It’s time to wipe the slate clean and start afresh with our captaincy options once again, as Fantasy managers ready themselves for the final round of group matches to begin tomorrow evening. With all four sides standing a chance of progressing to the last eight, defence is not an option for either of the quartet – now is the time to go on the front foot and, with no clean sheets in any of the Group A games thus far, Fantasy expectations will be high:
Current group leaders Russia square up to Greece, with Alan Dzagoev offering the main goal threat. The 7.8 priced midfielder has notched three times already, though Andrei Arshavin’s trio of assists has helped the Arsenal man to 13 points in the McDonald’s game. Roman Shirokov’s attacking menace from the midfield three could well play a part, while Aleksandr Kerzhakov may face a battle to hold down a first-team place after missing 11 chances over his two appearances – Roman Pavlyuchenko is waiting in the wings to replace him.
The Greeks are trickier to predict. Only one player – Giorgos Samaras – has started up front in their two matches so far, with Theofanis Gekas and Dimitrios Salpingidis grabbing goals against Czech Republic and Poland respectively after climbing off the bench. Konstantinos Mitroglou was afforded a 19 minute sub role against the Czechs but could earn a call-up to the starting XI as Santos reassesses his forward options.
Poland’s remit tomorrow night is simple – win against the Czech Republic and they are through. Skipper Jakub Blaszczykowski has had a hand in both his side’s goals so far, providing an assist against Greece before notching the crucial equaliser in the match with Russia – he looks set to be inspirational once more for Franciszek Smuda’s side. Robert Lewandowski’s threat up front will also be crucial, while Ludovic Obraniak’s creativity and set-piece duties have seen him provide plenty of opportunities for his team mates.
The Czech Republic will be hoping Vaclav Pilar can continue his goalscoring streak in their crucial clash with the co-hosts. The midfielder has notched in both his side’s opening two games and, priced at just 5.1, has proven to be a cut-price gem for Fantasy managers. Petr Jiracek’s move to a right wing role against Greece last time out saw him grab the opener and, with Tomas Rosicky still a doubt due to an Achilles problem, the creativity of Jaroslav Plasil looks more key than ever. Up front, Milan Baros is likely to lead the line and will be keen to pick up in performance after a disappointing couple of games so far.