BELGIUM 3-0 RUSSIA
- Goals: Romelu Lukaku x2 (€11.0m), Thomas Meunier (€5.5m)
- Assists: Dries Mertens (€9.0m), Meunier
EURO Fantasy managers who captained Romelu Lukaku (€11.0m) may well be spared a stick or twist decision in Matchday 1.
The Belgian forward scored his 61st and 62nd international goals in a routine 3-0 win over Russia, his 10-point haul likely to cause some discussion about what to do on Sunday.
The third day’s matches will see Lukaku’s Golden Boot rival Harry Kane (€11.5m) take on a questionable Croatia defence while Memphis Depay (€10.0m), who boasts six goals and two assists in his last five Netherlands matches, faces Ukraine.
Make sure to vote in our poll below as to what your intention and/or advice would be for captaincy following Lukaku’s brace.
That Lukaku was able to deliver even without Kevin De Bruyne (€10.5m) and, initially, Eden Hazard (€10.0m), who emerged as a second-half substitute, in the team should only increase his long-term appeal in EURO Fantasy.
At the time of writing, 50% of UEFA managers own the Inter Milan forward and the possible return of those aforementioned midfield stars will only boost his potential.
Meanwhile, the 7% of EURO Fantasy managers invested in Thomas Meunier (€5.5m) enjoyed something of a rollercoaster evening.
Like the 22%-owned Jason Denayer (€4.5m), he was initially left out of the starting XI, emerging in the 26th minute to replace an injured Timothy Castagne (€5.5m).
The timing of Meunier’s arrival was perfect for his owners, allowing him to play the 60 minutes to make himself eligible for a clean sheet and he also produced a goal and assist for a 15-point haul.
Elsewhere, as we saw at the last World Cup, Dries Mertens (€9.0m) made some efforts to act as a budget option in attack, assisting Lukaku’s opening goal, although the latter’s brace certainly made a you-get-what-you-pay-for point.
Wales 1-1 Switzerland
- Goals: Kieffer Moore (€6.5m) | Breel Embolo (€8.0m)
- Assists: Joe Morrell (€5.0m) | Xherdan Shaqiri (€7.0m)
Breel Embolo (€8.0m) was the standout player as Switzerland were held to a 1-1 draw with Wales, although a Matchday 2 meeting with Italy might put off new investors for now.
The mid-priced forward’s energetic runs through the middle caused Chris Mepham (€4.5m) and Joe Rodon (€4.5m) a string of problems in a game that the Nati were the better side and really should have won.
During the first 36 minutes of the match, Wales managed just two shots on goal thanks to Switzerland’s domination of possession and, at half-time no player on the pitch had registered fewer touches than Gareth Bale (€9.5m).
It was either side of half-time that Switzerland really should have put the game beyond Robert Page’s men.
In the 45th minute, Embolo out-muscled Mepham with his back to goal to lay it off to Haris Seferovic (€8.5m) who blasted high and wide, but with the Bournemouth defender pulling the striker’s shirt practically off his back, a penalty probably should have been awarded.
Then, in the 49th minute, Embolo strode through Wales’ shakey centre-back pairing to get one-on-one with Danny Ward (€4.5m) and force a fantastic save from the Leicester City shot-stopper.
And from the resulting Xherdan Shaqiri (€7.0m) corner, Embolo headed into the top corner.
Less than a minute after netting the opener, the Borussia Mönchengladbach forward bamboozled Mepham again, this time laying it off to right wing-back Kevin Mbabu (€5.0m) who dragged wide.
Shaqiri then played Embolo through on the left in the 64th minute, who cut inside on his right foot and bent an effort just wide.
The lively striker might have had an assist in the closing stages too, were it not for an offside call against Mario Gavranović (€7.5m), who netted his knockdown in the 85th minute.
Meanwhile, Kieffer Moore (€6.5m) was one of only a few shining lights in a largely poor Welsh performance, despite the hard-earned point.
He was responsible for both of his team’s two shots on target against Switzerland, both of them headers.
The first came from a Dan James (€6.5m) cross in the first half, tipped expertly over the bar by Yann Sommer (€5.0m). The second was Moore’s goal, created by a ball into the box from Joe Morrell (€5.0m) but completely against the run of play.
Still, there was very little on show from Wales to worry anyone holding onto Turkish defensive assets for Matchday 2.
WALES XI (4-1-4-1): D Ward; B Davies, Rodon, Mepham, C Roberts; Allen; D James (Brooks 75′), Ramsey (Ampadu 90+3′), Morrell, Bale; Moore.
SWITZERLAND XI (3-4-1-2): Sommer; Akanji, Schär, Elvedi; Rodríguez, Xhaka, Freuler, Mbabu; Shaqiri (Zakaria 66′); Embolo, Seferović (Gavranović 84′).
DENMARK 0-1 FINLAND
- Goals: Joel Pohjanpalo (€6.0m)
- Assists: Jere Uronen (€4.5m)
- Penalties missed: Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (€5.5m)
- Penalties saved: Lukas Hrádecky (€4.0m)
- Penalties won: Yussuf Poulsen (€8.0m)
- Penalties conceded: Paulus Arajuuri (€4.0m)
Finland’s debut win at a major international tournament will forever be remembered for one man: Christian Eriksen.
The football world united behind the former Spurs midfielder and his family on Saturday afternoon as he collapsed on the pitch and required life-saving intervention from the stadium’s medical staff.
After extended time receiving CPR, flanked by an iconic wall of tearful team-mates, and with Kasper Schmeichel (€5.0m) and Denmark captain Simon Kjær (€4.5m) supporting his wife on the sidelines, Eriksen was transferred to hospital where he was confirmed as stable and awake.
Following a lengthy delay, both sets of players returned to the field to complete the game but it goes without saying that it was a surreal affair after the restart and, therefore, difficult to glean too much in the way of Fantasy talking points.
Lukas Hrádecky (€4.0m) justified his 34% ownership at the first time of asking though. He saved Pierre-Emile Højbjerg‘s (€5.5m) second-half penalty, kept a clean sheet and made six saves for a total of 13 points.
DENMARK XI (4-3-3): Schmeichel; Mæhle; Christensen, Kjær (Vestergaard 63′), Wass (Stryger Larsen 75′); Delaney (Cornelius 76’0, Højbjerg, Eriksen (Jensen 43′); Braithwaite, Wind (Olsen 63′), Poulsen.
FINLAND XI (5-3-2): Hrádecky; Uronen, O’Shaughnessy, Arajuuri, Toivio, Raitala (Väisänen 90′); Kamara, Sparv (Schüller 76′), Lod; Pukki (Kauko 76′), Pohjanpalo (Forss 84′).
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