TEAM GIO VS TEAM TUPPET TACTICS GIO WHAT ARE WE ALL ABOUT: Two complementary full-backs in the swashbuckling flank-dominator Roberto Carlos and the defensively watertight Berti Vogts balance both the defence and the flanks. Ahead of Scotland's finest ever keeper Andy Goram, the central axis has been bolstered through the immaculate Bobby Moore and the serial Olympics, World Cup and Copa winner Jose Nasazzi. This bulletproof and highly complementary partnership are well placed to close down even the high level of attacking quality sported by Tuppet. The heart of the team is the murderous midfield partnership of Graeme Souness and Roy Keane. It's hard to envisage a more uncompromising and dominating pair who will provide the platform for the flair in front of them. Michael Laudrup is the centre-point of the attack, floating inbetween the lines to connect the midfield with the options in front of him. His interplay with his brother Brian was a joy to watch for Denmark and they are well set to repeat that here. So too was his connection with el pistoleiro Hristo Stoichkov, who will relish the overlaps of Carlos and the Joya-esque partnership he can strike up with Spencer. WHY WE WIN: A defence better equipped to dealing with the opposition attack. We have a rock-solid defensive unit that matches up well to the attack it faces. Considering specific head-to-heads, both Carlos and Jairzinho are proper athletes and Moore is poised to reprise his 1970 role to shut down that side of the attack if needed. In the middle, up until 1960 at least, both Puskas and Nasazzi could lay claim to being the respective GOAT of their position and I fancy a cancelling out, particularly positionally with the right-centre-half Nasazzi and the left-sided and inside-left channel dropping Puskas. On the right, Vogts and presumably Giggs would have a good old tussle with little spare change between the two of them. By contrast, I think the Wright and Olsen partnership might struggle - relatively speaking at least - with the quality they will meet head on. Wright was well known for punching above his height in the air, but even then at 5ft 8' against the springy Spencer, there might be a challenge. That's probably compounded when 3 of Tuppet's back 4 are 5ft 8' or smaller (4 out of 5 if we count the even shorter Monti). Serious synergy in the attack. Laudrup and Stoichkov were incredible together and the Laudrup brothers were a beacon of light in the otherwise dreary Danish dull-as-dishwasher side of the mid-1990s. Balance. Natural partnerships all over the park and a full range of threats capable of hitting the five attacking channels (outside-left - Carlos; inside-left - Stoichkov; central - Spencer; inside-right - Laudrup; outside-right - Laudrup). In fairness, Tuppet's team is typically well designed and my only minor quibble might be the complementarity of Zico and Puskas in the same zone. A flexible midfield that can either soak up pressure and pounce on the break or take control and dominate proceedings. Either way they will manage the game to protect the defence and provide the early service for the attack to shine. TACTICS TUPPET Tactics: We're continuing to play in 4-2-3-1 from last round. Both of our changes are evolutionary upgrading two key positions in the attack, with Zico an upgrade over Cubillas and Jarizinho improving upon Julinho. Puskas / Zico - Puskas and Zico are obviously my team's best selling point as they are the two best attackers on the pitch. This gives me quite an edge, especially in goal scoring department. Since Pele / Romario are blocked Puskas is the most prolific player in the draft with an amazing 746+ goals. Those goals include goals in World Cup final, Olympic final, CL finals, match of the century and various other important matches. And Puskas did it all while not being the sole goal scoring focus of the team. He was an excellent provider as well and an extremely creative forward. He was infact part of two partnerships with Di Stefano & Kocsis, where the other partner was an extremely prolific goal scorer as well. He also linked fantastically with all time great goal scoring number 10s in Di Stefano & Hidegkuti. This brings us to Zico, one of the all time greatest number 10 and an extremely potent goal scorer with 500+ goals to his name. Throughout his storied career he had plenty of great performances and I would remiss not to mention one of his best was against Souness' Liverpool which was the best team in Europe at that time. "I wanted to see how he would react to a physical challenge," the combative Scot said later. "But I couldn’t get close enough to him to find out." Here he has a harder work of facing not only Souness but Keane as well. But then again he is also serving Puskas with his through balls rather than Nunes. Together them two are my biggest selling points and why I believe we'll edge this game. Jairzinho / Giggs - An argument could be made for Jairzinho being the third best attacker along with Stoichkov / Laudrup. Here he is in his 70 WC winning role, which fits his goalscoring instinct perfectly as when Puskas drops deep or left to create chances Jairzinho along with Zico would provide the goal scoring presence up top, just like he did in 70 and scored in every single World Cup match. Giggs on the left side provide a genuine hard working wing presence to balance the goal scoring GOAT trio. A peak Giggs was one of the finest left wingers of all time, his balance was just amazing and as SAF said he can leave any defender in twisted blood. He can stretch the opposition defense, create openings with his crossing and general playmaking and provide ferocious pace for counter. Together Jairzinho "The Hurricane" & Giggs have pace & physicality in spades, which would help in counter. Masopust / Monti - From our clearly superior attack, we move on to the area where both teams are on relatively equally footing. Souness - Keane is a great partnership but I would like to remind that there is only one Ballon D'or winning midfielder on the park who dragged his team to a World Cup final. Masopust is the best midfielder in the park especially when you consider his contribution in attack and creativity that neither Souness nor Keane can match. Monti as a superlative defensive midfielder fits right next to him. The fabled Doble Ancho is the perfect destroyer to limit the impact of Laudrup. Monti's various achievements are well known in draft circles, he is along with Varela & Redondo the best SA defensive midfielder and was a great leader to boot. His World Cup win where he marked great Sindelaar out of the game in SF is famous but he also led Argentina as Captain to a World Cup final before that and was one of the first South American to ply their trade in Europe with Juventus where he won 4 Serie A and became their captain. This midfield provides a perfect platform for my attack and a great shield for my defense. Defense: Lastly to the area where Gio's team is better. I would try and emphasize that the difference is not particularly big and does not bridge the gap that is between our attacks. Morten Olsen is my ball playing defender and Billy Wright is the stopper. Gio's got Moore who is the best defender on the pitch but as the second greatest British defender Wright is not far behind. As a pure stopper there are few who are unquestionably better than him. Wright was the one who came second in a Ballon D'or vote, a feat later repeated by Moore as well. He was dominant in air with a prodigious leap and faced some of the all time greatest header in his career with consistently playing and holding his own against the likes of Lofthouse, Lowtawn & Charles. There is not much between our Stoppers Wright & Nassazi, two of the finest captains. Olsen was a brilliant ball playing defender and slots in perfectly with Wright, even if he is a step below Moore. D. Santos is the GOAT right back and should be able to handle Stoichkov, while Lizarazu was a fantastically balanced full back. Both would be playing in a balanced full back role with looking to move forward in attack but still putting their defensive duties first. Creativity & handling Laudrup Sr: It seem to me that most of Gio's side game would flow through Laudrup. Monti is an ideal marker to reduce his effectiveness, which could starve Team Gio of creativity. Stoichkov / Keane / Souness are good players but neither usually takes the role of primary playmaker. On the other hand in my team while Zico is the main playmaker, even if he is taken out by Souness / Keane double team (and it would require a double team) I still have Masopust who was the fulcrum of Czech side and Puskas who was very creative and create his own chances. Jairzinho against R. Carlos could be another profitable route for my team. Carlos was a better defender than he gets credit for, he would still have a torrid time against an all time great like Jarizinho due to his attacking game.