.

Callum Paterson, SCO at ENG: This match figures to be pretty chippy, and while England are strong favorites, they aren't exactly defensive juggernauts. Paterson is likely to get forward on a few occasions, and he'll be looking to cross the ball in, which is all you can ask for from a cheap (on DraftKings) fullback.


Dimitri Payet, FRA v. SWE:
Payet is the set-piece taker for the biggest favorites on the slate. He's likely to be heavily owned because of his excellent floor, but fading him could be very costly, with France expected to dominate possession and get plenty scoring opportunities. Payet has actually been a bit hot-and-cold in Premier League play, but he really steps up playing for France.

Borek Dockal, CZE v. NOR: Another player who is on free kicks for a favorite, Dockal has shown considerable upside in recent international matches, as evidenced by his 15 crosses against Azerbaijan last month. Yes, it was against Azerbaijan, but it's worth noting that they beat Norway, Friday's opponent, over the last international break. With the Czech Republic likely attacking quite a bit to try and grab a vital three points at home, Dockal figures to be very busy.

Per Skjelbred, NOR at CZE: While playing on the road isn't ideal, Skjelbred's price on DraftKings is low enough to warrant consideration even if he doesn't go off. He'll take corners and free kicks, while also getting off a few shots, which gives him a decent floor for a player in his price range.


Robert Lewandowski, POL at ROU:
Lewandowski has five goals in World Cup qualifying, tying him atop the leaderboard with some guy named Cristiano Ronaldo. While there are a few big-name forwards available on Friday's slate, Lewandowski arguably has the highest upside despite playing on the road. His game log on DraftKings certainly looks good, as he's scored seven goals in his last four games (two Champions League matches for Bayern Munich and his last two World Cup qualifiers), but it doesn't include the two goals and one assist he had against Augsburg in Bundesliga play less than two weeks ago. Getting exposure to the Poland attack is a viable plan, and Lewandowski is that attack.

Olivier Giroud, FRA v. SWE: Antoine Griezmann is -125 to score at least one goal, according to bet365, but Giroud comes in at +110, which is the same as Lewandowski. Given France's standing as the biggest favorite, it's obviously important to get an attacker or two, but they have enough pieces other than Griezmann to produce, such as Giroud and Payet, which isn't the case with Lewandowski.

Wayne Rooney, ENG v. SCO: Rooney was on the bench for England's last match, but he is certainly in contention to return now that he's done so for Manchester United as well. This match figures to be hotly-contested, but there should still be plenty of opportunities for fantasy points, particularly from Rooney since he's likely to rack up crosses due to his role on corners.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Andrew M. Laird plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: kingmorland, DraftKings: andrewmlaird, Yahoo: Lairdinho, TheSix: Lairdinho.