With just over a week until the tournament begins, I am settled on using a chip-heavy strategy in the group stages of EURO 2020 Fantasy this summer.
I will select my initial team with a view to attacking Matchday 1, use the Limitless chip in Matchday 2 and deploy the Wildcard ahead of Matchday 3, knowing that, like all managers, I will have the chance to change all my players for the second round too.
Even though pre-tournament friendlies are ongoing, my team has not changed a great deal in the last few days, save for a few defensive transfers, and I’m happy to discuss how it is looking so far.
- Gianluigi Donnarumma (€5.5m)
- Lukas Hradecky (€4.0m)
I am extremely confident in Italy’s back-line and think they could do well against Turkey considering their decent defensive record in qualifying.
If the Azzurri do concede then Finland’s budget goalkeeper Hradecky will have to come in a do a job against a Danish team I fancy to do well. Not a lot of hope there but for £4.0m I think it is worth the risk as an alternative should Donnarumma score just two points.
- Leonardo Spinazzola (€5.5m)
- Thomas Meunier (€5.5m)
- Stefan Lainer (€5.0m)
- Joakim Mæhle (€4.5m)
- Owen Wijndal (€4.5m)
A double-up on Italian defensive assets should come as no surprise. Roberto Mancini’s men play on the first day of the tournament, so I am covered there, and I believe the teams in this group will score very few goals so a captaincy could work out.
I want to make sure I have a few Belgian assets in my team and Meunier, if playing, is a great upside pick.
Lainer and Mæhle are both great enablers that should stand a good chance of keeping clean sheets against North Macedonia and Finland respectively.
Finally, Netherlands full-back could be the best £4.5m defender in the game. The Dutch have an excellent chance of keeping clean sheets in all three of their games and he will have license to run forward against weaker opposition.
- Christian Eriksen (€9.0m)
- Federico Chiesa (€7.0m)
- Dani Olmo (€7.0m)
- David Alaba (€5.5m)
- Loïc Négo (€4.0m)
One of these picks is not like the others. Which one? Nego is just an enabler that will sit on my bench. Many people are against this tactic but as long as the rest of your bench plays I don’t think its too bad an option.
Eriksen should see a lot of joy against a Finland team that I personally think will struggle in this group. He also likes a long shot or two in each game which will help his base points.
Chiesa has been in and out of my team but I do fancy them to do well against Turkey. If I think it’ll be a routine 1-0 win I may change my mind and take him back out.
Alaba has a tasty fixture against North Macedonia and finds himself as the talisman of a team in a kind group, I’m expecting some returns in that first game.
Last, but not least, is Olmo of Spain. The Spaniards are a tough team to call at this moment in time. They could set the group alight or crash and burn. If it’s the latter then I want the opportunity to gain from any form they are in. Olmo is a cheap way in to that offence without breaking the bank.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (€12.0m)
- Romelu Lukaku (€11.0m)
- Memphis Depay (€10.0m)
I have a sneaky feeling Lukaku could walk away with the Golden Boot by the time the tournament has finished. The big Inter Milan striker will be the main man in an easy group for Belgium and their array of creative talent behind him certainly helps.
Am I worried about Kevin De Bruyne (€10.5m) being out? Not enough to take Lukaku out of my team.
Depay has an interesting fixture against Ukraine. Andriy Shevchenko’s men can frustrate opponents, but I do expect Holland to put them to the sword. Depay will be involved in any goals that they do score even if they don’t get results. Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Scotland, in which he netted twice, proved that perfectly.
Saving the best until last, Ronaldo needs no introduction and will spearhead a Portuguese side that has never looked better. I expect him to cause Hungary all sorts of problems and will most likely be my captain if others have failed to really ignite in the first few days.
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