Welcome to Part 3 of our 3 Part preview of FanTeam’s Euro 2020 Fantasy game following Part 1 and Part 2 published earlier this week. In the first article we discussed Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland and France whilst in the second article we covered Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, North-Macedonia, Poland, Portugal and Russia. Now in this final 3rd article, we cover the remaining countries: Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales.
The 2020-21 season was a strange, unique year of football for all clubs in all competitions. That’s why the fact that in most countries, when the final few games of the season were played in front of (limited) crowds for the first time in more than a year they sparked such enormous enthusiasm. Now that the domestic leagues have finished though, football is immediately taking the next big step by organising the postponed 2020 European Championship. The pandemic prevented the tournament from taking place last summer, but this summer in just over a week, from June 11th to July 11th, it’s on.
Of course, as the biggest daily fantasy site in Europe, FanTeam had to get in on the upcoming footballing festivities and they did so in style. Their Euro 2020 Full Tournament offers 87,109 seats and an incredible prize pool of £1,000,000 (Yes, £1million!) with the winner taking home a cool £200,000. Tickets for participation are available at a price of £20 per ticket.
As a participant, the concept is very much similar to the regular FanTeam tournaments, like the Weekly Monsters for the Premier League, for example. Each manager needs to select a squad of 15 players from the countries participating in Euro2020, maximum 3 players from the same country, and they will get a free transfer after each round. An additional transfer will cost -4 points, but managers can also carry a maximum of 1 unused transfer over to the next round, so that they will have two free transfers then. Do check out the Euro 2020- Full Tournament for all details regarding the rules.
For the FanTeam Weekly Monster regulars, the FanTeam scoring system has undergone the following adjustments:
|Players points for a win reduced from +1 to +0.3 and players points for a defeat increased from -1 to -0.3.||To reduce the impact of a team’s performance and put more focus on the selected player, making more players desirable (especially in formats with few fixtures).|
|Players will be rewarded for a shot on target: +0.4 for a forward or midfielder, +0.6 for a defender, and 1 for a goalkeeper.||To reward attacking play, while reducing the amount of ties in our tournaments. A “shot on target” is simply a shot that’s going in, but is stopped by the last line of defence. This could be a goalkeeper, an opposing player ‘on the line’, or even your own teammate if they’re goal hanging. Points for a shot on target are not awarded when a goal is scored from the shot, either if the player is the scorer or is awarded the assist.|
For the managers brave enough for the FanTeam ride during the upcoming European Championship, we have created a complete tournament guide. Consisting of three parts, we will take a look at each of the 24 participating countries and highlight two players of their squad who could, for more or less obvious reasons, be valuable additions to any FanTeam Euro 2020 Full Tournament squad. In the first part, we discussed Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland and France. In the second part of the series, we went over Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, North-Macedonia, Poland, Portugal and Russia. In this third and final part of our Euro 2020 Tournament preview, we’re recommending fantasy picks from Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales.
|June 14||Czech Republic|
While most national teams preparing for the European Championship seem to have the completely unpredictable virus factor more or less under control, Scotland was hit hard by a recent outbreak. For their friendly encounter with the Netherlands on June 5th, no less than seven players missed out due to positive tests. As a result of this unfortunate preparation, predicting Scotland’s starting line-up for their opener against the Czech Republic (and even for their subsequent fixtures) is surrounded by even more doubt than usual.
On top of that, Scotland drew a fairly difficult group, including an undoubtedly intense battle with England on the second match day. All things considered, Andrew Robertson (5.0M) is probably one of the better Scottish fantasy picks, though his price category is competitive. With the Liverpool man, you’re at least assured of a starting spot and lots of intent going forward, where possible. Che Adams (5.0M) could be another punt for the more steely-nerved fantasy managers among us. The muscular Southampton forward is one of the players who recently tested positive, but since switching allegiance from England to Scotland recently, he’s been a regular for coach Steve Clarke (3 games: 1 goal, 1 assist) and performed well for Southampton this season.
In theory, Slovakia are the big underdogs in this group, but their Euro 2020 roster contains more quality and big names than many would think. The biggest of them is obviously living Napoli legend Marek Hamsik (4.5M), who is his country’s all-time top scorer (26 goals), their all-time record holder for caps (126 games) and their current captain. The attacking midfielder went a bit off the European radars after his move to China last season, but don’t doubt for a second that he is not still the big man for his country.
If your squad still needs a very budget-enabling midfielder with a security of starts this summer, then Stanislav Lobotka (4.0M) could be worth a gander. The Napoli man holds a defensive position in midfield for his country, so don’t expect too many rushes forwards for attacking returns. Still, his price tag brings him into the mix as a starting midfielder at a bargain price. If you’re really set on picking two Slovakian internationals for your FanTeam Euro 2020 Full Tournament team, then Lobotka wouldn’t be the worst choice.
Spain probably has one of the favourable draws in terms of their group for Euro 2020. Though Sweden, Poland and Slovakia are no walk-overs, la Furia Roja should be able to qualify for the knock-out stages relatively comfortably. That’s why we would consider a heavy investment in Alvaro Morata (10.0M). The Juventus striker is a nailed-on component of Spain’s attack, which explains his price tag as well. While his club went through a mediocre season, the former Real Madrid forward managed to record an excellent 20 goals and 12 assists in 40 games. For his country, Morata has netted 19 times in 39 encounters so far and he’ll get plenty of chances to build on that figure during the group stages.
One of the players with the job of providing Morata with a good service is Dani Olmo (8.0M). The RB Leipzig star can play as an attacking midfielder and on either wing, thanks to his outstanding right foot. He got 7 goals and 12 assists from 46 games this season, and on a crowded Spanish midfield, he might be one of the sure starters. On the one hand, his price tag is somewhat inflated as there is a lot of competition in his price category, but on the other hand, Spain are fancied by some for the European title and Olmo has all the qualities to become one of their best performers.
The last-minute absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to injury naturally dominated Sweden-related football news, but the nation can cling to the fact that qualification for Euro 2020 was achieved without their superstar. One of the players that helped compensate for Ibra’s retirement during the qualifiers was Alexander Isak (5.5M), who is going into the European Championship in good form. This season, he scored 17 goals and gave 2 assists in 44 games for Spanish side Real Sociedad. Not bad for a 21-year old. Looking at Slovakia and Poland particularly, Isak looks to carry some differential potential at an acceptable price on FanTeam.
The Sociedad forward will most likely be joined in the Swedish attack by Dejan Kulusevski (6.0M), who is probably the nation’s most exciting talent at the moment. In a mixed season for Italian giants Juventus, his first in the black and white jersey, the right winger has been a bright spot for the Bianconeri. He scored 7 goals and provided 7 assists in 47 outings for his club this season and it’s at him that the Swedish fans look for sparks of creativity. It would be better from a fantasy point of view if Kulusevski was classified as a midfielder on FanTeam instead of as a forward, but the youngster still has some differential potential.
Switzerland pretty much cruised through a qualification group with Denmark; finishing first, scoring 19 goals and conceding just 6. It should be noted though, that 10 of those goals were scored in Gibraltar and that the other two teams in the group were the Republic of Ireland and Georgia. So, in reality, the Swiss are a rather goal-shy team, which is why our first fantasy pick from their roster is Ricardo Rodriguez (5.0M). The Torino FC left-back is known for his attacking impulses and his excellent left foot, which is why he is on regular set-piece duties, including penalties, for the Nati as well.
For our second Swiss fantasy pick, we are staying at the back with goalkeeper Yann Sommer (5.0M). For a nailed-on starting goalie for a defensively focussed side in a group where goals might end up being scarce, his price tag is not too bad. He played 39 games for Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach this season (9 clean sheets) and reached the knock-out stages of the Champions League, while he defended his country’s goal 61 times already (25 clean sheets). As part of a double “cheaper goalkeeper” approach, or even as a starting goalkeeper, Sommer could be a valuable addition to your FanTeam Euro 2020 Full Tournament squad.
Turkey’s group is not easy, but the Crescent Stars might just get something out of it. They created the best defensive outfit in the whole of Euro 2020 qualification and a majority of the squad are active in Europe’s strongest domestic leagues. One of those stars is playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu (5.5M), Turkey’s most expensive fantasy asset on FanTeam. The AC Milan man is instrumental to Turkey’s attacking play and chance creation, and he plays in a very advanced midfield or wing position while being classified in the game as a midfielder. At 5.5M and with an interesting group stage ahead, Calhanoglu could be a decent shout.
When looking at Turkey though, our recommendation is to mainly focus on their defence. Coach Senol Gunes has turned his side into a formidable defensive unit and neither of their opponents in the group are currently known as particularly free-scoring teams. Our eye is on right-back Zeki Celik (4.5M), who seems to have the spot nailed down. He is half a million cheaper than the likes of Soyuncu and Demiral, and he is coming of a spectacular domestic title victory in the Ligue 1 with Lille. Celik played 35 games for the French side this season, and managed 4 goals and 3 assists.
The Ukraine boast a solid, decent team with chances of making it through their group and the most important player is probably Ruslan Malinovskyi (5.5M). The attacking midfielder from Atalanta, where he played 43 games this season and scored an impressive 10 goals while giving another 12 assists, is the man who needs to connect the Ukrainian midfield with their attack. For his country, he currently sits on 6 goals and 5 assists from 35 games, and considering their current group, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him improve on those tallies in the group stage.
In Illya Zabarnyi (4.0M), the Ukraine also saw a promising youngster break through at a European top club this season. At the age of 18 years, the central defender made his way into Shaktar Donetsk’s starting eleven and subsequently into his country’s starting eleven. Coach Andriy Shevchenko has recently partnered him with Mykola Matvienko at the back and the expectation that he will do the same when Euro 2020 kicks off. Like that, Zabarnyi could represent really good budget-enabling value as the fifth defender in your FanTeam squad.
We all more or less know the Gareth Bale (6.0M) story of the past few years by now. The Welshman seemed back to his best at times this season while on loan at his old club Spurs, scoring 16 goals and giving 3 assists in 34 games spread over all competitions, but what we’ll remember most is his inconsistency this season. This probably also explains why Wales’ absolute main man is priced at just 6.0M on FanTeam. Goals might come at a premium in this group, but at that price, Bale should probably be part of your FanTeam Euro 2020 Full Tournament squad.
The Dragons have made a habit of being involved in low-scoring affairs, scoring just 10 goals during the Euro 2020 qualifiers and conceding just 6. This made us look at the Welsh defence for our second fantasy pick. Ben Davies would be the stand-out option, but 5.5M feels overpriced for him, especially if he ends up playing centrally. Instead, we’ve gone with right-back Connor Roberts (4.5M), who comes at a budget-friendly price. Don’t expect an abundance of attacking returns, but out of the sturdy bunch in the Welsh backline, he’s the most forward-orientated one.