This week brought TOTW7 into the forefront and of course, Mbappe was the big ticket item this time around. After scoping out the price tag it was a little too rich for my blood and the next tier of players came into consideration. Sitting in the “how did he get in there” column was another FUT favorite in the Liverpool midfielder, Fabinho. Granted he played well, but without a goal or assist it was a surprise to see the Brazilian included, and the results of the FUTBIN TOTW Predicator showed just how difficult it was to follow EA on this one. But, I was not complaining and having used the NIF Fabinho with success this FIFA, I was interested to see what the changes would bring. This weekend I played Fabinho alongside Scream Firmino in a 4-4-2 and they complimented each other perfectly in the following squad:
Pace Rating: 8/10
Dribbling Rating: 8/10
Shooting Rating: 6.5/10
Passing Rating: 9.5/10
Physical Rating: 9.5/10
Defending Rating: 9/10
I was lucky enough to only spend five minutes sniping a SHADOW card to add to Fabinho for the weekend grind. 80 SPRINT SPEED & 82 ACCELERATION are enough to get the big man around the pitch at pace, and his long strides just compliment the speed injection when tracking down opponents. Defensively this card is a powerhouse and winning the ball back is made easier by the long legs and massive frame that makes up his player archetype. The physicality of the card is impeccable and he bullies opponents around the pitch, creating a defined presence in the center of the park.
EPL. Brazilian. Liverpool. Central card. Not sure if there is a better combination to link quality players at the moment beyond ICONs. This card offers numerous options and can link to a lot of the most popular cards currently in the game.
Current Game Strength
If I had to choose between Kante and IF Fabinho at the moment I am not sure which direction I would go. While they get the job done in different ways, these are two of the top tier ball winners in the game. One of my favorite attributes of this card comes from the size and ability to shield the ball. Time and time again I win the ball from my opponent only to have them sneak back in and steal it straight back. With Fabinho you have a massive blockade that your opponent has to maneuver to retrieve possession. Additionally, the 79 passing does not scream quality, but with 84 SHORT & 83 LONG PASSING, you know the ball is finding the target you have picked out.
Value/Coins & Good vs. Bad
Value/Coins Rating: 5/5
Good vs Bad Rating: 5/5
The value for coins section here was an easy comparison; Is the IF 86 rated card worth the 200k price tag compared to the NIF 85 rated card at 60k? The answer I observed was a confident yes. NIF Fabinho was just missing something in my mind and didn’t win the ball as frequently as I would have liked. On the other hand, IF Fabinho was a vacuum all weekend long, sucking up the opponent's attacks and dumping the ball up field in quality situations. Due to the nature of my formation, it also allowed the big man to get forward throughout the weekend. As the rating and statistics suggest he is not great in these positions, but he found them with quality runs and his quickness off the ball.
As I just finished explaining this card is a farce in front of goal; Fabinho glides into good positions like a gazelle and then finishes like a donkey. However, I did not change his instructions to “Stay Back” because of the havoc the extra body would cause for opponents… you then have the legs to get back and help defensively. +2 increases to INTERCEPTIONS, STANDING & SLIDE TACKLES does not seem like a lot, but I swear I noticed a huge difference from the NIF and this guy would sniff out opponent’s chances and stomp them out before they could think about scoring.
67 AGILITY & 67 BALANCE … the proverbial elephant in the room. On the ball, I will not pretend that Fabinho is ready to join Cirque de Soleil and dance past opponents, but his drive with the ball and protection in tight situations more than made up for these stats. Off of the ball, I did not notice an issue at all and direction changes with or without jockeying were responsive and led to consuming opponents would be chances. Playing alongside Scream Firmino was the perfect complement to the big man and I would strongly suggest pairing Fabinho with any ball playing, goal-scoring midfielder of your choice. The freedom to lay off the ball after Fabinho wins yet another tackle offers endless counter opportunities. In the end, Fabinho is one of those cards that you look back on and realize he played a pivotal role in winning the match, without a goal or assist in the process… perhaps the same logic that saw the big man in the TOTW in the first place. Cheers for reading.