Matchday 1 McDonald’s fantasy Euro 2016 scout report is the article which I will upgrade regularly during this opening fantasy matchday in order to help you out when the time comes for matchday 2 transfer(s). Starting from the top, let’s examine the opening match first.
Thoughts on France beating Romania and fantasy notes
France opened up EURO 2016 with a narrow win over Romania 2:1. Payet stole the show as he was the key man assisting for first and scoring the winning goal. I had my doubts on whether or not he will start, but fortunately, considering the deadline it was possible to get him into the EURO fantasy team upon the lineups were officially out.
I’ve included him in my team alongside with his team-mate Matuidi. My first lean was Paul Pogba who blanked. He didn’t have a great game overall but he did have a couple of opportunities to score. Payet will be the very popular choice for the matchday 2. Matuidi was quiet, but that doesn’t mean he won’t return against Albania.
Any of these three players above are the ones you should consider if you are looking to transfer a midfielder for matchday 2. Payet obviously stands out the most, but Matuidi is much more budget friendly at €7.0.
Kante had a great game, but he doesn’t have much fantasy potential, unfortunately, as otherwise he would have been a great bargain as he looks like the sure starter.
If you are looking to get a forward from France, your best bet seems to be Giroud. He scored an opener against Romania but if you have Griezmann on your team, you shouldn’t run to offload him. He got subbed off fairly early, but keep in mind Albania is next match for France. Griezmann should get his chances.
France will likely keep a clean sheet against Albania, so their defenders should return clean sheet points. Rami looks to be the best option due to his price of €5.0.
Romania decent in a loss
Despite losing, Romania had a decent game. Their next match will be against Switzerland. They were unimpressive in a narrow 1-0 win over an Albanian team that was short-handed for entire second half. Romania has a chance there for a point at least. Their defense did a decent job against France. I got Chiriches in my team and I will stick with him for the next match.
Matchday 2 Euro 2016 fantasy tip: get Payet if you can (or don’t have him already), stick with any of the Pogba, Giroud, Griezmann if they are already in your team.
Matchday 1 win for Wales, Bale converts a free kick
Bale does not have a huge ownership among Euro 2016 fantasy managers (9%) despite being the Wales go-to guy. He scored a free kick goal early in the game, but he was fairly quiet overall. This makes a decision on whether or not to get him now a fairly difficult one.
However, having watched the England – Russia match, later on, I am pretty sure Bale will be a great player to own in both of the group matches Wales is yet to play. As for their defenders, I am not particularly keen on getting any of them as Slovakia created plenty of good chances and they should have scored one more goal at least.
Slovakia played well despite the loss, they applied a lot of pressure to Wales at times and I can see them having a good game against Russia on Matchday 2. Hamsik showed on a couple of occasions he is a great player and he should be able to exploit Russia’s aging defense.
I would also turn my attention to Slovakia’s defense. Their goalkeeper Kozacik had 6 saves which helped him get the 3 fantasy points despite conceding twice. Skrtel looked motivated against Wales and I can see him performing well against Russia. He can head home a corner kick or a free kick which makes him a potentially a very high scoring player if Slovakia manages to keep a clean sheet as well.
Matchday 1 fantasy Euro 2016 scout report England – Russia
Same old story with England, they managed to waste two points by allowing Russia to equalize late in the game. This is very disappointing for their fans considering Russia does not look like a good team at all. England should have finished them off earlier in the game but it was difficult to do so with underwhelming Kane being their only forward option on the pitch. Hodgson made just two changes, both very late in the game, both defensive minded. After the goal, Hodgson introduced Wilshere, guy that played less than two matches whole season long instead of Rooney while Vardy stayed on the bench.
Elsewhere, Sterling had a very bad game while Lallana wasted a couple of good chances. Alli was trying hard but without any fantasy return. Dier scored and he was a great pick up as he is an OOP defender. However, I really doubt England will be able to keep it clean against Wales and Slovakia which is a shame as Dier would have much more appeal.
What to expect from England in other two group matches? Well, Hodgson will likely make some changes to starting lineup, I would assume Vardy will start alongside Kane against Wales.
I was disappointed with the way Russia played, and I wouldn’t recommend any of their players at this point. Next match is against Slovakia and I really do not expect much from them.
Poland – Northern Ireland; an interesting match between opposite football philosophies
I was really impressed with Poland in this match. They were very positive, offensive minded from the start. Their best player Lewandowski blanked in a narrow 1-0 win which is hardly surprising considering he was heavily marked all the time.
Another Polish attacker emerged as a hero though; Milik. He got couple of good chances before he actually scored, but he showed he is a great player with a lot of fantasy potential. Congratulations to those who drafted him in their teams. I will certainly examine the possibility to get him in as well for matchday 2, despite the fact Poland has a difficult match against Germany.
Błaszczykowski chipped in with an assist and he is also looking like a very interesting fantasy player. He has the ability to penetrate down the flank and can return fantasy points as such.
Poland defense kept it clean against Northern Ireland, but to be fair they didn’t really have that much work to begin with. They are more likely to concede in their other two matches.
I’ve got McGovern in my team from NIR. He looked good, but couldn’t save his team despite a decent performance. I chose him in my team as he is very cheap GK playing in a team that looks to keep it clean rather than attack.
Very defensive minded NIR
NIR fielded a team with 6 defenders, two of them disguised playing in the middle of the pitch. I was looking into the possibility of getting Baird in my team as well before the tournament start as he is cheap and playing OOP. However, he is not offering much going forward. Lafferty was the only offensive minded player in this team, but he was cut off and despite trying hard, couldn’t really deliver.
If you are using your wildcard in matchday 2 and looking to get a cheap defender/GK, you could consider Baird/McAuley/Catchart or McGovern, but don’t expect much.
Typical Germany win in matchday 1
Excellent performance from Germany and a confident win. Despite the fact Ukraine had couple of amazing chances to tie the score in the first half, Germany controlled the game and deserved their win. This team has a winning mentality and they should go far. Kroos was excellent and rewarded his owners with an assist. Unlikely scorer was Mustafi after both Hummels and Rudiger were out due to the injury. Hummels should return though, which means Mustafi heads back to the bench.
Second goal was scored by Schweinsteiger at the end of the match, shortly upon his introduction to the game. Ozil served him a perfect ball and proved he’s an assisting master. He definitely looks like a good player to own. Muller and Gotze failed to deliver which is very disappointing to their owners. I wouldn’t rule them off as match against Poland should be a great chance for them both.
Draxler was very active on the left, Khedira had couple of great scoring chances and defense kept a clean sheet. Basically, you can’t go wrong picking any of the Germany starting players for the matchday 2.
Ukraine impressed me at times during the match. Yarmolenko and Konoplyanka look very dangerous going forward, but their next match is against defensive minded team of Northern Ireland. It will be interesting to see how they cope with that challenge, but there is a good chance they will claim all the points.
Modric superb effort helps Croatia beat Turkey
Croatia outplayed Turkey, but it took a moment of inspiration from Luka Modric to break Turkey down. He has a high ownership among Euro 2016 fantasy managers despite the fact he very rarely contributes with goals and assists for his NT. His low price of €7.0 proved to be irresistible to many, including myself. Modric looked very inspired and motivated as he wants to go far with Croatia in this tournament. He should be their main man against Czech as well.
Perisic wasted couple of good opportunities but he should be dangerous in the next match as well.
Brozovic started on the opposite side of Perisic in a trio behind a striker, which was a big surprise to me. I really expected Pjaca to start here and Brozovic alongside Modric. However, coach Cacic opted for Brozovic behind the striker and he wasted a great deal of opportunities. Is he going to be ion target against Czech? No one knows, but at the bargain price, he will get his chances.
Srna had a good game which was something I didn’t really expect. He is always fired up in a national jersey, but his age suggests that he passed his peak. However, if you are looking for a Croatian defensive coverage against Czech, look no further than Strinic. You can get a starting defender in a decent team for a discount price of €4.0. He started the Turkey match like I predicted and there is no reason to assume he won’t in matchday 2.
Matchday 2 Euro 2016 fantasy tips for Spain
OK, so I might have underestimated Spain a bit in my EURO fantasy tips article before the matchday 1. It was maybe under the influence of the bad impression Spain left in last friendly before the tournament. They lost to Georgia at home, which is far from flattering. However, possession was there against decent Czech team and finally Spain got rewarded with a goal late in the game.
Matchday 2 is a good opportunity to get some Spanish defenders as they play against Turkey. Having seen Turkey performance against Croatia, I don’t give them much chance of scoring against Spain. Iniesta played great and he’s worth considering. Silva could be a decent pick against Turkey as well.
Ireland with fighting spirit and Sweden with Ibrahimovic
Ireland – Sweden was an interesting match which ended as a 1-1 draw with both goals coming from Ireland players. Hoolahan scored early in the second half to give the lead to Ireland but Clark nullified the lead having sent the ball in the own net. Ibrahimovic did all the work to set it up though and it showed how much Sweden relies on his talent. He will have his chances against Italy in McDonald’s fantasy 16 matchday 2 for sure.
Ireland faces a wounded Belgium side that should be very determined to get the points. I don’t really see Ireland doing much damage here and I wouldn’t personally go for any of their players for Euro matchday 2.
Italy being Italy catching Belgium on the wrong foot
I didn’t really expect Italy win here although Belgium did nothing to impress me in their last two friendlies before the Euro 2016 started. Italy has a limited squad in reality, but they played tactically a great game and took everything Belgium was generous to offer.
Italy faces Sweden in Matchday 2 and it should be an entertaining one. Italians need to be very focused in order to defeat Swedes and this is where I see some hope for Sweden. Ibrahimovic is a player that could break down Italy’s defense.
I was however impressed with Bonucci and his passing ability. He had a great vision to set up a first goal, and he almost did the same thing later on. This playmaking ability makes him an interesting defender to own. Chiellini offeers maybe more attacking threat as he can head one home after a corner kick.
Pelle scored fantastic volley to confirm the win late in the game, but he had a decent performance overall. He could also be an interesting player to own from now on.
Belgium – team with out of form stars
Belgium tried hard, but they didn’t really look good as a team. Hazard had a poor season, but he tried against Italy. Without result unfortunately. De Bruyne was supposed to be their leader as he actually had a great season in his new club, Man City. He did so many mistakes, turning the ball over with poor passes that it was a shame he didn’t transfer himself out at half time. Lukaku had couple of chances, but did nothing to convince he is a world class striker.
Having said all that I can see them winning their match against Ireland. It won’t be easy, but they should be able to take the points and likely keep a clean sheet.