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UEFA World Cup Qualifiers: Saturday 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.


12:00 p.m: Austria v. Ireland
12:00 p.m: Croatia v. Iceland
12:00 p.m: Turkey v. Kosovo
2:45 p.m: Spain v. Macedonia
2:45 p.m: Liechtenstein v. Italy
2:45 p.m: Wales v. Serbia



Austria: David Alaba
Ireland: Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan
Croatia: Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic
Iceland: Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson
Turkey: Hakan Calhanoglu
Kosovo: Valon Berisha, Leart Paqarada
Spain: David Silva, Koke
Macedonia: Stefan Spirovski, Ezgjan Alioski
Liechtenstein: Sandro Wieser, Franz Burgmeier
Italy: Antonio Candreva, Giacomo Bonaventura
Wales: Aaron Ramsey, Joe Ledley, David Cotterill
Serbia: Dusan Tadic, Luka Milivojevic



Danijel Subasic, CRO v. ISL:
Italy, Spain and Turkey are the three biggest favorites on the slate, so much so that it wouldn't be surprising if their keepers combined for zero saves. Iceland were the big story of the European Championship this summer, and their attacking style should allow Subasic to get some save points while still tending goal for a 67-percent win favorite.


Dani Carvajal, ESP v. MCD: Simply put, Carvajal is the best attacking fullback for the biggest favorite on the slate. If there is ever an opportunity for Spain to rotate their starting lineup it's home against Macedonia, so be sure to watch the lineups and see if a cheaper one gets the start.

Davide Zappacosta, ITA v. LIE: With manager Giampiero Ventura trying an attack-focused 4-2-4 formation, Zappacosta could be a solid option on the right wing. He's a decent crosser and can also pick up some tackles and interceptions, though his upside is more assist-dependent than goal-dependent.

Gokhan Gonul, TUR v. KOS: Gonul is not a high-crossing fullback for Besiktas, but he should be able to get more forward Saturday against an overmatched Kosovo side, and given the mismatch, the clean sheet bonus is definitely in play.


Hakan Calhanoglu, TUR v. KOS:
Calhanoglu will take corners and free kicks for a Turkey side that are a big favorite (despite Spain and Italy having better win odds). His crosses and fouls drawn give him a very solid floor, and he has legitimate goal-scoring upside, a combination not easily found.

David Alaba, AUS v. IRL: Alaba has been a significantly bigger piece of Bayern Munich's attack this season under Carlo Ancelotti, and it's actually closer to how he plays for Austria. He is likely to take most set pieces, and he takes a decent number of shots to give him a solid floor. If he's able to connect like we've seen in the past, Alaba could put up a big fantasy score.

Aaron Ramsey, WAL v. SRB: Ramsey hasn't played for Wales since the European Championship this past summer, but he should be able to reclaim his spot on corners for a side that has some decent attacking pieces, including some guy named Gareth Bale. Wales are actually the lowest favorite, but they attack enough at home to generate crossing opportunities for the Arsenal man.


Antonio Candreva, ITA v. LIE: Candreva is a high-crossing attacking midfielder who will likely take most free kicks and corners at least on one side. He is likely to be heavily owned due to his role and opponent, though fantasy owners may get a similar floor from teammate Giocomo Bonaventura, who will play on the other wing and provides significant salary savings on DraftKings.

Alvaro Morata, ESP v. MCD: Morata, who is -200 to score (according to bet365) in a match Spain are expected to dominate, comes in with goals in four of his last five appearances for Real Madrid. The absence of Diego Costa opens up a spot up front for Spain, with Morata possibly be joined by Aduritz or Iago Aspas, though Morata is the safest of the bunch.

Burak Yilmaz, TUR v. KOS: With a number of injuries up front, Yilmaz has a shot to start up front for the third-heaviest favorite on the slate. He has been tearing it up in China (I know, I know), scoring 11 goals on 62 shots in 17 appearances, including three goals and an assist in his last two. If he can keep that kind of play going, he could certainly bag a goal against Kosovo.

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.