After a couple of strong TOTW sides to kick off the year, we enter the dreaded International break. These are always difficult to predict with barely any options available. Although weaker than its predecessors this side still offers some players to get hyped about!
Rui Patricio – GK - OVR 84>>86
One of the more high-profile friendlies saw Portugal face off against Spain. The hype was short lived though with both sides failing to find the net. That being said Patricio was fantastic between the sticks making a total of six saves to deny Spain. International weeks are always difficult when it comes to keepers, so Patricio stands out despite the fact it comes from a friendly fixture.
Hamari Traore – RB - OVR 79>>82
Ghana is still a well-respected side when it comes to African football but in truth, their side is significantly worse than what we have seen in recent world cups. Mali recorded a 3-0 win over them this weekend with Traore doing a lot of damage down the right flank with both a goal and an assist to his name.
Willi Orban – CB - OVR 79>>82
The fact that Orban failed to keep a clean sheet may well harm his chances for this side but the Hungarian defender still played a big role in Hungary’s 3-1 away win over Bulgaria in their playoff fixture. The Leipzig defender scored the opener in the 17th minute before defending well throughout. A late strike from Yomov saw the hosts get onto the scoresheet but despite that, I feel that Orban has a good chance.
Antonio Rudiger – CB - OVR 81>>84
Chelsea heavily features this week which considering its an international week should not matter too much but one could easily miss out due to it. Rudiger was named Kickers MOTM after recording an assist for Ginter’s goal in a narrow 2-1 win over Ukraine. The other option from Germany was Havertz for his midweek performance but with a likely OTW on the way that rules him out of consideration.
Robert Skov – LB - OVR 75>>81
Denmark picked up their first win of their UEFA nations group via a 3-0 away win over Iceland. Eriksen was of course on the scoresheet but although he usually picks up International IF’s instead, I can see Skov getting the nod for his goal from LB.
Luis Muriel – LW - OVR 79>>82
When it comes to the FIFA community Muriel is a well-known name and not always for the right reasons. The pacey forward is often disregarded as a solely pace player, but the Colombian actually has a lot of ability. That was shown during Colombia’s 3-0 home win over Venezuela from which he scored twice from the wing. An easy selection for this side.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – CM - OVR 85>>86
As far as super subs go Milinkovic was right up there this week. With neither Norway nor Serbia managing to break the deadlock opted for Milinkovic-Savic to replace Duricic in the 80th minute. Making an instant impact Savic opened the scoring in the 81st minute before Norway then leveled in the 88th. Once again, the Lazio midfielder found the net during extra time though allowing Serbia to progress via a 2-1 win.
Mason Mount – CM - OVR 80>>83
It is practically inevitable that an England IF occurs from the international weeks and with the three lions coming from behind to beat the current world number 1’s, Belgium, 2-1 I wouldn’t expect anything to change. As for who the IF will go to it is a difficult call with no clear options. Mason Mount was named MOTM for his winner though and thus it makes sense to punt him.
Martin Odegaard – RM - OVR 83>>85
Excluding Suarez as his IF cam before his OTW item was released. Odegaard looks set to become the first OTW to get an upgrade. Norway cruised to a 4-0 win over Romania with Haaland scoring three goals and Sorloth with the other. Haaland obviously features in TOTW 2 and is thus not available for this side. Instead, I would expect Odegaard to get the nod, picking up two assists. The OTW factor should play a role for his inclusion over Soloth who also stands a chance.
Gylfi Sigurdsson – ST - OVR 79 >>82
There are a few players that we consistently see featured in International TOTW’s, and Sigurdsson is one of those. Although he often finds himself in and out of the Everton side when it comes to Iceland, he is their talisman. They opted to play him in a more advanced role this weekend from which he repaid them with two goals during a 2-1 win over Romania.
Roberto Firmino – ST - OVR 87>>88
Firmino often gets a lot of stick for his lack of goals in a Liverpool shirt but his overall role for the side is so important. The Brazilian proved that he can score though, bagging two for Brazil during their 5-0 win over Bolivia. Neymar also stands a chance with two assists but with him being snubbed for much more last week I simply had to go the Firmino route
Ibrahim Sehic – GK - OVR 69>>79
By far the hardest position to fill this week was the substitute goalkeeper with next to nobody standing out for the position, especially on the gold front. I have taken the punt on Sehic after he made four saves in Bosnia’s 0-0 draw against the Netherlands.
Winston Reid – CB - OVR 75>>81
Winston Reid opted for a loan move to Kansas City instead of fighting for his place at West Ham. Overall, he has performed well for them during the seven matches he has played so far. His most recent will be his most memorable though with the defender scoring the only goal of the match during their 1-0 home win over Chicago Fire.
Diego Chara – CDM - OVR 75>>81
There are quite a few options from the MLS which could work against Chara’s inclusion but with it being one of the only domestic divisions playing this weekend it was always likely that a few IF’s would occur from the division. Chara is selected after he assisted twice and defended well throughout in Portlands 3-0 home win over RSL
Andre Carillo – RM - OVR 79>>82
Paraguay and Peru battled out a 2-2 draw in their World Cup qualifying fixture with both Carillo and Romero scoring two each. Either player could easily make EA’s TOTW but Carillo is seemingly the more likely of the two with him being a midfielder rather than a striker. Carillo was also named MOTM for an additional boost on his chances.
Stephan El Shaarawy – LW - OVR 79>>82
Regular FIFA players will know El Shaarawy from back in FIFA 12 from which he was a very hyped silver option in the game. Since then he had a very hit and miss career in Italy for both AC Milan and Roma before making the move to China to play for Shenhua. Italy played a second-string side for their friendly with Moldova from which the skillful winger scored twice during a 6-0 win.
Alexander Sorloth – ST - OVR 77>>81
Sorloth has jumped around clubs the past few seasons playing for numerous sides. He recently signed for Leipzig as their potential replacement for Werner. Although I already have Odegaard predicted from Norway's 4-0 win over Romania I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sorloth included as well. After all, two players from the same match is most likely to occur from Internationals.
Oliver Giroud – ST - OVR 79>>82
France put in a very convincing display while hosting Ukraine with a 7-1 win in a match that showed off future talents like Camavinga, who was excellent throughout. It was a familiar face who is likely to pick up the IF though with Giroud scoring twice and assisting another. Obviously, there is a chance that friendlies will not count but I have made a few exceptions.
Marius Willsch – RB - OVR 65>>75
Willsch previously played as a striker but currently plays his trade in the deeper RB role for 1860 Munich. His most recent performances had glimpses of his earlier days though with the now defender chipping in with both a goal and an assist down the right-hand flank. He went on to be named POTW by Kicker which going from the past couple of weeks seems to be a popular choice for EA.
Kamil Grosicki – LM - OVR 74>>80
Despite Grosicki no longer being a gold player in FIFA I would still expect him to make the cut for TOTW 3. That is after the Polish winger scored a hat trick for Poland as they dispatched of Finland 5-1. The fact that he is now a Premier League player also works in his favor.
Gwion Edwards – RW - OVR 67>>76
As you may or not already know I am an Ipswich fan so when it comes to predicting their IF’s I tend to stay away from them to eliminate bias. Edwards however should easily make the cut after scoring twice and assisting another during a 4-1 win over Blackpool. Ipswich is still unbeaten after their opening five, sitting on 13 points from a possible 15. Conceding just two goals in the process.
Danny Musovski – ST - OVR 57>>67
The third and final MLS player to make my prediction this week is Los Angeles striker Musovski. The American was heavily involved in their 3-1 win over Seattle, playing a part in all three goals with two of his own going alongside an assist for Ginella’s.
Jamille Matt – ST - OVR 59>>69
During International weeks there is always at least one from the English Lower Leagues, there were several options to choose from but, the best bet has to be Forest Greens striker, Matt. The Jamaican scored three of their four goals in a 4-1 away win over Scunthorpe.