Here’s our Euro fantasy tips article with Rob Reid’s team for Matchday 3. He reviews MD2 and his progress to date plus reveals his MD3 team
Euro Fantasy Tips – Rob Reid’s Team For Matchday 3
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Matchday 2 review
Current points 134. Overall Rank – 20k.
Here’s the points
The tournament is barely a week old and already we arrive at the last round of fixtures in the group phase. The first 2 Matchdays have gone ok – as a reminder I played my Limitless Chip in MD2 and I returned a decent score without really setting the world on fire. 65 points with 6 returns isn’t that great on the face of things, but a decision to put the Captaincy Yarmolenko paid dividends and bailed me out somewhat, with many of the big Captain choices (Kane, Lukaku, Mbappe) all blanking.
As it stands, I’ve still got a decent chance of top 10k finish though I don’t think I’ll be troubling the upper reaches of this. Let’s have a look at how I set up for Matchday 3.
Strategy for Matchday 3
I’d decided pre-tournament that I felt the optimum strategy was to Wildcard this Matchday to combat any rotation issues and again target the best fixtures and my thoughts are still the same. Here’s a quick analysis of the groups and where they stand and who I’m going to target.
Group A – Sunday
Italy are through and most likely so are Wales – they play each other in Rome. Switzerland still have a chance of 2nd and play a Turkey side who have flattered to deceive and looked vulnerable at the back, but could still nick 3rd with a win. We also have the advantage of knowing all 4 of these line-ups before the deadline so this gives a huge element of security. These both look like fixtures to target, if only to be sure of who is starting. Targets – Italy (especially defence); Switzerland.
Group B – Monday late games
Belgium are through, but will need to avoid defeat against Finland to confirm first place. Martinez has strongly hinted in his presser that Hazard, Witsel and De Bruyne will all play, but otherwise I think we should expect some rotation. It is worth noting though the Meunier appears to be the only fit right wing-back. Russia face Denmark in Copenhagen for the other fixture. All 3 other sides can potentially still finish 2nd, 3rd or 4th so there should be little rotation in the Finland, Russia and Denmark sides. Targets – Belgium (KDB, Meunier); possibly Denmark or Russia.
Group C – Monday early games
The Netherlands have won this group and have the best fixture here at home to North Macedonia who are the only to team in the competition to already have been eliminated. This is frustrating as I think there is a fair chance The Netherlands may rest some of their best assets in what would be a good fixture to target. Austria and Ukraine play in the other fixture, – this could go either way and again we’re in a situation where no team has been knocked out yet. We’ll also get team news from these 2 games in the substitution window which could influence our changes/Captain swaps. Targets – Netherlands but be wary rotation; Ukraine attack.
Group D – Tuesday
England play the Czech Republic at Wembley knowing a win gives them top place in the group. Scotland and Croatia face off in Glasgow in the other game and either side could still grab 2nd place or a good 3rd place finish depending on results elsewhere. Initial thoughts are that both games could be quite tight – England and the Czech Republic will probably be happy to play fairly conservatively and while Scotland v Croatia could be more open with both sides needing a win, Croatia haven’t created many chances in the tournament so far and Scotland have been very wasteful in front of goal. The frustration with this group is that it’s the only set of fixtures on this day making Captain options a bit more limited. Targets – Croatia, England defence.
Group E – Wednesday early games
All 4 teams can still qualify in any position here with Sweden probably in the best position. None of the 4 teams fill you with complete confidence form-wise though. Spain have missed a significant number of chances in their 2 games so far. Sweden have kept 2 clean sheets but hung on somewhat in the first game. Slovakia look the weakest team on paper, but fought well against Poland in the first game while the Poles themselves are still in the competition by the skin of their teeth. There shouldn’t be much rotation in these 4 teams and all have well-priced players but will they score any significant points? Targets – Spain, possibly Sweden.
Group F – Wednesday late games
Hungary holding France has thrown this one wide-open too and again all 4 teams still have something to play for. Germany v Hungary in Munich is probably the pick of the fixtures in this round so looks like one to target for Germany while France v Portugal is difficult to call both in terms of the result and how the game will pan out. It could be a tight cagey affair, or it could be really open like the Germany v Portugal game with so much attacking talent on both sides. Again, there shouldn’t be much rotation with these teams, but assets from the 3 favoured sides – France, Germany and Portugal all come at a significant price. Targets – Germany.
The standout fixtures for me therefore are
Germany v Hungary, Netherlands v North Macedonia and Belgium v Finland, but these latter 2 may have some rotation involved. One other thought – there will be rotation among some teams here and fantasy managers who are not using their Wildcard may find their squad thinned. This also applies to me as well though, I need to be sure that at the very least I’ve 11 sure starters so while there will be some risky picks in my squad, I’ll be looking at gametime as a key factor too
Matchday 3 Squad
Here’s the lineup as it stands with commentary below
Goalkeepers and Defenders
We’ll see the Switzerland and Italy teams pre-deadline so I’ve covered both at the back. Somner has lower clean sheet odds than others, but I like the slightly higher ceiling with possible save points versus his Italian equivalent. I’ve got Di Lorenzo as my Italy defender at the moment but this may adjust once the teams are released as appropriate. For my second keeper I’ve got Simon of Spain and I’ve doubled up on their defence with Pau Torres to reflect that fact that they lead the table for Clean Sheet odds this Matchday.
Speaking of which, Belgium are joint-best with Spain in the Clean Sheets odds and attacking wing-back Meunier seems a good choice for Die Roten Teufel. I’m as sure as can be he won’t be rotated with Castagne and the other alternative right wing-back Chadli both injured, though Vermaelen does offer a safer pick as Martinez seems to have confirmed he’ll play. He of course offers less attacking threat though. I might swap this if I need funds after the Italy v Switzerland team news comes out.
The other 2 defenders are the 2 most attacking full-backs in the game. I cursed myself for not picking Dumfries for MD2 – he was on all my provisional lists, but I cut him at the last minute. He does come with some gametime risk though I reckon with his country already confirmed as group winners. Gosens of Germany joins him – he’s a great pick at 5m with his club form at Atalanta (20 goals in the last 2 seasons) a big clue to his potential. Well done if you selected him for MD2 – I discounted him because of the opposition, but I think he’ll be in my squad for as long as Germany are in the tournament now.
I found this the most difficult area for previous Matchdays, but this time I found it a bit more clearcut. I had 2 premiums who were the first names in the team- De Bruyne and Gnabry. Martinez has appeared to confirm De Bruyne will play on Monday so he’s in. Although Gnabry blanked against Portugal, he was the leading German player for penalty box touches so I fancy him to do well against Hungary. He’s joined by his team-mate Havertz who offered great goal threat in the Portugal game too.
Yarmolenko was the star of the show for my team in MD2 and he’s in again for MD3. He’s a key player for Ukraine and the Austria defence was less than impressive in their opening 2 fixtures so I think there will be goals in this one. Shaqiri is my final midfielder – although the Swiss aren’t a high-scoring team, ‘Power Cube’ Shaqiri is their talisman and gives me a Captain option for today.
This was the toughest area this time and I’ve gone against the conventional forwards for this Matchday which could be good, but is also pretty risky! Yaremchuk is my first pick – like his Hammers colleague in midfield he’s also in great form for Ukraine so fingers cross this will keep going. I’ve gone with Moreno of Spain for my second pick. He played well against Poland despite crucially missing a penalty, hopefully his luck will be in versus Slovakia. My final pick is risky. I’d have preferred Depay, but my budget doesn’t allow so I’ve gone with Malen of The Netherlands. He might not start, but I think he’ll at least get a decent amount of gametime and looks a good prospect at 6m.
This isn’t set in stone at the moment and I suspect may will change before 5pm today as there are some issues. My main problem is that I don’t have a player for the Tuesday games and I’m going to play around with some drafts today to try and remedy this. The best attacking options are Kane v Czech Republic and Perisic versus Scotland I reckon. Kane’s form is a big concern, but we know from FPL that he can score against anyone and he’s also on penalties.
I think the Scotland game will suit Perisic – Scotland will attack which will leave spaces on the counter. Like Kane though, he’s pricey to try and accommodate. The other option I’m considering is to cover one of the defences. England would seem like the best option here, with Stones or Pickford the most secure I think gametime-wise. The other alternative is to go for an attacking defender, in which case my pick would probably be Robertson at Scotland.
The other huge concession I’ve made is to not pick a premium forward and there are of course worries that the likes of Depay, Lukaku, Kane and co. may punish me for this – there may will be some hiding behind the sofa needed therefore for this Matchday!
Captain strategy at present is:
Shaqiri for today
Yarmolenko for Monday
no Captain for Tuesday
and an undecided German for Wednesday.
As per usual, I’ll try and confirm my team on Twitter before the deadline (I’ll aim for before 430pm today if I can.) Good luck everyone and I hope you enjoy the games!