Euros 2020: The best picks for your Fantasy 7s team in Round 1
The Euros 2020 are just around the corner, and the good people at The FanMetric are here to give you some expert advice on the players you might want to pick for your Fantasy Team.
Romelu Lukaku (ST) – Belgium €9.2
We start with the most expensive player on this list, Romelu Lukaku. While he might have - somewhat unfairly - garnered the reputation as a player with a first-touch of a club-footed mule that had one too many to drink, Lukaku is actually quite a lethal finisher for the Red Devils. Unfortunately, for Manchester United fans, the ‘Red Devils’ nickname in this instance refers to Belgium.
WATCH: All of Lukaku's Serie A assists for Inter in the 2020/2021 season
Whether that will indeed be the case is up for debate, but one thing is certain - he will start as the centre forward in Belgium’s opening Group B match against Russia.
Granted, the Russians are not the easiest opponents, especially given that they will have the home advantage in this game, and tend to play a static, defensive style of football that is far from pleasing to the eye.
However, the quality of Belgium is such that the Russians should prove to be no problem for them. After all, Roberto Martinez’s men have already shown that they are capable of breaching the Russian defence - in the qualification for the Euros, Belgium beat Russia 4-1 at the Gazprom Arena.
And yes, Lukaku was on the scoresheet that day. So, pick him for your team if you have the budget, because he is about the closest thing to a guarantee you will get for getting on the scoresheet in Round 1.
Diogo Jota (W) – Portugal €8.3
Next on this list is a Portuguese player who isn’t named Cristiano Ronaldo, because we’re not that basic. Sure, Ronaldo might get you a few goals, but, like his astronomical wages at Juventus, he costs a bomb. So, I decided that the smart money would be to pick Liverpool’s Diogo Jota instead.
WATCH: A look back at Jota's first season with Liverpool
Reigning champions Portugal kick-off their Euros 2020 campaign against Hungary - on paper, by far the weakest team in the Group of Death, which also contains Germany and World Cup winners France. It is therefore imperative that Portugal get a win over the Hungarians, if they hope to stand a chance of progressing into the next round.
The last time Portugal played Hungary was at the Euros in 2016. Then, the match ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw.
This time, however, Portugal are a more well-rounded team than their previous iteration at the last Euros - a somewhat paradoxical thing to say, given that the Portuguese won the tournament back then.
But all this just means that Portugal are a force to be reckoned with, and Hungary should expect Fernando Santos’ men to launch an unrelenting barrage on their goal.
While Ronaldo, who managed to score 29 Serie A goals this season despite soon being eligible for senior citizens discounts, is still regarded as his country’s main goalscoring threat, Jota has an equally important role as a supporting striker for this Portuguese side.
WIth three goals and one assists in his last three competitive outings for Portugal, Jota will head into the Euros in good form, and it would not be a surprise to see him steal the limelight away from Ronaldo in the first round.
Whether that will sit right with the notoriously egocentric Ronaldo, and how that will affect the dynamics of the team is another matter for another round.
For now, though, Jota seems like the value choice ahead of his more notable Portuguese teammates.
Christoph Baumgartner (AM) – Austria €6.3
If you’re not familiar with Christoph Baumgartner, you will be after the first round of the Euros. The 21-year-old Austrian has shone as an attacking midfielder this season for his Bundesliga club Hoffenheim, registering nine goals and seven assists in 41 games.
Technically-gifted and with an eye for goal, Baumgartner is the main channel upon which Austria rely on in attack. The Austrians themselves are no slouches - they have a host of talented players in their squad, including the likes of David Alaba, Marko Arnautovic and Marcel Sabitzer.
WATCH: David Alaba's best goals for Bayern
With Austria taking on arguably the weakest team in the tournament, North Macedonia in their opening Euros fixture, Baumgartner’s side is expected to secure a comfortable three points in the first round.
This makes Baumgartner a good bet to rack up your points, and at €6.3, he is also easy on your budget, making him a no-brainer choice for the AM position in your team.
Jorginho (DM) – Italy €7.1
The Defensive Midfield is not normally a position you would want to invest much in for your Fantasy team. After all, if you really wanted to spend your budget on yellow or red cards, you would be better served going to Typo or Popular.
But while Jorginho does not come cheap, he is a lot more affordable than the other options for the DM position. More importantly, in his last 10 games for Italy, he has scored four goals and assisted twice.
WATCH: Jorginho's best moments for Chelsea
The reason why Jorginho has scored those four goals is because he is the primary penalty taker for Italy - not a bad job to have at the Azzurri’s.
Italy’s opponent in Round 1 is against a major dark horse of the tournament, Turkey. As such, it will likely end up being a tight affair, especially with Italy reverting to a defence-first policy - they have conceded just one goal in their last 12 matches.
And as is so often the case in such tight matches, it might ultimately be decided by a single goal.
Would it really surprise you if it came via a Jorginho penalty?
Joakim Mæhle (FB) – Denmark €6.5
Yet another player who might fly under the radar, Joakim Mæhle is someone who is primed to burst into the spotlight on the international stage at this Euros.
Earning a winter move from Genk in the Belgian League to Atalanta in Serie A, Mæhle is a classic wing-back that fits perfectly into Atalanta’s playing philosophy. His skillset is comparable to the likes of other Atalanta wing-back like Robin Gosens and Hans Hateboer, as well as Leicester City star Timothy Castagne.
Whilst Mæhle hasn’t found the back of the net yet this season for Atalanta, he possesses the qualities to be a threat in the attacking third, especially when playing for Denmark.
He should be a sure-starter against minnows Finland, a team that Denmark will be expected to comfortably beat. Given the way the Danes set up, with their use of the flanks to attack, Mæhle will likely be heavily involved in this game. This means he will easily rack up points from tackles, key passes, and perhaps even notch an assist or a goal. Given his cost, Mæhle is an economical choice for the FB position who could surprise you.
Fabian Schär (CB) – Switzerland €6.3
Newcastle United fans might scoff at this choice, considering that Fabian Schär has been struggling with injuries this season for the Magpies this season.
Thankfully for Switzerland, Schär is now back to full fitness and ready to play in the Euros.
Schär’s first task will be to help the Swiss keep out Wales’ understated attack, which includes the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.
WATCH: Ramsey looks ahead to Wales' Euro 2020 Group A rivals
Given that both teams are similarly matched, we should see both teams employ a cautious, safety-first approach in order to reduce the chances of making a stupid mistake that could derail their entire tournament.
While Wales might boast star power in Bale, Switzerland have perhaps the better team overall.
Expect Schär to play a key role for the Swiss - at his best, the experienced centre-back is a tough tackling defender who reads the game well.
At just €6.3, Schär is a great pick who will win you a great number of points through his tackles and duels won.
Tim Krul (GK) – Netherlands €6.2
With Jasper Cillessen being left out of the Netherlands squad due to Covid-19, the goalkeeper position is up for grabs, and Tim Krul is the favourite to take over in goal. This is despite Maarten Stekelenburg playing in the Dutch’s last pre-tournament friendly against Georgia.
Priced at €6.2, you don’t get a cheaper starting goalkeeper from any of the other traditionally big footballing nations. And whilst he might be an even better choice later on in the group stages when Netherlands play Austria, and especially North Macedonia, there is still a good chance to keep a clean sheet against Ukraine.
Even though Ukraine did manage to score four goals against Cyprus this past Monday, the fact is that they have not managed to score more than a single goal in any of their previous 12 games, which include opponents such as Finland, Kazakhstan, Bahrain and Northern Ireland.
Yes, Netherlands might not have Virgil van Dijk to lead their defence, but Krul should still do a decent job against the Ukrainians.
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