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In-Depth Look at the upcoming FIFA 18 Meta - Esportsranks
In-Depth Look at the upcoming FIFA 18 Meta

With the upcoming new version of the beautiful game coming up we take an in-depth look at the upcoming FIFA 18 meta. Now that the top 100 player rankings in FIFA 18 have been revealed more information is available to the waiting public. Will the likes of Martial, Musa, and Smalling still be in fashion?

For sake of brevity, Icons are excluded and will have their own feature after the game is launched.

FIFA 18 META: Goalkeepers

FIFA 17 was undoubtedly the year of the Butland. It was not uncommon to see teams containing world superstars such as Ronaldo, Suarez, Messi, and Butland, performing well in the weekend league. While there was no clear explanation why Butland was a standout in-game performer, youtube is littered with incredible saves the goalie has made.

We predict that this will be corrected in the FIFA 18 meta and that the more “traditional” goalkeepers will be the ones in style. Look for tall goalkeepers with high diving, reflex, and positioning skills.

Superstars (top 100 players):

Neuer, De Gea, Courtois, Handanovic

Watch out for (non-top 100 players):

Fahrmann, Mandanda

De Gea

FIFA 18 META: Center Backs

For budget teams, the strong link of Smalling – Bailly with the above mentioned Butland formed a very strong defensive triangle. With the overall downgrade in player’s pace in FIFA 18, centre backs with a little less pace than we are all used to might be in fashion. Players with high physicality, acceleration, agility, are the ones you want to look out for. Also, keep in mind that a HIGH attacking workrate would catch your defender out of place and your backline vulnerable.


Ramos – Chiellini – Sokratis – David Luiz – Varane – Azpilicueta

Watch out for: 

Smalling – Bailly – Manolas – Koulibaly – Van Dijk – Rudiger – Stones – Juan Jesus

Juan Jesus

FIFA 18 META: Full Backs

Marcelo made headlines in FIFA 17 when he was upgraded to 4* skills. He was strong throughout the season and his TOTY card we can confirm is the best LB in the game. In FIFA 18 he will receive a massive downgrade and drops out of the list. On the other side, Walker was the standout RB mainly due to his pace.

With FIFA mechanics pushing the fullbacks up no matter how many times you set “stay back while attacking” on them, the FIFA 18 meta will favour fullbacks with high speed, high defensive workrate and a high defensive rating.


Alaba – Alex Sandro – Jordi Alba

Watch out for:

Aurier – Walker – Piszczek – Shaw – Jordan Lukaku


FIFA 18 META: Defensive Midfielders

’17 was the year of the Kante. The two-time two-club title winner had an amazing season on the field and in the game. His pace, physicality and defensive workrate kept him at the heart of many teams until late in the season. In the FIFA 18 meta look for defensive midfielders with decent pace, strength, and medium/high workrates. Early game “budget” CDMs like Fellaini and Matic, were quickly replaced as more players had the funds to upgrade.


Vidal – Kante – Nainggolan – Marchisio – Matuidi

Watch out for:

Hererra – Fabinho – Gueye – Bakayoko – Seri – Renato Sanches

Bakayoko Seri Renato Sanches

FIFA 18 META: Attacking Midfielders/CF

Arguably, this is the hardest position to predict because it can encompass players from CDM to ST. It can be handled in numerous ways but the most popular players in this position will be ones that have good pace, dribbling, passing and shooting. Bonus points for strength and height. We’ll take a look at players who would fit this position regardless of their initial starting position.


KDB – Modric – Dybala – Griezmann – Pogba – Eriksen

Watch out for:

Alli – Ben Yedder – Eder – Gabriel Jesus – Birsa – Volland

Eder Birsa

FIFA 18 META: Left Wing

Previously the more “blessed” of the two wings, we expect more of the same in FIFA 18. Martial was the standout player on this side, but with crossing more powerful this season will he still be in the meta? Strong pace, dribbling, crossing are the desirable traits here.


Ronaldo – Neymar – Hazard – Mane

Watch out for:

Son – Balde Diao – Martial – BrumaIzquierdo 

Bruma Izquierdo

FIFA 18 META: Right wing

On the top end this side is more straightforward on at the higher levels, but can see many sub-premier tier players used. There’s is an abundance of mid-rated players that can easily be a breakout player in the same way Martial was on the other side. Cross-goal shots with the strong foot on the same side as the wing seems to have been hit with the nerf bat, so crossing skills will also be a factor.


Messi – Bale – Robben (back in fashion) – Mkhitaryan

Watch out for:

Willian – Dembele – Salah – Sterling – Yarmolenko – Williams

Dembele Salah Yarmloneko

FIFA 18 META: Strikers

Last but not least, we reach the strikers. The most essential position in any team, the strikers in FIFA 18 will need impressive skill on the ball, height, strength, and of course, shooting ability. The slower more possession based gameplay will give slower strikers some gametime. Over the top passes to a speedy striker seems to have been nerfed, so look quick passing to a holding striker.


Suarez – Lewandowski – Aguero – Aubameyang – Cavani – Lukaku – Lacazette

Watch out for:

Mbappe – Balotelli – Bakambu – Belotti – Antonio – Rashford – Marega – Gray

Balotelli Rashford

Let us know what YOUR meta player predictions are by tweeting us @esportsranks or by writing in the comments below.

Special thanks to FUTWIZ for the player cards. Check them out for the latest FIFA 18 player stats and more.