FIFA 14: 5 Improved Defenders to Consider for Your Ultimate Team
For many European clubs and players, preseason has started, and we can officially call the 2012-13 campaign "last season."
As usual at this time of year, fans are watching summer transfers like hawks and dreaming up new ratings and lineups for EA's next FIFA franchise.
With FIFA 14 being prepared for release, we take a look at five defenders who are set for dramatic rating increases—they'd be well worth your consideration when you're building your next team!
Timothee Kolodziejczak made 37 starts for Claude Puel's Nice last season, helping his side to a fourth-place finish in Ligue 1 despite a tight budget and powerful competition.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a serious breakout year at left-back, averaging out as the side's best player using WhoScored statistics. Defensively he was sound, his game is full of energy and he got forward to make four assists.
FIFA 13 graded him at a paltry 67 at the start of last season, so expect the Frenchman's rating to soar upward.
FIFA 14 stats prediction: 75
Jores Okore enjoyed a demonic season for FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark last season.
Every follower of the league knew he was too good to stick around, so it came as no surprise when Chelsea enquired in January 2013. Okore held out for an offer from a team with which he felt he'd play more first-team football, and Aston Villa snapped him up as soon as the season finished.
His rating, 67, is way off the mark considering the amount of progress he's made over the past 12 months. FIFA will make him stronger, quicker and better in every defensive aspect.
He could make an Angelo Ogbonna-esque option at centre-back for English Premier League sides.
FIFA 14 stats prediction: 76
Dani Carvajal enjoyed a wonderful 2012-13 season with Bayer Leverkusen and has promptly been bought back by Real Madrid.
With Alvaro Arbeloa inspiring very few—both domestically and internationally—Carvajal becomes favourite to start for los Blancos ahead of the next campaign.
Cavajal was given a 74 by FIFA 13, putting him on par with Phil Neville, Marc Wilson and Djamel Mesbah. He's set to increase exponentially in the next series and becomes a brilliant option for Spanish and La Liga sets.
FIFA 14 stats prediction: 80
After an excellent 2011-12 season with Borussia Moenchengladbach, EA likely felt they were gambling by giving Dante a rating of 81 in his first season at Bayern Munich.
As a late bloomer, it was always difficult to tell how he would handle the step up in expectation and calibre. If anything, they probably felt his ranking was too high.
But Dante enjoyed an immense maiden campaign with der Bayern, picking up a historic treble and proving himself to be the finest centre-half in Munich.
He's set for another massive increase, making Bundesliga and Brazil teams even stronger at the back.
FIFA 14 stats prediction: 85
Bruno Martins Indi
There are a number of questions surrounding Bruno Martins Indi's FIFA 14 Ultimate Team card.
Having played the large majority of the season at left-back due to the Stefan de Vrij-Joris Mathijsen partnership at Feyenoord, will he still be considered a centre-back?
Regardless of position, how will his current rating (72) change on the back of a stellar season (in a secondary position) and an impressive nine caps for the Netherlands?
FIFA 14 stats prediction: 77