Here’s our Euro 2020 Group A Fantasy preview from FFGeek Contributor Stephen Troop. We look at the best options for your fantasy team from each Country
Euro 2020 Group A Fantasy Previews From FFGeek Contributor Stephen Troop
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Note: Rob Reid has previewed Wales in a previous article
After failing to qualify for the last world cup, Mancini has taken the reigns of the Italy national squad and results have been promising to say the least. In qualification for this tournament they won all 10 games in their group (Finland, Greece, Bosnia&Herzegovina, Armenia, Lichtenstein), have won 3/3 in their world cup qualifying campaign to date (Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania) all to 0, and were unbeaten in their Nations league group (Bosnia&Herzegovina, Poland, Estonia), winning their last 3 matches also to 0. This form should see us with a confident team in a favourable group heading into the competition. Many (including me) are expecting them to go on a decent run.
Italy’s defence seems to be the best area to target after conceding just 6 goals across the 19 games in the above competitions and being on an incredible clean sheet run. Turkey are a strong attacking team so will make for an interesting first game and should test this defensive stability. Whilst their clean sheet prospects are good, the ceiling for their defenders in terms of fantasy points is somewhat limited by underwhelming attacking potential.
Their goalscoring form has been good across the international campaigns however they rarely ‘blow teams away’, and goals/assists have been largely shared across a lot of players over these campaigns. Picking the right attacking player however could get you a bargain.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino).
Donnarumma (5.5m) is nailed to start in goal and is a reasonable first day captain choice. He could rack up some saves against an attack minded Turkey team as well as have good clean sheet prospects.
Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Emerson (Chelsea), Alessandro Florenzi (Paris Saint-Germain), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta).
Italy will line up with 4 at the back, in a 4-3-3 formation. The centre back Bonnuci (5.5m) is the most nailed on option here and is the safest pick. Chiellini (6.0m) is now 36 years old so starting all 3 games is questionable but is likely the first choice centre back to partner Bonnuci in their opener at the very least. The extra .5m price tag puts me off though. Florenzi (6.0m) will almost certainly start at right back, and there is the odd chance of an assist but again, I don’t think there’s enough to warrant the extra 0.5m. Spinazolla (5.5m) will likely start left back and has some reasonable attacking stats however Emerson (not in game yet) could take that spot, despite his limited domestic minutes. Knowing the line-ups before the deadline will be handy here.
Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea), Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Stefano Sensi (Inter), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain).
Jorgino (not in the game yet) I believe is the designated penalty taker if he plays but lacks any other goal threat. I expect him to play though. Chiesa (7.0m) so far is a popular (21%) pick, driven by his low price and for having a captain option the first night. A young, confident winger and has potential to score and assist. His club campaign is 14 goals and 10 assists in 37 games this season which is ok but we’ve yet to see him much in the international campaigns, usually coming on as a sub. I’m not convinced he is certain to start. Beradi (6.0m) could play instead and if he starts could be a decent option too. As we get the line-ups before the deadline, I think whichever starts is a decent shout for a bargain.
Insigne (8.5m) is the under the radar option coming off the back of a decent club campaign in terms of both goals (19) and assists (10) in 47 games. Generally has been more of an assister for his country (7 across the campaigns above with 0 goals) but certainly isn’t afraid to shoot based on the stats. His price makes it a tough decision for me as I think he’s a decent captain option first night, but overall there’s likely better value for the same price elsewhere.
Veratti (6.5m) and Borelli (7.0m) offer almost no attacking threat but will be the first choice starting midfielders, however Veratti is currently injured and expected to miss at least the opener. Locatelli (5.5m) should start in his place, however is relatively inexperienced at international level only coming into the squad last September, and offers little goal threat.
Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Giacamo Raspadori
Immobile (10m) should lead the front line, and be the focal point of the attack but his goalscoring record for Italy isn’t amazing, and he faces some competition from Belotti (8.0m) which makes his price tag a bit hard to stomach given the options around it. He will likely take penalties if Jorgino doesn’t play.
I expect Italy to top their group comfortably with a strong defensive display. I’m not expecting loads of goals, and predicting where they will come from is tricky. Immobile, whilst being the focal point is too overpriced for me, but there are some tempting midfield options (depending who starts) as a captain first night given Turkey’s defence isn’t in the best form. Chiesa/Beradi as a cheap option, and Insigne if you have a bit more cash to splash are the options for me.
Turkey are a strong attacking team, but I still back Italy to shut them out, and such an Italy defender/goalkeeper looks to be a good shout too with Bonnuci the safest option across all games.
Turkey qualified for this tournament in 2nd place behind France in their group (also containing Iceland, Albania, Andorra and Moldova). Winning 7/10 games, they only lost a single game (vs Iceland), drawing 1-1 and winning 2-0 vs France in the process. They also conceded the least amount of goals in the group (3), scoring 18.
Since then, however, they struggled in their nations league campaign coming bottom of their group (Russia, Hungary, Serbia) with 1 win, 3 draws and 2 losses. It was a tight group however.
In world cup qualification earlier this year, we’ve seen much more high scoring affairs vs their European campaign, drawing 3-3 with Latvia, winning 3-0 vs Norway and winning 4-2 vs Netherlands.
It’s hard to know what to expect of Turkey in the finals with such a mixed bag of results, but they are certainly shown they are capable of an upset, with some claiming they could be a ‘dark horse’. There are some attackers that have potential to score well during the group stages, and I think they will need to attack to have a chance of qualifying from the group stage. Their recent goals conceded put me off their defence despite positive numbers during the euro qualification.
Altay Bayindir (Fenerbahçe), Fehmi Mert Gunok (Medipol Basaksehir), Ugurcan Cakir (Trabzonspor)
It is expected Cakir (4.5m) to be between the sticks after displacing Gunok (4.5m) earlier this year
Mehmet Zeki Celik (Lille), Caglar Söyüncü (Leicester), Kaan Ayhan (Sassuolo), Merih Demiral (Juventus), Mert Muldur (Sassuolo), Ozan Muhammed Kabak (Liverpool), Rıdvan Yılmaz (Besiktas), Cengiz Umut Meraş (Le Havre)
Soyuncu (5m) should start ahead of Kabak (4.5m) but Celik (4.5m) is the stand out option being nailed in the right back spot and offering a chance of some attacking returns for a cheap player you can easily start day 1 and then bench.
Yusuf Yazici (Lille), Dorukhan Toköz (Besiktas), İrfan Can Kahveci (Fenerbahce), Okay Yokuşlu (WBA), Orkun Kökçü (Feyenoord), Ozan Tufan (Fenerbahce), Taylan Antalya (Galatasaray), Hakan Calhanoglu (Milan)
Yokuslu (5.5m) will start playing as a defensive midfielder but will offer no attacking threat. Calhanoglu (8.5m) is by far the best attacking option in midfield but is a gamble at his price point given he is predominantly an assist based player. He does take a lot of set pieces, and scored twice/assisted thrice in the last 3 world cup qualifiers so would expect him to be involved in more goals vs what he is for Milan. Yazici (5.5m) is a good cheap option to play on his first day and then likely bench. Should play and has had an ok club season , although this with 7 goals 4 assists despite mostly coming on as a sub. He has yet to transform this potential into the international stage but could be a gem at his price if he can. Under could take that spot, however has had little gametime for Leicester this season. I’d expect Tufan (6.0m) to make up the rest of the midfield
Burak Yilmaz (Lille), Cengiz Ünder (Leicester), Enes Unal (Getafe), Efecan Karaca (Alanyaspor), Abdulkadir Omur (Trabzonspor), Muhammed Kerem Aktürkoğlu (Galatasaray), Halil İbrahim Dervisoglu (Galatasaray), Kenan Karaman (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
With Tosun injured Yilmaz looks certain to start and boasts a decent international record over his career including 4 in Turkeys 3 world cup games earlier this year. He also comes off the back of a 15 goal and 5 assist club record this season from 28 appearances. Karaman (6.0m) should start but more in midfield despite classed as a forward.
Recent form says that attack is the way to go if looking at Turkey assets. Forward Yilmaz and Calhanoglu will be the main threats, and I am expecting some returns across the group stages, however their price will put most managers off them. Budget right back Celik at 4.5m could be a good enabler with some attacking threat, and similarly Yazici at 5.5m in midfield could be a good enabler/punt for day 1 in this format.
Switzerland topped their group to qualify for these finals (Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Georgia and Gibraltar) finishing 1 point ahead of Denmark, who was their only loss. They scored 19 and conceded 6.
In the nations league campaign they finished 3rd in a tough group (Germany, Spain, Ukraine) winning just 1 game out of 6 but drawing 3, and with a +1 goal difference, suggests they kept mostly toe-to-toe with the big teams.
In the world cup qualifications most recently, they have played 2 and won 2 against Bulgaria and Switzerland.
Historically Switzerland have been a defensive based side, but have shown even against bigger sides they can score. I think they will struggle in this group, largely down to a lack of solid attacking options but should get scrape through to the knockout stage in 2nd/3rd place.
Goalkeepers Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach), Yvon Mvogo (PSV), Jonas Omlin (Montpellier)
Sommer (5.0m) is the first choice keeper
Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Loris Benito (Bordeaux), Nico Elvedi (Monchengladbach), Kevin Mbabu (Wolfsburg), Becir Omeragic (Zurich), Ricardo Rodriguez (Torino), Silvan Widmer (Basel), Fabian Schar (Newcastle United), Jordan Lotomba (Nice), Eray Comert (Basel)
Rodriguez (5.5m) will attract most interest from managers as he is on penalties and some set pieces. He will also probably play wingback depending on the system chosen. As a result does have a more premium price tag which will be too steep for most. Mbabu (5.0m) will likely play as wingback too, so could have some assist potential, but his actual assist record isn’t good. In this wingback system, the 3 centre backs would be Schar (5.0m), Elvedi (4.5m) and Akanji (4.5m) however Schar could be pushed out if they revert to a 4-4-2. Schar does have some goal potential from corners and has scored a few for Newcastle in his time there which is why I assume there’s the extra .5 price vs other centre backs. Ultimately, I think the best option is either going all out for Rodriguez or getting one of the 2 4.5m as an enabler for that day’s matches.
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Monchengladbach), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Djibril Sow (Frankfurt), Admir Mehmedi (Wolfsburg), Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool), Ruben Vargas (Augsburg), Steven Zuber (Frankfurt), Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz), Christian Fassnacht (Young Boys)
Xhaka (6.0m) will play the defensive midfielder role and is a no go for fantasy managers. Freuler (5.5m) will also play but has little attacking threat. Shaqiri (7.0m) is the biggest threat. He has done well historically for Switzerland and with his free kicks, and long range goals, should be a consideration given the extra point available for long range goals. He has lacked minutes for Liverpool, however.
I expect Zuber (7.0m) not to play in the wingback system, however in a 4-4-2 system he would slot in but this uncertainty, and with Shaqiri at the same price, means he’s a no go for me.
Breel Embolo (Monchengladbach), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica)
Seferovic (8.5m) and Embolo (8.0m) will start up front, although Gavranovic could get gametime which makes them a risk. In addition, their international goalscoring record does not make great reading.
There aren’t too many attractive options in the Swiss team. I would consider Elvedi as a 4.5m enabler, or Rodriguez for additional attacking threat as defensive options if you believe they can keep a clean sheet. Historically they are a defensively solid side but will be tested against Italy and turkey. Wales being the first match seems the best chance of a clean sheet. Attack wise it’s only Shaqiri I’m interested in