Here’s our Euro Fantasy Tips Final article with FFGeek Contributor Rob Reid’s team for the final. Rob’s total points are 360 and his overall rank is 11k.
Euro Fantasy Tips Final – Rob Reid’s Team
Semi Finals Review
Semi Finals Points: 41, Total points: 360, Overall Rank: 11k
Here’s the points:
2 pulsating semi-finals later and we have an Italy vs England final. The first semi-final had a satisfying flow to it as Spain brought their ‘A’ Game and would perhaps consider themselves a bit unfortunate. Italy’s resilience told though and in the end and I think they deserve their place in the final as much for their consistency across the tournament as their mental strength in the shoot-out.
England vs Denmark, was a different type of contest and equally gripping. It was a much more physical affair, with England’s strength in depth ultimately the difference. The deciding penalty award may have been somewhat soft, but England were the only team manufacturing chances from about 65 minutes onwards and were statistically superior in every significant attacking category.
From a fantasy perspective, the 2 results leave me in a strong position for the final. I’ve progressed 5 players through from both Italy and England so I won’t need any hits to field 11 and will even have the luxury of being able to pick and choose freely.
In terms of scoring, I clawed back a bit of the ground I lost in the 1/4 finals. I altered my plan to go with a near block Italian defence mainly because I couldn’t decide between Chiesa and Insigne in midfield. This worked out as it meant I covered Chiesa’s goal and I was fortunate to still have Morata in my team from the 1/4 finals to pick up his goal too, so in a way the hit to bring him in broke even over the 2 games.
I also had the 2 goal scorers in the 2nd game, so the only significant returns I missed out on were Emerson and Schmeichel and I expect for the Dane, most managers in the upper echelons ranking-wise, will probably have had Pickford playing instead. My gamble on Bonucci for Captain for Tuesday didn’t pay off, but I still got a return from Kane even if this was diluted by the penalty miss.
Fate therefore puts me in exactly the same position as I was going in to GW38 in FPL – 11k with 1 round to go! Co-incidentally I finished at 11k in the FIFA World Cup game in 2018 as well. Hopefully I can go a little better this time….
I’ll start once more with a look at some Bookies Odds.
Win – 11/10
Clean Sheet – 15/8
Anytime Goalscorer – Immobile 3/1, Insigne 4/1, Belotti 22/5, Berardi 24/5, Chiesa 5/1
Win – 6/7
Clean Sheet – 13/8
Anytime Goalscorer – Kane 12/5, Sterling 3/1, Foden 28/5, Sancho 28/5, Saka 32/5
I had to eat my words a little after the World Cup 2018 Final when I said this in my preview, but major international finals are quite often tight low-scoring affairs. In terms of the Euros, 3 of the last 4 have been won 1-0 with Spain’s 4-0 win over Italy in 2012 the only exception to this. 7 of the last 9 finals have also had clean sheets. The Bookies Odds slightly favour England, with home advantage probably a key factor here. Clean Sheet Odds aren’t as short as at other stages of the tournament here so strategy for this match isn’t the easiest.
I think the key thing first of all is to cover the main goalscoring options. Immobile, Insigne, Chiesa, Kane and Sterling are near enough essential in this regard I would therefore argue.
It’s then a case of do you gamble on a low-scoring affair by going 4 or 5 in defence and then going for a block defence from one of the 2 teams or splitting it down the middle. If you think both sides will score though, you should probably go 3-5-2 targeting the most attacking defenders in those 3 slots (probably Shaw, Maguire and Emerson) and then use your other 2 offensive slots on differentials. The 3-5-2 call over 3-4-3 is based on the fact that both sides will likely only start with 1 striker.
Remember, we will see the line-ups pre-deadline so this is helpful, but for reference I’d be very surprised if Italy don’t go with the same starting 11 from the semi-final. For England, it all depends on whether Southgate sticks with a 4-2-3-1, or reverts to a 3-5-2 to try and stifle Jorghino and Veratti, with Shaw and Trippier deployed to try and nullify the wide threat of Insigne and Chiesa.
For my Fantasy Team, I’m torn between the 2 strategies I’ve mentioned above. The stats strongly suggest a clean sheet from one of the teams so perhaps the safest strategy is to go 5-3-2 and split the defence down the middle with 3 players from both sides.
A braver option on this I guess is to gamble on one team keeping the clean sheet in a 4-4-2, pick their whole defence and keeper and supplement this with an extra midfielder from that team for an extra clean sheet point. The ceiling is higher with this, but the potential for disaster is higher too!
For the attacking 3-5-2 strategy, I’d go Donnarumma, Emerson, Shaw and Maguire as the 3 most attacking defenders and then pick the ‘Essential 5’ plus two from likely Saka, Mount, Barella and Jorghino. Although the most defensive minded, the latter could be a good left-field shout because of his penalty duties.
I think again it depends on strategy. If you’re gambling on a 0-0, then you should Captain a defender or even a keeper for the extra save points. If you think there will be goals then as per the semi-finals – back the player with form and odds on their side. For England, Kane has to be the favourite – with 4 goals in the knockout rounds, he’s their form striker. Similarly for Italy, I’d probably favour Chiesa on the basis of his knockout form but I think Insigne is a good shout too.
I’ve posted a defensive and an attacking unconfirmed draft below to give you an idea how things can look and I’ll post my final team on Twitter around 7pm when we have the line-ups in.
Good luck for the last game everyone!