2019 CM9798 Cup Preview: Groups C & D

Well hello there. With the 2019 CM9798 Cup due to kick off next week, it’s time for the second of two previews. Last week I analysed/insulted (a fine line) Groups A & B if you want to have a pick through that, or you can remind yourself of the whole process here.

Let’s take a look what groups C & D have to offer.

Group Draw portrait

Group C

Real Mathdrid – @davemathieson84

Dave is a bit of a wildcard in the pack. Selected based on his thorough knowledge of the CM9798 editor, he’s played the draft system reasonably well and has a strong squad to pick from.

Real Mathdrid

@davemathieson84

Having landed the most sought after player in the draft process – Luis Enrique – Dave is one of the few managers with a multitude of options in defence. Generally, there’s a lot of versatility throughout the squad which can only bode well. Creativity shouldn’t be a problem with Djorkaeff, Mijatovic and Denilson in the ranks but where will the goals come from?

Bobic and Hubner are good but are they world class? This will be a good test of their ability. I bloody love Youri Djorkaeff and you wouldn’t say there were many weaknesses in the squad. It’s a solid 8 out of 10 everywhere really plus Enrique, who is brilliant. My advice – don’t waste him at full back just because he can play there.

Verdict – Dave will be in the mix for qualification but the lack of a goalscorer might inhibit the chances of winning the group.

Selected Odds – Mijatovic most assists in tournament – 5/1

PSG Mashup – @tomreedwriting

Tom Reed is one of our veterans having entered all three CM Cups to date. His squad has a strong PSG presence plus the “friends of Giggsy” draft pack. Can it succeed?

PSG MAshup

@tomreedwriting

Getting the most out of Giggs and Rai looks vital here. Nicky Butt is also very good but that’s more about keeping the goals out. There’s a lot of strikers who become very good, but how will they get on just a few days into the game? That might put the scoring burden on Andy Cole which history has shown will either be feast or famine. The defence is ok – Pallister and Goma flanked by Abel Xavier, Irwin and Paul Le Guen in some combination means they will be solid if unspectacular.

Verdict – Unfortunately I think this side will just fall short. However, there’s a lot of Man Utd and PSG players in here who are two extremely strong sides, so they must have something about them.

Selected Odds – PSG Mashup to qualify – 10/1

Exeter Gently – @Riddley82

Another “three cup” veteran, Ross will be hoping to reach the latter stages after exiting in the group stages last year. If he is to progress this year, it’s not going to be based on his defence.

Exeter Gently

@Riddley82

The first issue is the goalkeeper. Ogrizovic is coming towards the end of his career whilst Neil Finn is 18. Jorge Costa will have his work cutout at centre half with the promising Valerien Ismael likely to partner him. Dyer, McCall and the veteran Tommy Boyd will vie for the full back positions. The real question is where Ross fits Matthias Sammer into his system. Sammer is still riding the wave of being the best player at Euro 96 and usually attracts interest from Barcelona.

Bisgaard and Fernando will have to take on creative duties but who are they supplying the bullets for? That’ll be a tough call.

Verdict – Long term, this side would do pretty well. Over a short sprint of 4 games, Ross is going to have to call on all of his skills that were on show during his guest saves.

Selected Odds – Matthias Sammer highest average rating of group stages – 7/2

Sporting Po-Taitos – @taitanator

Rob Tait is extremely knowledgeable about CM9798. His guest blogging series’ have shown that but also his in-depth tactics article last year was very useful. He’s assembled a varied squad which looks to have star power at both ends of the pitch.

Rob Tait

@taitanator

I was surprised to see Kopke deemed a star player given some of the other players in the squad but the AI knows best. Oli, Del Piero and Chiesa is a devastating trio whilst Rob has gotten the best out of Leandro before. Albertini and Ince should lock own the midfield whilst Iuliano, Panucci and Ziege are three parts of a solid back four. Whether it is Stimac or Beto who partners Iuliano remains to be seen.

Rob still plays regularly and this team has goals in it. I suspect he’ll find a way and he’s my favourite to progress.

Verdict – A potential group winner with plenty of goals to be had.

Selected Odds – Leandro to win golden boot – 12/1

Quickly Kevin United – @QuicklyKevin

Michael Marden is flying the flag for Quickly Kevin and he’s managed to get together a rather strong team. What he lacks in strikers he makes up for in…holding midfielders. Michael moves from the punditry booth to the dugout this time but can he inspire his team to glory?

QK United

@_Michael_Marden

I was fascinated by Michael’s interview with us a few years ago. Here is a man who played the hell out of this game when it was first released. Sure, he blotted his copybook by boldly claiming Perez Munoz Alfonso and Denilson were the same person but we’re all allowed one. In Maldini, Desailly and Southgate there’s a strong defence in there – even backups Hinchcliffe and Duberry are fairly useful alongside the versatile Haaland.

Deschamps and Sousa will marshal the midfield which should free up Le Tissier to do Le Tissier type things. Ravanelli won the golden boot at the World Cup last summer, proving he has the credentials to lead the line here whilst Kirovski is highly rated. Totti is young and similar to Michael Owen – he’ll have good games and bad.

Michael’s always been very generous in giving up his time to help out with my various schemes and I’m delighted he’s on board for this year. If he can find the right formation here I’m tipping him to advance to the knockouts.

Verdict – A strong defence will set him up nicely and I think he’ll be hard to break down away from home. If he can find a formation that gets the best out of Le Tissier and Ravanelli then I’m backing Quickly Kevin United for 2nd place.

Selected Odds – Le Tissier to score 3+ goals – 2/1

Group D

Bells United – @RossBell1984

Ross has somehow nabbed two of the best goalkeepers on the game but no right backs. An impressive set of options up front should make all the difference as Ross looks to bounce back from a group stage exit last summer.

Bells United

@RossBell1984

The positives then, outside of the two aforementioned goalkeepers, are Bakayoko and Ortega. A fearsome partnership in the making there. Sadly Henrik Larsson is somewhat short of his real life heroics whilst Hasselbaink is good if not great. Edmundo is a real wildcard, just as he was in real life. Rui Costa and Moller will create plenty.

The defence is obviously a bit lopsided but Antonio Carlos, Lucic and Bjorklund are all good centre half options. Having Jarni and De Boer is a shame but I’ll be interested to see what system Ross uses.

Ross created the Man on the Post podcast network and gave me a podcast home last summer. For that, I am eternally grateful. My advice is to get Bakayoko as far forward as possible.

Verdict – If there was a right back this squad would be great. Instead, it will have to settle for being good. Bakayoko and Ortega can win games by themselves and to be fair they might have to.

Selected Odds – Henrik Larsson to score 0 goals – 6/1

FPLHints FC – @FPLHints

The current champion didn’t have the best of drafts but with so many attacking options available, who needs defenders anyway?

FPL Hints

@FPLhints

With Johnsen, Hierro, Porrini and Dublin all good centre half options I’d imagine our champ will be looking at three at the back. Having Roy Keane and potentially McAllister to knit things together should help release Raul, Laudrup and Yorke, amongst others.

What we saw last year was that Ash (real name!) reaped the benefits of taking a hands on approach. In game changes won him several matches and I’d expect more of the same this time around. He’ll have to pull on all of that experience to get through this time.

Verdict – I think his past form will propel him into the mix, most likely for second. This is a set of teams who could all beat each other though.

Selected Odds – FPLHints to retain the CM Cup – 16/1

Criterion Club – @Matt_C_Wills

If you’ve been following Matt’s guest blogs you’ll know he is somewhat of a mad scientist. Full of bright ideas, he’s picked a squad that was mostly unique and gives him plenty of options.

Matt Wills

@Matt_C_Wills

What I like about this squad is that it’s full of players who are extremely good but you wouldn’t think it. Witschge, Guerrero, Finidi and Watson all fall into this category. Papin performed brilliantly for France in last summer’s World Cup but that is my only concern with this team – are there enough goals in the forwards?

Verdict – I expect Matt will win this group due to having the most balanced squad. It’s a really tough group to call though.

Selected Odds – Criterion Club to qualify – 7/4

Rewind Rovers – @BarkerDan10

Dan picked a squad right out of the 90s back book. Indeed Dan only needed to pick one player on the draft pack and he chose…Dave Beasant. This was akin to Bart choosing the elephant on that Simpsons episode.

Rewind Rovers

@BarkerDan10

Ginola, Kinkladze and Kanchelskis will provide the creativity and if they can provide the crosses for Ferdinand and Ferguson, that could be a positive avenue. Anelka is still very raw, as is Ian Harte.

I think this is one of the weaker sides in the group but I wouldn’t want to defend against Ferguson and Ferdinand. It’s a classic back four too, which will be difficult to unlock.

Verdict – They’ll compete in every game but will they have the quality?

Selected Odds – Duncan Ferguson to be sent off – Evens

S4ooters Outlaws – @s4ooter

Dan won our prize bundle in 2017 and comes in with a startling lack of defenders. He does however have Gazza.

S4ooters Outlaws

@s4ooter

Dan will have no option but to go all out attack to try and bring Hagi, Gazza and everyone’s favourite Icelandic superstar into play. CM favourite Bjorn Heidenstrom will need to be at his best to marshal this defence.

Verdict – I have it on good authority that Dan is going to throw caution to the wind which I think is the way to go. Ultimately though they’ll have to play two away games and I think that’ll be where they fall down.

Selected Odds – Darren Anderton to get injured – 1/10

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