Our latest round-up from the European Championship summarises Sunday’s action, with Opta data on each match included from our Premium Members Area.
ENGLAND 1-0 CROATIA
- Goals: Raheem Sterling (€9.5m)
- Assists: Kalvin Phillips (€5.0m)
Six England players could boast double-digit ownerships heading into Sunday’s win over Croatia but it was two differentials who did the damage at Wembley.
The price tag, indifferent form and potential rotation risk status of Raheem Sterling (€9.5m) had deterred many Fantasy managers from plumping for the Manchester City winger, who sat in just 1% of teams in Matchday 1.
His scuffed match-winning strike – and a ballooned late effort – were indicative of a man lacking confidence in front of goal but his off-the-ball work and movement were more like the Sterling of old, with he and club team-mate Phil Foden (€8.0m) terrorising Croatia early on.
Foden indeed hit the post with the game minutes old, with Kalvin Phillips (€5.0m) also testing Dominik Livakovic (€5.0m).
Phillips was the undoubted star of the show and a potential break-out act in Fantasy terms.
In a game in which Gareth Southgate largely preferred control over dynamism (bar the early salvo), the ball-playing Phillips predictably shone.
It wasn’t just his fine assist that was eye-catching from a Fantasy perspective but the freedom with which he was allowed to get forward, with his ‘regista’ role at Leeds tweaked for the international stage and Declan Rice (€5.5m) instead doing the bulk of the donkey work in front of the back four.
Phillips himself said after full-time:
I love playing with Declan. I love playing in that role where I have licence to go forward and I know that Declan is behind me backing me up if I ever get beat.
At just 1% owned and available at a dirt-cheap price, the Leeds playmaker is worthy of consideration in Matchday 2 and beyond.
Elsewhere, Gareth Southgate explained his decision to start Kieran Trippier (€5.0m).at left-back, with Luke Shaw (€6.0m) and Ben Chilwell (€6.0m) overlooked:
We felt that his talking across the backline and his ability to get out and stop crosses quickly and his experience on a day like today – alongside Tyrone Mings, who is relatively early in his international career – would be a good stabilising element.
He is a very underrated player. People are still looking at the player from a few years ago and not at the one who is at Atletico Madrid and playing like a warrior in the last few seasons. He is a big part of what we’ve done over the last few years and he gave a really good performance.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Three Lions, with Harry Kane (€11.5m) disappointingly quiet.
While Croatia’s defence did their job well with the Spurs forward, they offered precious little in attack and looked every year of the ageing side they are.
The visitors’ expected goals (xG) tally was a meagre 0.36 on Sunday, which was a fair reflection of their output.
NETHERLANDS 3-2 UKRAINE
- Goals: Georginio Wijnaldum (€8.0m), Wout Weghorst (€7.0m), Denzel Dumfries (€5.5m) | Andriy Yarmolenko (€8.5m), Roman Yaremchuk (€7.0m)
- Assists: Nathan Ake (€5.0m) | Yaremchuk, Ruslan Malinovskiy (€7.0m)
A humdinger of a game in Amsterdam saw the hosts edge a five-goal thriller against Ukraine.
Defender Denzel Dumfries (€5.5m) was heavily involved in all three of the Netherlands’ goals, capping off his gung-ho performance with a match-winning header from a Nathan Ake (€5.0m) cross.
Owners of Dumfries would have been left cursing their luck up until that 84th-minute strike.
The wing-back had played a part in the first two of his nation’s strikes without banking an assist, first seeing a cross palmed out by the shaky Georgi Bushchan (€4.5m) to goalscorer Georginio Wijnaldum (€8.0m) and then being tackled on the six-yard line just before Wout Weghorst (€7.0m) doubled the hosts’ lead.
The points then ebbed away further when Ukraine ruined the Oranje’s clean sheet with a quickfire double.
The Netherlands had utterly bossed the match up until their visitors came storming back into the game, racking up seven shots in the first 10 minutes alone.
This was a convincing advert for their attacking assets, with Wijnaldum shining in the advanced role he so often occupies for his motherland and registering more goal attemps than anyone else involved.
Memphis Depay (€10.0m), the most-owned asset on show, couldn’t get in on the act despite a positive showing alongside Weghorst up top.
Owners of a number of the Netherlands’ more popular assets were also left disappointed, although the benching of Tim Krul (€4.5m) and the omission of the injured Matthijs de Ligt (€5.5m) had been signposted.
The deployment of Patrick van Aanholt (€5.5m) over Owen Wijndal (€4.5m) on the left was more of a shock, with coach Frank de Boer confirming ahead of the match that the latter wasn’t injured.
Ukraine were flattered by the scoreline and were reliant on a superb Andriy Yarmolenko (€8.5m) strike from distance to halve the deficit, with striker Roman Yaremchuk (€7.0m) claiming the assist for that effort before nodding home an equaliser soon after.
AUSTRIA 3-1 NORTH MACEDONIA
- Goals: Stefan Lainer (€5.0m), Michael Gregoritsch (€5.5m), Marko Arnautovic (€7.0m) | Goran Pandev (€6.5m)
- Assists: Marcel Sabitzer (€8.0m), David Alaba (€5.5m), Konrad Laimer (€6.0m)
David Alaba (€5.5m) provided a superb assist to help Austria to a 3-1 win over tournament debutants North Macedonia.
The Bayern Munich man was the most-owned player on show and Fantasy managers who selected the versatile defender-cum-midfielder would have been irked to see him spend much of the match at centre-half, dictating play from deep without threatening an attacking return.
But Alaba’s teasing late cross from the left flank brought belated joy, with substitute Michael Gregoritsch (€5.5m) nodding in the decisive strike.
Another second-half replacement, Marko Arnautovic (€7.0m), wrapped up the points late on.
RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer (€8.0m) showed just why he is priced up as a premium midfielder: he racked up 16 more touches in the final third than anyone else and carved out two excellent chances, one of which was converted brilliantly by Stefan Lainer (€5.0m) on the volley.
Veteran Goran Pandev (€6.5m) had restored parity after a comedy of errors in the Austrian backline, with goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann (€4.5m) shouldering part of the blame.
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