Manu Fernandez/Associated Press
April 18, 2017
Lionel Messi’s display against Real Sociedad could be enough to earn him a place in an all-Argentinian attack in Team of the Week 31 on Wednesday when EA Sports release their latest batch of in-form cards in FIFA 17‘s Ultimate Team mode.
He could be joined by compatriots Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain, with all three bagging braces—Messi in a 3-2 win for Barcelona, Di Maria for Paris Saint-Germain as they beat Angers 2-0 and Higuain for Juventus as they beat Pescara by the same scoreline.
Real Madrid’s Isco scored twice in their 3-2 win over Sporting Gijon, while Yannick Carrasco’s brace for Atletico Madrid in their 3-0 win against Osasuna could add more La Liga flavour to proceedings.
Ander Herrera’s star turn for Manchester United could also earn him a place.
Read on for pack details and predictions as to who will feature in Team of the Week 31 following some excellent performances over the last week.
|FIFA 17 Ultimate Team: Team of the Week 30 Predictions|
|GK||Bernd Leno||Bayer Leverkusen||Germany||86>87>88|
|CB||Vincent Kompany||Manchester City||Belgium||86>87|
|CB||Sokratis Papastathopoulos||Borussia Dortmund||Greece||84>85>86>87>88|
|CM||Ander Herrera||Manchester United||Spain||82>83>85|
|LM||Yannick Carrasco||Atletico Madrid||Belgium||82>84>86>87>88|
|RW||Angel Di Maria||Paris Saint-Germain||Argentina||87>88>89>90|
|GK||Kevin Trapp||Paris Saint-Germain||Germany||83>85|
|CB||Cristian Zapata||AC Milan||Colombia||78>82|
|CDM||Jean Michael Seri||Nice||Ivory Coast||79>80>83|
|LW||Iker Muniain||Athletic Bilbao||Spain||78>81|
|RW||Xherdan Shaqiri||Stoke City||Switzerland||82>84>86|
|GK||Michael Esser||SV Darmstadt||Germany||69>74|
|LM||Kuca||FC Arouca||Cape Verde||74>74|
|CAM||Nick Powell||Wigan Athletic||England||70>74|
|ST||Enes Unal||FC Twente||Turkey||70>74|
Gold Pack: 5,000 coins, 100 FIFA points
Premium Gold Pack: 7,500 coins, 150 FIFA points
Silver Pack: 2,500 coins, 50 FIFA points
Premium Silver Pack: 3,750 coins, 75 FIFA points
Team of the Week 31 will be announced on Wednesday, April 19, at 3 p.m. BST (10 a.m. ET) and will be released into card packs at 6 p.m. BST (1 p.m. ET) later that day. Stats and ratings have been provided by FUTHead.com.
If a player’s original rating is the highest available in bronze (64) or silver (74), his first in-form cannot feature an overall increase but will feature improved individual stats.
Ander Herrera, Manchester United
Perhaps more than any other player, Herrera epitomised United’s masterful performance as they beat Chelsea 2-0 on Sunday.
The Spaniard set up Marcus Rashford’s early opener before scoring United’s second four minutes after the break, and his relentless pursuit of Eden Hazard kept the Belgian quiet all afternoon.
Squawka Football shared the numbers behind his display:
Ander Herrera game by numbers vs. Chelsea: 43 passes 5 clearances 4 interceptions 4 tackles 2 chances created 1 assist 1 goal Bossed it. ✊ https://t.co/LfoYEzNDIq
Football writer Liam Canning was among many lauding his efforts:
Ander Herrera excels in big games. Was told to man-mark Hazard and did so perfectly. Also scored and assisted. Unreal performance.
His all-action display could see him receive his first in-form card of the season and a healthy improvement on his 83-rated winter upgrade card.
Given the comprehensive nature of his performance and the contributions he made going forward and defensively, every attribute is likely to improve if he features in Team of the Week 31.
He’ll make for an excellent all-rounder for any players hoping to improve their midfield, particularly for those building Premier League or Spanish squads.
Isco, Real Madrid
Another Spanish midfielder to shine over the weekend was Isco, as he played a crucial role in helping Madrid come from behind to beat Sporting.
The playmaker showed some lovely footwork to evade their defence and fire home his first goal early on, and he struck a low effort from the edge of the area in injury time to hand Real the win.
BeIN Sports’ David Cartlidge marvelled at his performance:
Isco’s goals were extraordinary. On first there is no space, he’s surrounded. The second is a calculated finish at a high pressure moment.
As Sky Sports Statto illustrated, Los Blancos are difficult to beat with Isco in the side:
Sky Sports Statto@SkySportsStatto
Isco (2 goals v Sporting Gijon) is unbeaten in his last 36 La Liga appearances since February 2016 (W31 D5) #LaLiga https://t.co/n1wpnCbIGt
Isco has already had four in-forms this season and featured as recently as TOTW 29, but such an outstanding performance deserves further recognition, and he may well get it.
If he does feature, his 89 shooting stat on his most recent 89-rated IF is likely to reach the coveted 90 bracket to join his passing and dribbling.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona
Despite yet another magnificent season, Messi has appeared in TOTW just once in FIFA 17 thus far, perhaps as a result of his already incredible stats.
With two goals and an assist as he almost singlehandedly dragged Barcelona to victory once again, he has a good chance of appearing on this occasion.
Messi opened the scoring with a powerful strike from distance, per Sky Sports La Liga:
Sky Sports La Liga@revistadelaliga
WATCH: An absolute 🚀 from Messi! See Barcelona v Real Sociedad live on Sky Sports 3 now! https://t.co/IbGKGWDitR
He bundled home Barca’s second from a rebound before turning provider for Paco Alcacer.
The Argentinian is already a devastating force, and his 95-rated IF boasts base stats of 91 pace, 93 shooting, 89 passing and 98 dribbling.
Another TOTW appearance will only enhance him further, with his passing likely to surpass 90 and his dribbling set to hit the maximum 99.