FanTeam: EURO Fantasy Season Game – Gameweek 1

Less than 10 days to go for the kick-off of EURO 2024! On Friday, June 14th at 20h00 (UK time), tournament hosts Germany are set to open the European Championship with a game against Scotland and one month later, on Sunday July 15th, we will know which country may call themselves the best in Europe for at least the next four years.

As expected, the football crazies at FanTeam have created their own EURO Fantasy Season Game and it once again looks more than promising, not in the least thanks to a prize pool worth at least a whopping £175,000 with a £10 entry fee (age 18+ only)! The goal is to create a squad of 15 players with a budget of 100M and to score as many points with that squad as possible. The tournament is played over 7 gameweeks (so the duration of the EURO 2024) and the top 10% of participants receive a share of the prize pool, with the winning prize bring at least £35,000. You get 2 Free Transfers every gameweek to strengthen your squad, while additional transfers will result in a 4-point penalty. Check out the EURO Fantasy Season Game for all details on the rules.

EURO 2024: Gameweek 1 (Group stage)

For the first time in history, the European Championship is played with 24 participating countries divided over 6 groups, instead of the traditional 16 countries spread over 4 groups. So, in the build-up to the opening match, we will be looking at some of the most favourable match-ups per gameweek, starting with the first round of the Group stage. Which teams could do well in a given week? And which players are set to shine?

GERMANY (vs. Scotland)

According to the bookmakers, the opening match between Germany and Scotland is also the match with the biggest favourite in terms of the odds, namely Germany. The hosts are seen as one of the favourites to go all the way as well, so their role as favourites in this game is not very surprising. Considering their placement in a group with Hungary, Scotland and Switzerland, it’s probably a wise move to include as many of their players as you can in your initial FanTeam EURO Fantasy Season Game squad.

Kai Havertz (forward) – 9.5M

The first name from the Germany squad is probably one of the most expected (and therefore most expensive) names as well, but selecting Kai Havertz simply seems like a smart thing to do prior to the start of the tournament. The Arsenal attacker, who got 13 goals and 10 assists in 30 Premier League games last season, looks like an essential part of Germany’s starting eleven. The only real question is whether he will start up front, a little behind the striker or more towards the wing. The most important part is that he starts though, and against the likes of Scotland, starting could very well mean getting an attacking return (the odds for Germany to score at least three times sit at 6/4). The additional advantage of splashing the cash on Havertz is that you can easily keep him until at least the end of the Group stage.

Florian Wirtz (midfielder) – 7.5M

This one is a bit more of a gamble in comparison to Havertz. Not because we don’t think Wirtz will start for Germany, he is the nation’s wonderkid after all, but because we’re not entirely clear about his position and this pick is largely position-based. We believe that the 21-year-old is most likely to be positioned on the left wing in a kind of 4-2-3-1 formation and if we are right, he could have a field day against Scotland. Due to an injury crisis at right-back, the right side of the Scottish defence is seen as a potential series weakness. The likes of Aaron Hickey (Brentford FC) and Nathan Patterson (Everton FC) are all absent, meaning that it will likely be up to Anthony Ralston (Celtic) or Ross McCrorie (Bristol City) to stop Wirtz from running riot. On top of that, while 7.5M is not cheap by any standard, the German forward is not amongst the most expensive fantasy assets either.

ITALY (vs. Albania)

To be honest, we were a bit surprised to see lower odds for a German victory over Scotland than for an Italian victory over Albania, but here we are. It should be said though, that the difference between the two is minimal at most bookmakers. In any case, we have identified the Azzurri as a worthwhile focus point in round 1 of the EURO 2024 Group stage. We can see them having a flying start against Albania, not in the least because after that, it’s encounters with Spain and Croatia for the Italians.

Gianluca Scamacca (forward) – 6.0M

One of the most interesting things about this Italy squad, from a fantasy point of view at least, is that, while the striker position looks guaranteed, the striker himself is not the big star of the team. As a result, Gianluca Scamacca comes in at an affordable 6.0M, which can be easily classified as such when you keep in mind that he will be the starting central striker for the Azzurri. He is coming into EURO 2024 with plenty of confidence, having just delivered 19 goals and 8 assists in his first full season at West Ham United, and we are hoping for a translation of that confidence into a goal or two. On top of that, Italy also know that the encounter with Albania is about as must-win as they come, seeing as it will be followed by Group stage clashes with Croatia and Spain.

Federico Dimarco (defender) – 6.0M

Inter Milan won the Serie A last season and one of the (admittedly many) stand-out performers in that side was left-back Federico Dimarco. Or better said, left-wing-back Federico Dimarco, because the 26-year-old embodies the definition of an attacking defender. In 40 games for his club overall last season, he managed no less than 6 goals and 8 assists, and while his role in the national team is not as forward as it is at Inter, he is offering considerable potential at both ends of the pitch. Especially against Albania, who currently boast odds of just 21/20 to score a single goal in their opening match. We would not be surprised to see the Italians grind out a clean sheet here while scoring a few goals themselves, hopefully with some direct Federico Dimarco involvement included.

ENGLAND (vs. Serbia)

In a group with Denmark, Serbia and Slovenia, England are expected to qualify for the Knock-out stages, though none of these opponents can be considered easy. The first encounter is with Serbia, who have got plenty of weapons with which they can hurt the Three Lions. Having said that, the England squad, particularly in attack and midfield, is stacked with stars, so while we don’t doubt England’s role as favourite against the Serbs, we will definitely be keeping an eye on team news right up to the first EURO Fantasy Season Game deadline.

Harry Kane (forward) – 11.0M

Apart from France’s Kylian Mbappé, no player in the EURO Fantasy Season Game is more expensive than Harry Kane. We all know why that is though, because if you are looking for a goal guarantee, the Bayern Munich star is your man. Whether it’s for club (44 goals and 12 assists in 45 games this season) or country (63 goals and 19 assists in 90 appearances), Kane scores. And scores. And scores. He will be leading the England front line against Serbia and he will be on penalties as well, which is always a nice extra, especially if you are forking out 11M for a player. To make matters worse (for the Danish, Serbian and Slovenian defences), he will be supported in his attacking endeavours by the likes of Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka. Kane as potential candidate for the EURO 2024 Golden Boot? Definitely.

Jude Bellingham (midfielder) – 8.5M

We know, our first two England picks for FanTeam’s EURO Fantasy Season Game are not exactly budget-friendly, but that is kind of what you get if you are set on getting a few English midfielders and/or forwards into your squad. The thing is that, like Kane, Jude Bellingham has had a phenomenal first season at his new club. Where Kane broke all goal-scoring records in his maiden season at Bayern Munich, Bellingham showed his gigantic potential at Real Madrid. On the way to winning both LaLiga and the Champions League, the 20-year-old contributed with 23 goals and 13 assists (from 42 games), which we feel makes him close to undroppable for England manager Gareth Southgate. We expect him to line up in the pocket behind Kane, a role in which we hope he can replicate some of his earlier-season Real Madrid form.