As most seasoned McDonald's FIFA World Cup Fantasy managers will tell you, earning fantasy points is about much more than just choosing an impressive goalscoring line-up. Whether you opt for a defensive 5-3-2 or an attack-minded 3-4-3, your defender, goalkeeper and coaching selections play an integral part in your matchday score.
Best at the back
Three Costa Ricans currently feature in the 20 best performing defenders, the most impressive of which is Jose Fernandez. At a price of only 4.5 units, Fernandez has been a secret weapon for his fantasy managers, returning 84 points in qualification thus far to make him the third-best fantasy defender to date. USA's Carlos Bocanegra and Oguchi Onyewu also feature in the current defensive top ten. The two defenders will be integral in trying to stifle a fired-up Mexican attack thanks to El Tri's 5-0 goal spree against USA in the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup final.
Another in-form defender is Mexico's Oscar Rojas. He scored a crucial 48th-minute goal to ensure a 2-1 win over Trinidad and Tobago on Matchday 10 and returned 18 fantasy points. El Salvador's defensive pairing of Alfredo Pacheco and Marvin Gonzalez are also in the defenders' top 20; they are only 16 points behind defensive leader Joris Mathijsen from the Netherlands, who does not feature in Matchday 11.
Noel Valladares's clean sheet against El Salvador on Matchday 10 earned the Honduran goalkeeper 14 points, pushing him into the top five goalkeepers overall. USA's Tim Howard trails Valladares's score by just five points while Croatia's Stipe Pletikosa, who has had a solid showing in qualification so far, could climb even further up the No1 rankings when his team travel to Belarus.
There's more to selecting a coach than earning 9 points for a win result. Pick an underdog coach (a coach whose team is facing a better-ranked side) and you could earn 9 bonus points over and above the points awarded for a win result. Be sure to check the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking before making your selection.
Underdog coaches this matchday: Carlos De Los Cobos (El Salvador); Reinaldo Rueda (Honduras); Javier Aguirre (Mexico); Egil Olsen (Norway); Bernd Stange (Belarus); Gianpaolo Mazza (San Marino); Berti Vogts (Azerbaijan); Brian Kerr (Faroe Islands)
Potential defensive clean sheets
German defenders are expected to have a good matchday. They square off against an Azerbaijan attack that has failed to score a single goal in their five qualification matches so far. In Europe's Group 7, bottom-ranked Faroe Islands host France. Despite Les Bleus shaky performance in qualification so far, Faroe Islands have scored only one goal in five games.
Good luck to all managers and remember to finalise your team selections before the deadline (12 August, 11:00 GMT).