With uncertainty surrounding his starting role this evening, Fernando Torres had just 4% of the votes in the Matchday 2, Day 3 Captain Poll heading into the match with Republic of Ireland. A double from El Nino handed those Fantasy managers who gave him the armband a 20 point return, though it was David Silva who stole the show with a goal and two assists in the 4-0 rout:
Andres Iniesta was the runaway winner of the Captain Poll with 42% of the votes cast but, somewhat surprisingly, has not been awarded an assist for his role in Silva’s first goal. The below quote from the McDonald’s site would suggest Iniesta should have been handed the assist after Shay Given parried his effort into Silva’s path – perhaps the fact that Silva had a couple of touches before netting has gone against the Barcelona man.
An attempt, which rebounds from the goal frame, the goalkeeper or a defender, can be considered as an assist, if it leads directly to a goal.
This evening’s early kick-off saw the forwards draw a blank in the McDonald’s game. Mario Mandzukic’s classification as a midfielder helped the Croatian to a 14 point armband haul after he grabbed the equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Italy, while the Azzurri’s Andrea Pirlo picked up a 16 point captaincy return due to his free kick opener and eight recovered balls. After disappointment for many this evening, it’s stick or twist time again tomorrow, then…
Tournament co-hosts Ukraine will be seeking their second Group D win in the early kick-off against France and Andriy Shevchenko offers a decent differential candidate, with an ownership of less than 5% in the McDonald’s game. The skipper arrives on the back of his double against Sweden, while Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka both picked up assists in the 2-1 win over Erik Hamren’s men, with the latter also firing five shots at goal.
For Laurent Blanc’s side, the front three are the main protagonists. Samir Nasri grabbed a goal and created eight goalscoring opportunities against England, Franck Ribery provided his team mates with six chances to find the net and resultantly picked up an assist, while Karim Benzema had six shots against Roy Hodgson’s side.
England and Sweden square up in the later encounter, with the former having conceded just once in three games under their new manager. For England, Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck are likely to carry the threat up front, though Steven Gerrard’s set-piece duties and likely points for recovered balls – given his side’s tactics – makes the Liverpool man another armband alternative.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the obvious captaincy choice for the Swedes – despite returning a single goal in his opener, he had four shots and provided four goalscoring chances against Ukraine. Seb Larsson and Kim Kallstrom’s creativity could see them both play a part as the Swedes attempt to hand Hodgson his first defeat in charge of the national side, though doubts remain over who will lead the line, with Markus Rosenberg, Ola Tiovonen and Johan Elmander all vying for the lone striker role.