Here’s our Euro 2020 fantasy tips article where FFGeek Contributor Rob Reid shows his latest draft team along with commentary to explain his selections and strategy
Euro 2020 Fantasy Tips – FFGeek Contributor Rob Reid’s Latest Draft Team
We’ll be doing a load of articles for the Euro 2020 fantasy here. Here’s the link to the site
There’s a FFGeek league use the league code 49KWOPI907 to copy and paste into the join league section
Also see my article on the rules
Follow Rob on twitter here
Hi everyone – hope you are enjoying the build-up to the Euros and looking forward to the first game tomorrow. Speaking personally, I can’t wait! I love major international tournaments, so as far as I’m concerned, let the festival of football commence.
As for my Euro 2020 team for the official UEFA fantasy game, I gave some fairly detailed thoughts in my first article as to how I intend to approach things. To briefly recap, I adopt a completely different playing style to FPL for these shorter games. I don’t worry at all about player ownership and I try to look for fixture mismatches where I think an individual team will do well, loading up on assets in attack and defence. Within this, there are of course always going to be compromises as you can’t cover every base. There are 12 fixtures per round or Matchday (MD) in the group phases so that’s a lot of players to cover, and you need a fair bit of luck on your side. It’s very much a sink or swim strategy and it’s fair to say it can potentially go very wrong as well!
Also a brief recap on my strategy – I’m going to use all my chips in the group stages where in the past, the majority of points tend to be scored in these competitions. I’m planning to therefore use the Limitless Chip in MD2 and the Wildcard in MD3, before I then get unlimited transfers again for MD4. Therefore, my team below targets MD1 only.
With that in mind then, here’s what I’ve gone for.
Goalkeepers & Defence
Looking at the fixtures, the teams with the best clean sheet odds for MD1 are: Denmark, Spain, Italy and Austria. After this the Netherlands, Portugal, England and Belgium have the next best odds. I’ve begun by targeting Denmark and Italy with defensive double-ups.
I really like the idea of having an Italian defensive double-up for the first game. Italy are at home, they have a strong record defensively and you have the comfort blanket of it being the first game. This latter point is important as you’ll be able to see the Italian team before the deadline and therefore change out a player who doesn’t start, but also if they fail to return they can then be subbed out later in the Matchday for another player. With that in mind, I’ve gone for who I perceive is their most attacking defender, Leanardo Spinazzola (5.5m) and the keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (5.5m).
Denmark defenders are keenly priced and they have a good record from the qualifiers. I’ve gone for Simon Kjær (4.5m) and Joakim Mæhle (4.5m). Kjær gives a gametime secure option in the centre, Mæhle perhaps has an element of selection risk but does offer some attacking potential as well.
Spain’s Covid problems have left me a little twitchy about their assets, but I’ve put Pau Torres (4.5m) in for my next defender – he’s cheap so it’s not the end of the world if he doesn’t play, but it does give me cover for a home Spain match with excellent clean sheet odds. I prefer Jordi Alba as a Spain option, but that extra 1.5m I think is better spent elsewhere for this MD with the risk that he might not play.
For my other defender, I’ve gone for a premium with João Cancelo (6.0m). Cancelo and I have had a good relationship in FPL this year and his selection is also a small concession to the fact that I’ve not managed to work any Portuguese attacking players into my line-up (more on that later) and I feel he is the most attacking of their defenders. For my other goalkeeper, I’ve gone with Daniel Bachmann (4.5m) of Austria – hopefully Donnarumma will do the business and he won’t be needed.
Midfield and Attack
Looking at the player list, for me I found midfield to be quite over-priced and attack probably more fairly so. I’ve found it very difficult to select midfielders with a real shortage of options in the sub-6m price bracket, so I went down the route of working out which premiums I wanted for this MD1 and then plugging the gaps from there.
My front 3 are all premiums, but with so many good options here there are some serious concessions. I’ve overlooked 2 players with amazing goalscoring records for their countries in Ronaldo and Kane as well as other good options from big nations such as Mbappe, Griezmann, Moreno and Immobile. I also don’t have any France, Germany or England coverage at all for MD1 – France and Germany play each other and I can see England v Croatia being a tight game. What I will say though is that Kane will certainly be in my team for MDs 2&3 as will some of the big-hitters from France.
Back to the matter in hand. For my front 3, first up is Romelu Lukaku (11.0m). Fans of FPL may be a little surprised by this, but Lukaku’s international record speaks for itself and he’s a totally different player at Internazionale to what he was at Man United. I watched him in the recent friendly versus Croatia and he looked sharp and in great shape, he was an absolute menace. Belgium are away in the first fixture to Russia, but they beat them comprehensively in qualifying and while I think they may concede (hence why I’ve not covered them in defence) I think they’ll score a few.
Robert Lewandowski (11.5m) is next up for what I think is Poland’s best fixture of their group versus Slovakia. He’s been the best striker in Europe at club level this season and while he form doesn’t always translate at international level, I think he’s got a great chance of a good return here. Finally, I’ve gone with Memphis Depay (10.0m). He’s The Netherlands’ form guy, again has looked sharp in the warm-up games and has a healthy share of set-pieces. The Netherlands are also at home for all 3 of their fixtures so I can see him being in my team right the way through the group phase.
Now back to the tricky area – midfield. Like defence, I’ve opted to cover Denmark and Italy here. Christian Eriksen (9.0m) looks a good pick for me – Denmark have a tasty opening fixture at home versus Finland and he’s The Danes’ talisman at international level with all the set-piece responsibility. For my Italy cover Domenico Berardi (6.0m) – as I said earlier, we’ve got the advantage of seeing pre-deadline whether he starts or not, if he does I think he’s an absolute bargain. If he doesn’t start, I’ve got a back-up plan where I can jiggle my other options around in order to work in Insigne as a replacement.
Next up, I needed a cheap filler. Loic Nego (4.0m) looks the most likely of the cheapies to get some gametime, though I’m hoping I won’t need him. He also plays right at the end of the MD so would only come in for a player who had scored wither 0 or 1 point as I can’t see him getting any more than this.
Finally, the last 2 spots were tricky – 13.5m left to spend on these. At the moment I’m sat on the Austrian double of Marcel Sabitzer (8.0m) and David Alaba (5.5m) but I may still change this pre-deadline. There’s not many options below 5.5m from what I can see, but if I can find someone at 5.0m who looks a prospect then I could upgrade Sabitzer to Bernado Silva or Diogo Jota to give me some Portugal cover in attack. I’m going to mull this a bit more before the deadline and if course if Barardi doesn’t start then I’ll jiggle these 2 players around to find the extra funds for Insigne, though that would potentially leave me with 2 other weaker players in midfield.
This is me or thereabouts then for MD1. I’m aware there’s some gaps in my line-up for certain countries. I’ve got no coverage for the Germany vs France or England v Croatia fixtures and I’m also a bit twitchy about my limited Spain and Portugal coverage but I think there are mitigating fixtures. For the first 2 fixtures mentioned, I’m banking on these being tight lower-scoring affairs. For Spain, their Covid situation throws a lot of doubts up and for Portugal, they are playing away against a full capacity Budapest crowd (although this may fire on Ronaldo, Bruno and co more I suppose!) I’ve also opted not to cover my own country’s fixture and I’m nervous that the Czechs might take advantage of our soft-centre in defence. We’ll see!
Good luck then folks and as usual, I’ll try and post a confirmed final team on Twitter before the opening game kicks off. I hope you enjoy the first round of games!
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