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FIFA Futmas: SBC player predictions based on shirt number

Every year, the FIFA Futmas winter event brings new challenges and rewards
This year, the Futmas SBC..



  • Every year, the FIFA Futmas winter event brings new challenges and rewards
  • This year, the Futmas SBCs are counting shirt numbers down from 30 to 1
  • READ: Find more game and esports news on the Mail Online's Esports Section

By Matt Porter For Mailonline

Published: 11:07 EST, 19 December 2017 | Updated: 11:07 EST, 19 December 2017

On the first day of Christmas EA gave to us: Squad Builder Challenges for Michail Antonio, Serge Gnabry, and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Up until December 24, three new SBCs are being released every day for a limited time with some tasty rewards.

We won't know exactly who will be involved each day, but the shirt numbers are counting down from 30 to 1, so we can make a few educated guesses.

Every year, the festive event in FIFA brings a number of new challenges and winter rewards

Every year, the festive event in FIFA brings a number of new challenges and winter rewards

This year there are three new Squad Builder Challenge per day, counting down from 30 to 1This year there are three new Squad Builder Challenge per day, counting down from 30 to 1

This year there are three new Squad Builder Challenge per day, counting down from 30 to 1

While it would be easy to simply go for the most expensive or the most popular player for each shirt number, a lot of them have special cards already.

So far, EA Sports has been giving a few under appreciated players the nod, and we expect that to continue.

December 19 – #18-16

A number of Premier League options for #18, including Jermain Defoe, Nacho Monreal, Gareth Barry, and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Sigurdsson has a couple of special cards already though, as does Defoe. It's possible we could see Jordi Alba making an appearance.

There are a lot of popular options for #17 too, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kevin De Bruyne. Jerome Boateng could be a monster is he gets an upgraded card though.

Plenty of players wear the #16 shirt, but there aren't many stand out choices. For a Serie A option, why not Daniele De Rossi of AS Roma?

December 20 – #15-13

Daniel Sturridge got a special Halloween card, so he probably won't get a Christmas themed one. It could be a centre back in the form of Eric Dier or Andrea Barzagli.

As for the number #14, Chelsea's Tiemoue Bakayoko is certainly a popular pick in FIFA 18 right now.

A lot of keepers use the #13 shirt, so it's likely we'll see one here. Thibaut Courtois is an obvious choice, and he hasn't got a special card yet this season.

December 21 – #12-10

The #12 SBC could go to either Olivier Giroud, Chris Smalling, or Marcelo, it's tough to call.

As you can imagine, the next few shirt numbers are absolutely stacked with players from all over the world. #11 alone has the likes of Ozil, Rodriguez, Bale, Di Maria, Salah, Dembele, Reus, and Martial. We reckon they're going to go for the Manchester United man.

As for #10, it's even tougher to choose. Harry Kane already has plenty of special cards, as does Lionel Messi. One slightly more obscure option is Dutchman Quincy Promes who's been having a stellar year for Spartak Moscow.

December 22 – #9-7

Take your pick from just about any striker for the #9 shirt SBC. Someone like Lewandowski would be an obvious choice, but what about Mario Balotelli, who has been banging in goals recently?

Up until his recent injury, Aaron Ramsey was quietly having another one of those excellent runs of form for Arsenal. He could soon be rewarded with a festive card.

Cristiano Ronaldo hasn't had an In-Form card yet this season, which is uncharacteristic. So far EA hasn't been going for the most obvious choice though, so we expect someone like James Milner.

December 23 – #6-4

We're getting into defender territory now, although the likes of Pogba and Marco Verratti wear the #6 shirt. Burnley have a pretty good defensive record this season, and we think Ben Mee will get this one.

West Ham have seen a revival under Sam Allardyce, and could their newfound defensive skill see Pablo Zabaleta rewarded with a festive SBC?

Serie A teams would love to see an upgraded Radja Nainggolan, but it's possible we could see another defender. What about Manchester United's Phil Jones?

December 24 – #3-1

Surprisingly, Pique hasn't had a special card this season, despite Barcelona starting to run away with La Liga. Perhaps he could see one in a few days time.

Swansea's Wilfried Bony managed to bag his first couple of goals of the season recently, so maybe he'll get a Christmas present a day early.

Only goalkeepers wear the #1 shirt, and picking the right one out of the scores to be found in FIFA 18 is an impossible task. Despite letting in four goals against Hannover, Bayer Leverkusen are having a decent season so far, so let's go for Bernd Leno.

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Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms




The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

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Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official




Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

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Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection




The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

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