TOTW 15 had a couple of big names, and even saw a TOTW SBC drop, however as a whole it didn’t quite tick all the boxes. This week however we have plenty of leagues still on their festive break, leaving us with a superstar lineup from mainly Italy and England. Sadly it’s too soon for Pogba to hit a second Inform, but fear not, as there are plenty of top tier names ready to fill that space!
The initial goalkeeper selections saw two silvers making the cut, but as we know, EA like to ensure we get at least one strong goalkeeper within each lineup. So over to Italy we go, where we find a Donnarumma who had not one, but two solid games this week. He may not have quite managed to secure two clean sheets, but with just a single goal conceded, alongside some sensational saves, we feel he has done enough to earn his space amongst our predictions this week.
Over to England now, where Chelsea picked up a much needed 3 points with a 1-0 win away to Crystal Palace. With yet another Chelsea Inform to select, we were faced with the same question as before, do we select Luiz or Kante. Kante provided the goal, but his recent Inform was only a week ago, hence with the magical assist and clean sheet, it’s Luiz’s turn to step into the spotlight here.
Back across to Italy now, and just incase you hadn’t noticed, with the lack of leagues back from their festive break, this will be the pattern for the majority of these predictions! Torino were comfortable 3-0 winners at home to Empoli midweek, and with a clean sheet plus a goal, there is every chance that Nkoulou has done just enough.
At the beginning of the week, if you suggested that this was a nomination I would be writing about, there isn’t a chance I would have believed you. After Manchester City’s shock loss to Palace last week, Leicester went out and stunned them in an extremely familiar manner. Pereira may have not quite managed the clean sheet, but it was his sensational strike that separated the two clubs, and gave Leicester all 3 points.
We remain in Italy here, with a decision that may be a little more controversial than most. Roma were on the road this week to Parma, where they took the win with a 2-0 victory. Under was in great form, scoring once and assisting the second, however it was Cristante who took the highest match rating, and also provided the second goal, all from his central role too.
Sassuolo and Atlanta went head to head this week in a game that provided fans with a massive 8 goals. These goals weren’t shared evenly though, and it was Atlanta who stole the show with a 6-2 win. Initially it was Gomez who was making the team, with a goal and 2 assists, however, looking at the substitutes changed absolutely everything. Ilicic was on the pitch for less than 30 minutes, which was plenty of time for him to secure a hat-trick and collect the match ball.
It’s happening again, the Felipe Anderson hype train is full steam ahead! West Ham were away to Southampton for their midweek fixture, and despite a match lasting 90 minutes, this fixture required just 10 to wrap up all the action. Southampton took the lead in the 50th, Felipe replied in the 53rd and then put West Ham ahead in the 59th to secure the points for his side, alongside a possible third Inform too.
Christmas has come and gone, we are roughly 4 months into FIFA 19, and the possibility of Ronaldo earning his first Inform this week still only remains a possibility at best. For any other player two goals is usually enough to secure their first upgrade of the campaign, however when you’re Ronaldo, a little more is usually expected of you. Juventus picked up a 2-1 win over Sampdoria this week, and with both the goals under his belt, while playing on the left again, his OTW card could finally be seeing some action.
Manchester United have turned awful, are a mid-table team, and simply cannot compete anymore, or was it simply Mourinho than was holding them back? We see our second potential United player in just two weeks, we have seen Pogba scoring for fun, and we have seen that fire that United used to carry by the bucket. They picked up another win on the weekend with a 4-1 victory at home to Bournemouth. Pogba was simply sensational again, but his current Inform likely prevents one this week. Rashford was also brilliant up top, scoring once and assisting a second.
As a Liverpool fan, this magical moment is something I’ve been waiting on for years. Firmino has been fantastic for Liverpool over the years, however the one accomplishment that had always evaded the Brazilian was his first Liverpool hat-trick. Liverpool initially went 1-0 down to an early goal against Arsenal on the weekend, but a quick fire double followed by a goal from the spot, not only helped Liverpool take the points in a 5-1 win, but also saw Firmino taking the match ball home with him.
We have already seen one Chelsea player feature within these predictions, but with Hazards fantastic midweek performance it instantly becomes incredibly tough to leave this Belgian out. Chelsea took the points in a narrow 2-1 win away to Watford in the week, with Hazard scoring both goals for the visitors. On top of this, he took the role of striker for the match, potentially giving him an upgraded card in a central role.
Substitutes and Reserves
Onto the bench now, and as usual we kick start things with a goalkeeper. Cardiff were surprise 1-0 winners away to Leicester this week, however it was far from smooth sailing. Etheridge dealt with 16 shots, made 7 saves and also stopped one from the spot, securing his clean sheet along with the points for his club.
Lazio were on the road for their first game this week as they travelled to Bologna for their Serie A fixture. The journey was worth while, as Lazio picked up a comfortable 2-0 victory and took all the points home with them. The hero on the day was without question Felipe, keeping the clean sheet, assisting a goal and scoring one for himself too.
Everton have shown moments of magic this season, alongside periods of despair. They can comfortably win a game 5-1, and then lose to a relegation fighting side the following week. For now though, we look at the positives, we look at their 5-1 win over Burnley in the week. Digne was simply outstanding, scoring twice while remaining solid in defence throughout.
This was a difficult choice, as several players had incredible performances on the day. Tottenham absolutely destroyed Bournemouth 5-0 in the week, and despite Son, Kane and Eriksen finding the back of the net, our nomination falls elsewhere. The youngster Walker-Peters had an incredible match, managing to keep a clean sheet while providing assists to three of the goals too.
With only a handful of leagues in action this week, diversifying and selecting players from across the world instantly becomes a little bit trickier. Luckily players like Otero make these decisions much simpler, as he provided a goal and an assist in Al Wehda’s 2-1 win over Al Ahil this week.
We head back across to Italy for our next selection, but it isn’t the top flight of football that grabs our attention here, instead we see our first selection from Serie B. Pescara were 4-0 winners away to Salerno this week, and with 3 goals and an assist to his name, there is simply no possible universe where Mancuso doesn’t make the final team.
There seems to be a theme attached to these predictions, which sees teams scoring for fun in their first match, and then going on to massively underperform in the second. This theme fits in perfectly with Celtic as they picked up the points in a 4-3 win away to Aberdeen, only to lose 1-0 in an unaspiring match against Rangers. Sinclair was near perfect in the first match, scoring not once, not twice, but three times to help his side overcome the challenge and take all 3 points home.
Fans were left enjoying a game of 6 goals, as Kortrijk beat Zulte-Waregem 4-2 this week. Mboyo was the standout player on the day, scoring twice and terrorising the opposition from start to finish.
The next stop this week sees us flying all the way across to Australia, where Sydney FC were narrow 2-1 winners over Brisbane Roar this week. Luckily for the hosts their striker was ready and raring for action, finding the back of the net twice and ensuring his side took the win. Step forward Le Fondre!
Back across to Serie B now, where we find our second and final nomination from the league. Hellas Verona took the points with a 4-0 win over Cittadella this week, and Pazzini was nothing short of phenomenal. Scoring three goals, securing his hat-trick and taking home the man of the match award is just the start, next up is an Inform card on Wednesday!
We mentioned how teams have dominated in one match and then crumbled in the next, but what we haven’t covered are the teams that caused these upsets. Wolves travelled to Tottenham for their second fixture this week, and despite the Home side being absolute favourites, it was the visitors who provided the upset. It was a fantastic performances across the board, but as we can’t give an Inform to everybody it’s Jimenez who gets our vote this week.
Our final selection this week sees us heading back to Italy for one last time. Napoli were narrow 3-2 winners over Bologna this week, and while there were plenty of strong performances, it’s about time Milik finally received an upgrade this year. The striker took the man of the match award, dominated the opposition and found the back of the net twice, surely this has to be his week!