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Smolov’s League SBC: is he worth it?

The Russian striker is one of the newest League SBCs.

Russia v Slovakia - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

One of the latest additions to the League Squad Building Challenges has been FC Krasnodar and Russian international striker Fedor Smolov. Personally, I have both his 79-rated non-inform card and the 84-rated SBC card — so I will be able to compare them both in-depth. In my personal experience, not many people know him but his SBC card is definitely worth a try.

General Information

Name: Fedor Smolov

Age: 27

Nationality: Russian

Team (League): FC Krasnodar (Russian Premier League)

Height: 6’1

Weight: 176 lbs

Strong Foot: Right

Other important information

Skills: 3*

Weak Foot: 4*

Traits: Finesse Shot, Long Shot Taker

Specialties: Clinical Finisher (SBC)

Position: ST

Formation used: 4-3-3(4)

Games played: 116 (NIF) and 33 (SBC)

Goals scored: 106 (NIF) and 44 (SBC)

Assists: 24 (NIF) and 4 (SBC)

Chemistry style: Hunter (NIF) and Hawk (SBC)

Instructions: Get in behind, stay central, and press defensive line

I used both cards to get behind the last defender and take the one-on-one opportunity. I also wanted him to press the defensive line to keep the pressure high.

Differences between the cards

The difference in Pace between the two cards comes down to the acceleration. Smolov's NIF accelerates a little slower than his SBC. It isn't a big difference but something you will notice if you’ve tried both cards. When it comes to shooting, the SBC card is far more clinical. The NIF is effective in the box, but from outside he can't really shoot with that much power. The SBC card can test the keeper from distance very well. The SBC card is also much better in volleys. He can aim better and also shoots with a lot more power.

The SBC card has much better positioning and makes intelligent runs, which the NIF can't do. In terms of dribbling, the SBC card is much more agile and can give defenders a lot trouble by turning quickly. The NIF can still manage to make some crazy dribbles through the defensive line, but when it comes to dribbling past defenders, the SBC card wins out by a lot.

Both cards are very effective when it comes to short passing. Long passing isn’t as amazing as you’d expect from the rating. The SBC card can spot a teammate much faster, which is essential if you want to make a pass off the first touch. For me, Smolov presses the defensive line very well. He hasn't got that great stats but can intercept a pass and tackle well.

The biggest difference between the two cards is their strength. The NIF can't really use his body well against defenders, while the SBC card with a Hawk chemistry style wins duels against most defenders. Both cards are not good when it comes to heading. They can't really get their head on the ball first, mainly because most defenders are much more aggressive, and if they manage to head the ball they can't give a direction to their headers. Both cards have great stamina, although the NIF has no energy left if the game goes to extra time. Meanwhile, the SBC card can run until the 120th minute.

Strengths and Weaknesses (NIF)


  • Fast
  • Accurate shot
  • Powerful shot
  • Good positioning


  • Not very agile
  • Bad heading

Strengths and weaknesses (SBC)


  • fast
  • accurate shot
  • powerful shot
  • accurate volleys
  • good positioning
  • good dribbling
  • strong
  • high stamina


  • Bad heading

Ratings (NIF)

Value for money: 10/10

Performance: 9/10

Performance w/ chemistry style: 9/10

Strengths vs. Weaknesses: 8/10

For what he adds to your team: 9/10

Overall rating: 9/10

Ratings (SBC)

Performance compared to price: 10/10

Performance compared to others: 10/10

Performance with chemistry style: 10/10

Strong points compared to weak pints: 10/10

What he adds to your team: 10/10

Overall rating: 10/10


Is Smolov’s SBC card worth it?

Yes, if you have the coins, definitely try to do all the challenges. Smolov’s SBC has improved his NIF by so much. Everything he couldn't do, he can do now with the improved stats. Smolov's NIF is definitely worth the coins too. The roughly 200,000 coins it would take to complete all the individual challenges can be earned back from the pack rewards, and in turn gives you one of the most overpowered strikers in the game. After opening all the packs and possibly getting lucky, you may earn back close to half of what you pay for him.