After scoring an impressive 18/23 last week we enter an international break. Usually, these weeks result in some of the best TOTW’s and although it’s not ground-breaking I think it’s still a strong side with the likes of Aubameyang, Davies, Alba, Neuer and Dembele all featuring.
Manuel Neuer – GK - OVR 89>>91
I could have easily made this side with no keepers at all but there needs to be a balance between realism and accuracy and thus I decided to include one. That being said it is still a complete punt with it being difficult to find a keeper that even contends. Neuer kept two clean sheets this week though via a 3-0 win over Iceland and a 1-0 win over Romania. Although he only made a total of four saves over the two matches. Germany will inevitably feature though and Neuer is seemingly the only player I can kit in from them.
Serge Aurier – RB - OVR 80>>83
Aurier has struggled to get into the Tottenham side after the signing of Doherty, especially for the second half of the season. His quality is still obvious though with his attacking threat down the right-hand side often lethal. The Ivorian was involved in all three of their goals in a 3-0 AFCON win over Niger, scoring once and assisting another two. In turn, making him a very easy choice for this side.
Milan Skrinar – CB - OVR 85>>86
Slovakia found themselves falling two goals behind Malta in what would have been one of the biggest shocks of the international break. Although still a disappointing result Slovakia battled back to a 2-2 draw and from that, they still should pick up an IF. That is after central defender Skrinar assisted the first before then scoring himself, allowing Slovakia to record what could be an important point looking back.
Jordi Alba – LB - OVR 86>>89
This is a difficult one with EA snubbing both Ronaldo and Lewandowski for IF proximity in previous weeks for the same distance of which I am allowing Alba to make it into my prediction. The big difference is the rating though with both Ronaldo and Lewandowski running out of room while Alba would only be 89 rated. Due to that, I can see the Spaniard making the side, after all, we have seen 2-week gaps this year too. He gets the inclusion for providing both assists as Spain came from a goal behind to beat Georgia 2-1
Ousmane Dembele – RM - OVR 83>>85
As is always the case during international breaks there will be some options sneaking in which get in for very little. I can see Dembele being one of those after he scored the opener for France in their 2-0 win over Kazakhstan. He was the only France player L’equipe awarded a 7/10 to with other players picking up six and below. France usually features in these weeks and thus Dembele looks to be a good option.
Tomas Soucek – CM - OVR 81>>87
You would have been forgiven for not knowing the name Soucek previous to this season, but the West Ham man has always been among the goals, just at lower profile games in the Czech topflight. Since moving to the Premier League his form has remained and now practically everyone knows the name Soucek. Winning his 30th cap for the country this weekend he repaid the Czech Republic by scoring his first international hat trick. Estonia was on the receiving end with the hosts losing the match 6-2. There could easily be a second player from Czechia but Soucek is practically guaranteed.
Cyle Larin – CAM - OVR 72>>82
The first of two Canadian players I have opted for this week is Larin. I do think that Larin is the better option and thus the more likely to be included should EA opt for only one, but I shall explain more in a minute. Larin scored three goals from CAM for Canada as they recorded a 5-1 home win over Bermuda to get their qualification off to a flyer.
Alphonso Davies – LM - OVR 81>>84
I mentioned that there would be a second Canadian player and the reason behind that is the fact that Davies will stand out in what is a weak TOTW. I can’t see Larin missing out but after Davies provided three assists from what would be a more advanced LM role I don’t think that EA will miss out on this opportunity. He will be a fun card to use and after all three assists are nothing to turn your nose up at.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang – RW - OVR 87>>89
Potentially the headlining player of TOTW 27 will be Aubameyang. It wasn’t long ago that claims Aubameyang wouldn’t be playing international football emerged due to the way they were treated at an airport, but he is still playing for Gabon and performing well for them. Playing from what looks to be a RW position the Arsenal forward scored once and assisted another to help Gabon record a 3-0 win at home to DR Congo.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – ST - OVR 79>>82
Despite finding himself among the goals on a regular basis this season, Calvert-Lewin is still yet to receive an IF. His first is likely to come from the international break after England scored five past San Marino which although is still an average result will inevitably result in an IF. DCL scored both his third and fourth international goals for England and was named MOTM for doing so, making him the likely candidate.
Burak Yilmaz – ST - OVR 78>>82
Yilmaz has recently returned to football after having been out of action for a couple of months with a calf injury. Turkey decided he was still match fit enough for a tough outing with the Netherlands this week and he proved them right by scoring three times to spearhead Turkey to a shock 4-2 home win, getting their world cup campaign off to a flyer!
Thorgan Hazard – LWB - OVR 83>>85
This one largely depends on how EA classifies Hazard’s position with him being a high possibility as a LWB while quite a low one as a LM. He gets the shout after scoring once and assisting another in Belgium’s 3-1 win over Wales. A gold defender with two goal contributions is unlikely to miss out but his overall ratings were average to be honest and thus if classified as a midfielder seems unlikely to make the cut.
Mohammed Kudus – LM - OVR 75>>84
Onto another option from the AFCON fixtures now with Kudus playing a large role in Ghana’s 3-1 home win over Sao Tome. The Ajax midfielder played out wide although it could still be argued as a wide CAM. Either way, he stands a good chance of picking up a SIF after provided two assists.
Sergi Darder – CDM - OVR 77>>81
The second tier of Spain was one of the few divisions still in action this weekend with most being off due to the international break. The international fixtures do take priority on these sides but some domestic options always sneak in. Darder is likely to be one of those after he scored twice from CDM for Espanyol in their 3-1 away win.
Steven Jovetic – CAM - OVR 77>>81
It’s been a while since the name Jovetic has lurked around TOTW sides with the Montenegrin forward now playing his trade for Monaco in Ligue 1. Although his game has steadily declined over the past few seasons, he is still among the best on the Montenegro side. This showed on Wednesday with his two goals carrying them to a 2-1 away win over Latvia.
Jonson Clarke-Harris – ST - OVR 68>>81
Usually, we see one or two from the English lower leagues featuring in an international week and this will likely be no different. Peterborough is the obvious candidate after they recorded a 7-0 demolition job over Accrington Stanley. Clarke-Harris scored three of those seven goals and with him being a gold option due to already having an IF I prefer him over Szmodics who has two goals and one assist from CAM.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – ST - OVR 77>>81
This selection is one of the more complicated ones. Tadic was named MOTM from Serbia’s first match, a 3-2 win over Ireland. With Tadic recently receiving a MOTM card, it likely rules him out. Mitrovic is then the next best option. Moving onto the second Serbia match, a 2-2 draw with Portugal. The best option was Jota who scored both Portugal’s goals but once again a recent promo inclusion rules him out. Mitrovic scored in this match too so with three goals over two games and a couple of exclusions I can see him making his way into TOTW 27.
Islam Slimani – ST - OVR 77>>81
Slimani usually finds himself among the goals but has struggled to find the net for Lyon this season, scoring just once from eleven appearances. Algeria still decided to start the striker though and hopefully, it will kickstart his form after he scored twice and assisted another during their 3-3 draw with Zambia. Despite failing to win, two goals and an assist during an international week rarely misses out.
Mohamed Drager – RB - OVR 69>>77
Tunisia managed to win both their fixtures this week but it’s the first match I am going to be focusing on with them recording a 5-2 win away at Libya. RB, Drager provided them with both a goal and an assist and thus despite also conceding twice I feel that he has done enough to go on to feature in TOTW 27.
Craig Noone – LM - OVR 67>>76
Melbourne City continued their climb up the table after a poor start to the season with a 4-1 win over WSW, making it six consecutive wins for the Australian outlet. Craig Noone scored two of those four while also assisting another making him a prime candidate for TOTW 27. Tufan was a strong contender for this position as well but with Yilmaz already in the side I found it significantly easier to snub him.
Mikkel Damsgaard – LW - OVR 73>>79
There were a plethora of options from Denmark’s 8-0 win over Moldova on Sunday with just about everyone getting in on the action one way or another. Despite only being silver Damsgaard is the likely recipient of an IF on Wednesday after he scored twice and assisted another two from the LW receiving perfect match ratings in the process.
Sasa Kalajdzic – ST - OVR 67>>76
This is another option from which they scored in both fixtures played this week. Kalajdzic primarily gets in for his first performance though with two goals in a 2-2 draw with Scotland before then scoring one of three goals in a 3-1 win over the Faroe Islands. With it being an international fixture, I am happy to give him preference over other domestic players with two goals.
Aleksandar Trajkovski – ST - OVR 69>>77
There were numerous players scoring twice during the international break and it is difficult to separate them when it comes to selecting TOTW but Trajkovski is my front runner for the reserves. That is after North Macedonia recorded an impressive 5-0 home win over Lichtenstein, a result which will stand out when selected TOTW. Trajkovski scored two of those five and picked up strong match ratings to boost his chances.