Invictus Gio Invictus Formation: Balanced 4231 One of the highlights of the team is the brilliance of the wing duo. El Beatle Best was the most explosive and best winger of all time with Garrincha. And on the other side is the second best winger in the pool, Džajić - who's probably a Top 5 all-time winger in his own right: Backing them is the balanced duo of McGrain (arguably the greatest rightback in British football and a consummate defenders' defender), and the latest addition to the team: someone who's regarded as one of the absolute best defenders of all time, the Total Defender given his legendary performances both out wide and as a sweeper, and arguably the best fullback in the pool, Krol: Spoiler: Krol With this quartet, we believe we have the perfect cast to cause real problems for the opposition through the wider areas. Orchestrating play through the middle is Hagi - one of the all-time great #10's who captured the imagination in 1994 with several mesmerizing performances. Spearheading the attack is probably the best Number 9 you could imagine, Van Basten. He offers the perfect focal point in attack against an oftentimes deep and structured defense. The Flying Dutchman knows all about looking after himself against tough Serie A defenders given his record of 3 Ballon D'Or titles while playing in the league, and is the perfect link up and hold up attacker while providing an imposing target for Džajić and Best's deliveries. Spoiler: van Basten Patrolling the center of the park is the monstrous box-to-box tandem of Matthäus and Tigana - two complete midfielders capable of magic on the ball whilst also providing drive, energy and defensive fortitude in midfield. In our opinion Matthäus is the best central midfielder of all time, and Tigana one of the greatest defensive box-to-box players along with the likes of Keane. Behind them is the complementary Blanc + Desailly-esque pairing of Le Président Blanc himself - an excellent ballplayer and natural orchestrator from deep, and Vierchowod - one of the most ruthless stoppers of all time and the epitome of Italian defensive spirit. Why we should win: 1. Overload in wider areas: this is one area in particular where we can envision Gio's team struggling a bit given the quality of the opposition. Brehme and Amoros were accomplished wingbacks - but never quite faced a combination that was remotely as potent as Best + McGrain + Krol + Džajić. Even peak Facchetti found it hard to come to terms with Jarizinho + Alberto, and we're featuring comparable tandems on both flanks. This will create issues not just in defense, but limit Brehme and Amoros' attacking forays, in our opinion. 2. This point is related to the above: if either Brehme or Amoros are caught further up the pitch while attacking, and a counterattack is initiated via Best (as an example), he'll be mostly against Schwarzenbeck (who was more of a stopper centerback and didn't quite have the ideal skillset to mark the GOAT winger when he has space to operate in). A similar situation will arise on the opposite flank with Džajić vs Pereira. In our estimation, this is why Krol was targeted twice in the previous reinforcement, since the position called for someone who was adept at marking wingers - like him, or Bergomi, or Thuram (ineligible). 3. More threatening attack: Gio has the best attacker on the pitch, but in our opinion - we have the 2nd, 3rd, 4th best attackers on the pitch - and Hagi was comparable to Stoichkov at his peak given their performances in '94. Additionally, our attack is more diverse and built to perfection for a 4231 with the best possible wide attackers, the prototypical 9 on the ground and in the air, and a world class operator in the attacking midfield position. 4. Bit of a segue from the previous point: since both teams are quite strong, it could come down to favorable individual matchups - particularly against the opposition's talisman. In our opinion, Vierchowod and Matthäus were the greatest impediments to Maradona through his career apart from Gentile, and that gives us a sound argument against Maradona operating at his best (which is imperative for Gio's attack to function well). 5. Comparable defensive fortitude: at first glance, you might get sucked in by the appeal of the 5 man defense the opposition sports - it's robust and well organized. But in our opinion, we have have a defense to be reckoned with, too - with players who performed at the highest level - winning the World Cup, the EUROs and European Cups as the leaders and key members of the defensive line - being cast in complementary roles when you consider their career peaks. Spoiler: Schmeichel And to top it all off, there's a final impediment in the shape of Schmeichel - the best keeper in the pool and all time great. Gio TACTICS: 3-5-2 Diego Maradona is the fulcrum of the team. He is joined in a glittering attack by the explosive Hristo Stoichkov and the quintessential no9 and penalty box reference point Gary Lineker. Much like Argentina '86, we go 3-5-2 with a focus on hard work, discipline and balance. It's a top class midfield with Johan Neeskens and Paulo Roberto Falcao coming together as a complete and all-conquering partnership. On the flanks the outstanding playmaking class of Andreas Brehme on the left complements the athletic and creative Manuel Amoros on the right. Franco Baresi leads the defence, organising and complementing the physicality of Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck and Luis Pereira in front of him. WHY WE WILL WIN: Dominating platform for Maradona to perform. A Neeskens/Falcao partnership should gain control of the midfield with Maradona given the service he needs to do what he does best. Despite being a bit of a fanboy myself, it's unlikely that Hagi will influence a game of this magnitude given the quality around him. Whether Matthaus is assigned to track Maradona or not, the triple threat in this midfield means he and Tigana could be overloaded. Either way, Maradona, Neeskens and Falcao will probably get on top. The best defender on the park Franco Baresi has the ability to shut up shop better than anyone. No defender knows Van Basten's game as well as he does. Indeed he twice faced peak Van Basten for Italy in 1988 and 1990, securing a clean sheet on both occasions against the then European Champions. To his left, the World Cup winning West German axis of Brehme and Schwarzenbeck is nearly as good as it gets in closing down Best. On his right, the classy Luis Pereira covered onto the right flank frequently for Brazil in 1974, is supported by a top notch wing-back in Amoros. Like Baresi, Parreira has previous in getting the better out of his opposite number Dzajic, shutting him out in a top defensive performance in 1974 against the talented Yugoslavs. The finest wing-backs in the draft in Andreas Brehme and Manuel Amoros provide plenty of defensive support and enterprising play going forward. Brehme was a tour de force in the very same role for West Germany in 1990, while no right-back has ever finished as high in the Ballon D'Or as Amoros did in 1986. As well as the probing and penetration of Maradona, the explosive Stoichkov will stretch and test the opposition defence and may find particular joy in the channel between McGrain and Blanc. On hand to deliver the knockout blow is Lineker who is as ruthless as they come: he has the highest chance conversation rate of any player at the World Cup since 1966. With the scope of Stoichkov and Maradona to roam and terrorise, any space vacated by Krol pushing forward could well be exploited by this front three.