May
28

The countdown to next month’s Euro 2012 kick-off on Friday June 8 edges ever closer and many of us battle-hardened Fantasy managers are bracing ourselves for a busy summer. While plenty are snapping up the option of Fantasy League’s free-to-play Pro auction game, the McDonald’s game run by Uefa remains a popular option.

The vast majority will be more than familiar with its basic principles. Introduced in the summer of 2010 for the World Cup in South Africa, it quickly underwent a number of tweaks before that tournament started and virtually works under the same principles as Uefa’s official Champions League game. Here are some pointers for those Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers who might be unfamiliar with its machinations…

Squad Selection

To begin with, you must select a squad of 15 players; similar to FPL this must consist of two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards. In the group stages, only two players from any given team are allowed but, as the tournament progresses, this increases to four players per team in the Quarter Finals, six in the Semis and eight in the Final.

In terms of formation, the game is more adaptable than FPL. Similar to the Champions League game, it affords Fantasy managers the chance to play as few as two defenders in their starting XI, with a 2-5-3 system, for example, allowing us to get the maximum out of our chosen attacking assets.

Budget-wise, Fantasy managers start with 100 Euros but player values can fluctuate according to their popularity – again, this is very familiar ground for your regular FPL player. After the group stages, Fantasy manager is handed an extra 5.0 Euros to spend.

Substitutions

The McDonald’s game very much favours those who prefer a hands-on approach. If any of your initial starting XI fail to flourish, you can simply bench them and draft in a sub for the next game in the round; those who drop to the bench, however, will score zero points. It’s a stick or twist scenario. It’s also worth noting that we’re likely to get a heads-up on the lineups from the early kick-offs each day, affording Fantasy managers the chance to hold fire until the teams are announced before subbing out any under-performers.

With regards to captains, you could, theoretically, hand four different players the armband in any of the group stage rounds, though by removing the armband from any player, you will lose their double points. The above scenarios only apply if the player in question is not sent off, however; any player who receives a red card cannot be subbed out of your starting XI – the situation can be all the more frustrating if your captain happens to be the man dismissed.

The ability to switch armbands from one day to the next not only makes the matches more entertaining from a viewing perspective, it also underlines the fact that a balance is required by Fantasy managers in order to take advantage of the rule. A strong captain choice from Groups A through to D is an essential part of the planning, then.

Looking at the current ownership levels of each team, it seems Tomas Rosicky and Robert Lewandowski are the main men for the armband for day one; with 21% and 20% respectively, they are the top-owned attacking players from Group A. In Group B, there are three main candidates; Robin Van Persie (34%), Cristiano Ronaldo (32%) and Mesut Ozil (26%), while Group C has two stand-outs, Nikica Jelavic (32%) and Andres Iniesta (27%). Last but not least, Group D’s most popular attacking assets and likely armband contenders are Zlatan Ibrahimovic (27%) and Karim Benzema (15%). With a couple of weeks until the tournament starts, though, there’s plenty of time for others to emerge, as the upcoming friendlies give us more of an indication over various team’s starting line-ups.

Scoring Points

A full list of the rules are here but, rather than labour over each and every one, it’s fair to say that many of the basic principles of the FPL game are applied. Keepers and defenders pick up six points for a clean sheet and more than 60 minutes on the pitch, midfielders receive five points for scoring a goal, while forwards pick up just four – you know how it works..

There are, however, a handful of rules unfamiliar to FPL managers. A player will earn an extra point if he is brought down for a penalty, regardless of whether the spot-kick is converted. Similarly, any player who brings down an opponent and causes a penalty is a point worse off for doing so.

Defenders are likely to prosper from the recovered balls rule; for every five recovered balls (the total of clearances completed and gaining possession tackles) a player earns an extra point. On the whole, centre-halves tend to make far more clearances than full-backs per game – obviously, the more defending a team has to do, the more chance their players have of benefitting from this rule. A viable tactic is to grab a couple of cut-price centre-halves; while they may fail to pick up clean sheets, these players are budget-friendly and can pick up extra points in much the same way as keepers prosper from an extra point per three saves.

The assists rule slightly differs from FPL, though. The quote below is taken directly from the Uefa site, highlighting just how more intricate it is in comparison to the more straightforward FPL rules. Finishing from a cross is advantageous, as opposed to a through ball, for example, if the scorer still has to beat an opponent. Rebounded efforts also don’t count as assists, as a goalkeeper save or strike off the woodwork is deemed as a new passage of play.

An assist is awarded when the goalscorer receives the ball directly from a team-mate (including the goalkeeper) and scores without having to take the ball past an opponent. If the pass takes a small deflection which does not change the direction of the ball, it will still be given. No assists are awarded for own goals or penalties. Live assists are provisional and will be reviewed within 24 hours of the match.

Transfers

Fantasy managers are afforded one transfer at the end of each Group stage round to freshen up their squads – make any more changes and it’ll cost you three points per alteration. Similarly to FPL, you get 50% of any profit made, so if you buy someone for 5.0 and sell for 5.2, you get 5.1 in return.

After the deadline for Round 3 passes, Fantasy managers can then make an unlimited number of changes prior to the Quarter Finals kicking off. A further eight are afforded for the Semi Finals, followed by four more for the Final.

McDonalds have made the game more intriguing by throwing in an extra wildcard, to be played any time during the tournament. Essentially, though, this is best wielded during the Group stages, as we can start our squads from scratch after that point anyway.

This is a nice little twist and, looking at many of the comments on site, people are divided as to when it’s best utilised. Some are intent on using it after Round 1, focusing their initial squad selection on the first batch of fixtures before selecting a more rounded set of players thereafter. In addition, this could also be a good time to monitor any price rises or falls and benefit accordingly.

Others are set on deploying the wildcard prior to Round 3 as, by then, some teams are likely to have already qualified. There’s the theory that those sides that have already made it through may well be more susceptible to rotation than others – many Fantasy managers could transfer out players from those teams and ship in assets from sides who have to go all-out for wins in order to progress, safe in the knowledge they can draft their favourites back in prior to the knock-out stages.

It’s also worth pointing out that as soon as the Round 3 transfer deadline closes, Fantasy managers should immediately focus their thoughts on the unlimited transfers for the Quarter Finals and draft in those players they have in mind for the final eight, in order to avoid being caught out by price hikes. As the top two from each group become clearer, it’s simple enough to restructure your squad on a daily basis, culling those assets who unfortunately miss the cut and are heading for a flight back home.

Budget Signings

As the final 23 man squads start to roll out, a clearer picture begins to emerge of our options for the upcoming tournament. In order to balance the budgets, Fantasy managers are scouring the market for those cut-price alternatives that can afford us the chance to embellish our squads with big-name captaincy picks.

Once all the squads are released over the next few days, we plan to analyse those cheaper squad-fillers in further details but, for now, here’s a look at the top five most popular budget players in the McDonald’s game per position. Goalkeepers and defenders are from 4.5 or under, while midfielders and forwards are priced from 5.5 or less:

Goalkeepers: Lindegaard (DEN) 4.0, 31.9%. Given (IRL) 4.5, 9.8%. Tzorvas (GRE) 4.0, 7.5%. Isaksson (SWE) 4.5, 3.3%. Sorensen (DEN) 4.5, 1.6%.

Defenders: M Olsson (SWE) 4.0, 46.5%. Strinic (CRO) 4.0, 19.3%. K Papadopoulos (GRE) 4.5, 15.9%. Jodlowiec (POL) 4.0, 6.3%. J Olsson (SWE) 4.0, 3.7%.

Midfield: Polanski (POL) 4.0, 34.4%. Andrews (IRL) 4.0, 13.6%. De Jong (HOL) 5.0, 12.4%. M’Vila (FRA) 5.5, 11.5%. McGeady (IRL) 5.5, 4.2%.

Forwards: Jelavic (CRO) 5.0, 32.3%. Pedersen (DEN) 4.0, 7%. Samaras (GRE) 5.0, 2%. Doyle (IRL) 5.5, 1%. Long (IRL) 5.0, 1%.

Scout League

Finally, a reminder that our coverage for the tournament will also feature updates of the official Scout League, as we keep you abreast of the main protagonists as the action unfolds. If you haven’t joined already, the code is 638-996. Good luck to one and all!

About The Author

paul

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  1. So do all Utd fans hope Hazard breaks his leg or just the twitter ones?

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. I'm presuming all.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
      1. Just the bitter twitter ones. I for one am glad he didn't join united, it will be nice seeing a player of his quality play in the premier league without disrupting the united dressing room. Bring in Kagawa and i'll be happy.

        • 2 years, 6 months ago
        1. over the last few weeks, he has struck me as something of a prima donna, who loves to be the centre of attention. He'd fall flat on his face at United.

          • 2 years, 6 months ago
    2. Just the twitter ones, would've been better if he joined us.

      But at least he's joining Chelsea rather than Citeh.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
  2. Right, I am off for the night, looking forward to 'applying' for my place in your Comp tommorrow Parm! :-)

    Night all!

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
      • 2 years, 6 months ago
        • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. goodnight

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
      1. Night! (Now I am actually off rather than still sitting here replying!)

        • 2 years, 6 months ago
  3. Benzema or Ibra for the captain option on day 4 of gw1?

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
      • 2 years, 6 months ago
      • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. i doubt u will have to make that decision

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
      1. Fair enough but which would you pick on the team as I cant afford both?

        • 2 years, 6 months ago
  4. was just playing fifa, and found a guy called jonathan from inter.
    he is really pacey and his stats in crossing, defending and ball control is also pretty decent.
    anyone heard of him before?

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
      • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. No.
      Also since you were asking about decent players to buy earlier, I recommend buying Mayuka.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
      1. he's pacey, but no skill at all, will he come good at other aspect?

        • 2 years, 6 months ago
  5. Hey Parm, what's all this I hear about you organising a Euro tournament?

    I presume my name is in the hat.....

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. Oh i'll (try)make sure of it.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
      1. and moi

        • 2 years, 6 months ago
  6. well folks. It appears that Hazard has, all this time, been stalling to find out who came up with the biggest offer. Ain't no way Chelsea's non-existent manager told him he'd be getting more game time than he was told he'd be getting at United. No way Frank would have taken a 4 year deal to sit on the bench, so he'll be in the middle with Mikel, Mata wide left, Ramires wide right Torres up front. Hazard, enjoy your money and the splinters that come with it.

    P.S. I'm not bitter :lol:

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
  7. lol at this 'chelsea' fan

    Benjamin Gilmour ‏@Benontheradio
    @hazardeden10 so glad :) can't wait to get my new Hazard shirt! Number 10?

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. doesn't Mata have 10?

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
    2. Haha.

      All our Asian fans will be getting Kagawa on the back of their's when he comes to United.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
      1. Utd could get a shock when Arsenal sign him :)

        • 2 years, 6 months ago
  8. Good afternoon yall! How are the odds looking for Hulk to end up in CFC, now that Hazard has signed? Presuming Mata - Torres - Hazard will be their attack?

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. One must think that there is still a chance, since Mata is probably better behind the striker, so another winger is needed. Also if you are realistic than and they probably are, they know that they wont win shhht with Torres as the main striker.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
  9. ok best defender for 6 million (other than Zhirkov). Thinking of holding off on Debuchy until after the England game.

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. The Competition's out tomorrow BTW.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
      1. oh great, I shall look forward to it.

        Any thoughts?

        Am thinking of swapping Srna for Mandzukci and getting Van Der Wiel for 1 week only.

        • 2 years, 6 months ago
  10. Interesting.....

    Eden Hazard: 192 apps, 50 goals and 30 assists.
    Shinji Kagawa: 198 apps, 86 goals and 45 assists.

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. unfortunately Parm, stats are not everything.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
      1. Are Kagawas stats all for Dortmund?

        • 2 years, 6 months ago
      2. Are they not ;)

        • 2 years, 6 months ago
    2. And the German league is a lot better than the French one...

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
    3. I REALLY hope he comes to united. Some of his passes are sublime, he's explosive, a workhorse and has decent finish on him! He's like a quality Japanese version of Park. The Bundeslega isn't the easiest of leagues either.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
    4. Pointless comparing different leagues - Hazard and Kagawa are both good players.

      The German magazine 'Kicker' is indicating that the Kagawa deal is as good as done, by the way.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
      1. Kagawa to United?

        • 2 years, 6 months ago
          • 2 years, 6 months ago
        1. Weirdly, there's no mention of the club in their brief dispatch, but yes.

          • 2 years, 6 months ago
    5. A.

      Kagawa is 2 years older and further along in his development, Hazard was put in the team from an earlier age

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
    6. i always prefer kagawa instaed of hazard

      1.he is not coocky
      2.he play in better league

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
  11. NEW POST

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
  12. oh behave.....

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
  13. The article on the ins and outs of the McDonalds game reminded me of the during the money team line-up we did during the World Cup.

    Everyone jumps on an identikit squad of players likely to go up in price to force the market and make up as much cash as possible for the QFs.

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
  14. Forgive my lack of knowledge, but has Hazard actually signed for CFC?

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
  15. anyone trying to keep their W/C for the final ?

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. Planning for it. I reckon I can keep 11 point scoring players using my free transfer for round 2 and 3, get a whole new squad if needed for the Q/Fs so when the final rolls round can pick the best of the finalists.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
    2. Quite possibly. Or an injury pileup. Or a suprise star team of Euro 2012...

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
  16. Thoughts? Thinking of maybe downgrading somewhere to upgrade on Andrews/ Peltikosa/Olsson/ Papadopoulos, just dont know where. Advice?

    Pletikosa, Tzorvas
    M.Olsson, Debuchy, Alba, Willems, K Papadoulos
    Ozil, Ribery, Dzagoev, Mandzukic, Andrews
    Muller, Lewandowski, RVP/Huntelaar

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. Do you think Tzorvas will start ? The Greeks have Chalkias as well. That's who I've gone for in goal.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
    2. I would say to try balancing your squad a bit more,
      Muller, RVP, Ozil + Ribery are taking majority of your budget up try downgrading one or 2 and putting money onto Andrews, Papa, Olsson.

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
  17. Could i ask for peoples thoughts on my team:
    Hugo Lloris - A.Lindegaard
    Y.Zhirkov - A.Barzagli - M.Debuchy - V.Corluka - J.Boateng
    M.Ozil - Xabi Alonso - N.De Jong - R.Shirokov - M.Mandzukic
    F.Llorente - A.Cassano - R.Lewandowski

    Where to improve? i just swapped:
    Shirokov, Alonso + Corluka
    Kallstrom, Mata + Anyukov

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
  18. Hey gents,

    Thoughts on this lineup?

    GRE Starter/ DEN Starter
    Zhirkov - M. Olsson - Debuchy - Pique - Papadopoulos
    Özil - S.Larsson - Dzagoev - Mandžukić - McClean
    Klose - Benzema - Llorente

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. I've thought about both Klose and Llortente, but are they guaranteed starters?

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
      1. Not sure...I think Klose is still Loew's go-to, but I have no idea what the Spanish plan is.

        • 2 years, 6 months ago
  19. Any thoughts?

    GK: Akinfeev, Given
    DF: Maggio, Ramos, Piszcek, Papadoupolos, Dunne
    MF: Elm, Iniesta, Ozil, Mandzukic, Eriksen
    FW: Benzema, Muller, Jelavic

    • 2 years, 6 months ago
    1. I love the midfield

      • 2 years, 6 months ago

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 17

  • Lloris
  • Zabaleta
  • Ivanovic
  • Cresswell
  • Sánchez
  • Eriksen
  • Y Touré
  • Downing
  • Bony
  • van Persie
  • Austin
  • Evans
  • Nasri
  • Carroll

From the Community…

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Fixture Ticker

The Watchlist

Goalkeepers

Last updated: 19 Dec, 2014 1:25pm
Player Club Factors
Up Hart MCI A, Vs
Up McGregor HUL B, Vs
Up Guzan AVL B, Vs
Up Green QPR B, Vs
Down Pantilimon SUN A
Up De Gea MUN A
No Change Fabianski SWA B
Up Adrián WHM B

Defenders

Last updated: 19 Dec, 2014 12:51am
Player Club Factors
Up Zabaleta MCI B, Vs, Rest
Down Ivanovic CHE B
Down Baines EVE C
Up Yun QPR C, Vs, £
Up Davies TOT C, Vs, Rest, £
Up Janmaat NEW B, VsX, Inj
No Change Cresswell WHM B
Down Hutton AVL B, Vs, £, Sus
No Change Taylor SWA B
Up Chester HUL C, Vs, VsX
Up Evans MUN B, Vs

Midfielders

Last updated: 17 Dec, 2014 1:40pm
Player Club Factors
Up Hazard CHE A, VsX
Down Sánchez ARS A, VsX, OoP
Up Y Touré MCI B, Vs, Sus
Up Downing WHM A
Up Eriksen TOT A, Vs
Up Nasri MCI A, Vs, Inj
Down Sigurdsson SWA B, Vs
Up Sterling LIV C, Vs
No Change Bolasie CPL A, VsX
Down Oscar CHE B, VsX
Up Fer QPR B, Vs
Up Sissoko NEW B, Vs, VsX

Forwards

Last updated: 20 Dec, 2014 10:12am
Player Club Factors
No Change Diego Costa CHE B
No Change Bony SWA A, Vs
Up Austin QPR A, Vs
Up van Persie MUN A
Up Kane TOT B, Vs, Rest, £
No Change Sakho WHM B, Rest, £
Up Giroud ARS B, VsX
Up Benteke AVL B, Vs
Down Rooney MUN B, Inj, OoP
Up Carroll WHM B
Up Cissé NEW A, Vs
No Change Pellè SOT C

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension

The Suspension Tightrope

Player Team YC
Oxlade-Chamberlain ARS 4
Agbonlahor AVL 4
Boyd BRN 4
Marney BRN 4
Chamakh CPL 4
Naismith EVE 4
Chester HUL 4
Livermore HUL 4
Robertson HUL 4
Moore LEI 4
Balotelli LIV 4
Gerrard LIV 4
Skrtel LIV 4
Kompany MCI 4
Mangala MCI 4
Y Touré MCI 4
Tioté NEW 4
Fer QPR 4
Clyne SOT 4
Fonte SOT 4
Mane SOT 4
Mame Biram Diouf STO 4
Shawcross STO 4
Wilson STO 4
Gómez SUN 4
Wickham SUN 4
Ki SWA 4
Williams SWA 4
Mason TOT 4
Dorrans WBA 4
Tomkins WHM 4

“Last year was quite open for me, I was in good positions, but I was quite lucky because I was getting free kicks and some penalties as well.”

Yaya Toure Manchester City midfielder