After doing a series of YouTube videos for Fantasy Football Scout, writing articles and generally getting as involved in the EURO 2020 Fantasy games as humanly possible, I had hoped that I’d be confident with my selections going in to the first Matchday of the tournament.
But the fact is, there are just so many players I’m considering and the format of being able to change captains, make subs, every. single. day. is on my mind as I look to explore any ways possible of gaining an advantage on other players in the game.
The one thing I am set on is that I will be using my Limitless chip in Matchday 2, to try and tap into teams while groups are still wide open and before inevitable rotation hits in Matchday 3, along with potentially tight games as teams look to get over the line and into the last-16 phase.
My Wildcard will then be saved for after the first round of knockout matches, to alleviate any concerns about having to get rid of half my squad who have failed to progress any further in the tournament.
Outside of this chip strategy, I keep experimenting with different teams, chopping and changing players like I’m sure many of you are doing. There are just a few settled players in my side who have not left my team since my first draft a couple of weeks ago.
In goal, I’ve gone for a rotation pairing of Uğurcan Çakır (€4.5m) and Daniel Bachmann (€4.5m). I’m expecting Italy to win against Turkey, but it will likely be tight. I
‘m keen not to spend a lot on goalkeepers, but I see many going for Lukáš Hrádecký (€4.0m). He’s a solid option as a starting option for the cheapest price, but I don’t have any real faith that he can keep a clean sheet against Denmark.
In a game where I can substitute my goalkeeper out, I think spending an extra €0.5 is a worthwhile investment and it means I can effectively target Bachmann against North Macedonia in Matchday 1 and Çakır against a well-traveled Switzerland in Matchday 3.
I’ve kept it cheap in defence, with Leonardo Spinazzola (€5.5m) my most expensive asset. I strongly feel that prioritising the €4.5 defenders in this game are the way to go, with premium options really needing to get attacking returns to justify their selections and budget defenders unlocking the door to invest more heavily in midfield and up front.
I think I’m yet to see a team that doesn’t include Jason Denayer (€4.5m) and such a cheap defender from Belgium is a gift. Likewise with Pau Torres (€4.5m).
I really like the look of Owen Wijndal (€4.5m) playing at wing-back for the Netherlands too and my final slot is currently with Ezgjan Alioski (€4.5m).
While I’m not backing North Macedonia to really pull up any trees in the tournament, an attacking defender on penalties almost feels too good to ignore and given that I can just substitute him out if he fails to register any attacking returns, Alioski seems like a fun pick in the game.
Midfield is probably where I’m struggling the most. My research into the Ukraine has led me to develop a bit of a man-crush on Ruslan Malinovsky (€7.0m) who I am backing to be one of the stars of the tournament if his team can live up to the hype about them.
Elsewhere, Tomáš Souček (€6.5m) has a great looking Matchday 1 match against Scotland. I just know he will be a constant threat in that game and will be the target for all set pieces against the team that conceded the most goals during qualifying (of those who reached the finals, anyway).
Elsewhere, I’m looking at Domenico Berardi (€6.0m) given his kind price and the fact that we will know the line up ahead of the deadline on the 11th June. He scored a goal in the 4-0 win against Czech Republic a couple of days ago and now many are tipping him to start ahead of the once popular Federico Chiesa (€7.0m). If he does start, he looks a bargain at just €6.0m.
Piotr Zieliński (€7.0m) is another of my midfielders and I am using that logic that while Robert Lewandowski (€11.5m) is of course the main threat for his national side, someone needs to feed him if he is going to carry on after his 41-goal haul in the Bundesliga last season.
I also worry that paying such a premium price for a striker in a team that is not renowned for scoring plenty of goals may be a bit overkill, especially with so many forwards vying for my attention.
Zieliński comes off the back of a decent season with Napoli (eight goals and 11 assists), will be tasked as the main creator for Poland in the tournament and could even play out-of-position as a forward in light of recent injuries. €7.0m is a much kinder price for a player in a team ranked 21st in the world.
My last midfielder spot goes to Diogo Jota (€8.5m). The suits at UEFA Fantasy football have been kind to us with his midfield classification and I expect him to be a key part of Portugal’s attack against Hungary in the first Matchday.
Cristiano Ronaldo (€12.0m) is glaringly absent from my squad, and I may yet be tempted into tearing my team apart to get him. However, I am very much of the mindset that there are plenty of other players in my team who can, and will, deliver points so I may not necessarily need him as a captain – and Jota is a perfectly valid replacement, who costs significantly less and doesn’t take up a precious forward spot. Watch this space however for my likely backtrack.
Up-front, Romelu Lukaku (€11.0m) picks himself and I very much fancy him for the Golden Boot in the tournament, particularly with what looks to be an easy looking group on paper.
His biggest rival for the individual trophy, in my eyes, is Harry Kane (€11.5m) who is blessed with an abundance of creativity around him in the England squad should Southgate get it right. I personally think he may struggle for a huge haul against Croatia, but with no chip planned in Matchday 3, I want him in place when he faces Scotland.
My final striker spot goes to Memphis Depay (€10.0m) and like so many people I am backing him to have a big tournament, given his form and talismanic role in the Netherlands set up. With all set pieces in his locker and a shoot-on-sight approach, he looks tailor made for any Fantasy game you might be playing.
Special mention should go to Emil Forsberg (€7.5m) who is just €0.5m more than I am willing to pay for a Swedish player. I do think he could be a great differential option though given his ability from set pieces and confirmation from the manager that he will be taking penalties for the side in EURO 2020.
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