This summer we’ve teamed up with FanTeam who have a massive Euro 2020 fantasy football competition going on. Pick your squad and compete for glory as the action unfolds across Europe in June and July. Read on to find out how it works and our top Euro 2020 fantasy football tips.
FanTeam UEFA Euro 2020 Fantasy Football (2021)
How does it work?
To take part, you need to first sign up to FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily Fantasy Sports site. There are some country restrictions unfortunately, but in most cases you will be able to take part with Fanteam active in most European countries including the UK, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland, as well as dozens of countries around the world.
Once you’ve completed the sign-up process, you shouldn’t have a hard time locating the Euro 2020 – Full Tournament from the “Games” tab in the menu bar. It’s £20 or Є23 to join with a huge prize pool of £1 million or Є1.15 million. The 1st place prize is £100,000 (Є115,000) and more than 10,000 managers will win prizes. Here is the full breakdown:
Fanteam also run much cheaper daily events (often under £1), while you can also create leagues with your friends if you’re put off by the entry fee. In this post though, we’ll focus on their main Euro 2020 Fantasy Football game.
To enter, you need to select an initial squad of 15 players (2 GKs, 5 DEFs, 5 MIDs, 3 FWDs) from a fictional $105m budget. The likes of Harry Kane ($13.5m) and Kylian Mbappe ($13m) will be popular choices but you’ll need to find some cheap gems to complete your squad. You can pick up to 3 players from any nation and can make unlimited free changes to your squad before the first game kicks off on June 11th.
Once the Euros begin, you’ll get one free transfer for gameweeks 2 & 3 and a wildcard that can be played before the knockout stage commences, enabling you to make unlimited transfers and get rid of players who have been eliminated from the competition. You’ll then get three more free transfers ahead of the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals.
Overall, the rules are very similar to the well-known Fantasy Premier League game. Players increase and decrease in value according to how they perform, captains score double, there are subs benches consisting of 4 players, and you can roll over one free transfer if you don’t wish to use it, with penalties for using more than one.
Here’s a detailed overview of the rules & scoring matrix:
Euro 2020/Euro 2021 Fantasy Football tips
It’s important to understand the rules, before diving in and selecting your squad. With a free wildcard to use before the last 16 kicks off, your initial squad of 15 players is essentially for the group stage only. So for now, you don’t need to worry too much about which teams will go all the way to the Final, only which teams and more importantly which players will do well in the groups.
Assessing the UEFA Euro 2020 Groups
In major tournaments, there is usually one group of death, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out which one it is this time. Group F features the winners of the last three major tournaments (involving European sides). 2014 World Cup winners Germany have the advantage of playing all three group games at home but face fierce competition from Euro 2016 winners Portugal and 2018 World Cup winners France. With exciting youngster Dominik Szoboszlai and two matches in Budapest, outsiders Hungary could also prove to be no pushovers.
For the other major European powers, the group stages should be considerably simpler to navigate. England, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands all have reasonably good draws and significantly all four will have three home games in the group stage. They should all breeze through given even the best four 3rd placed teams will advance, and their players are likely to be popular with managers in the initial draft.
Belgium are the other major contender. They could have it slightly tougher in the group stage though given they will have what are effectively away fixtures against hosts Russia and Denmark. 2018 World Cup runners up Croatia also have two away games in their group but will still expect to progress.
The Danes may be a good bet if you’re looking for players from the next batch of teams that may be considered among the dark horses (this is a tournament which throws up surprise winners – Denmark 1992, Greece 2004 etc). Home group games against Finland and Russia suggest some of their players may score well. Ukraine (top seeds in Group C) are also likely to advance and their match against tournament outsiders North Macedonia could be a chance to get some of their players in.
Factors to Consider when Picking your Team
- Squad Rotation – particularly in Gameweek 3
A format where 24 teams compete for 16 places in the knockout stages, makes it easier for the stronger teams to rotate than in a World Cup for example. At the end of the most congested club football season we’ve seen, there will be plenty of tired legs before the tournament even begins so managers of the top teams are likely to take any chance they can get to conserve energy.
That will be a real headache for anyone picking their Fantasy teams. At Euro 2016, Northern Ireland and Portugal advanced from 3rd place with just 3 points, so it’s pretty safe to say any team that wins their opening two games, or most likely even takes 4 points, will be through. You’d expect many nations to be in that position and we may then see wholesale changes in gameweek 3, despite the likely advantages that winning the group will bring in the knockout stage.
- Selecting your Captain & Vice-Captain
Before worrying about anything else, just picking the player you think will score the most points in the group stage may be a good starting point as you’ll want a player you’re very confident about to give the captain’s armband to. You could also take a deeper look at the fixtures and pick one player from each gameweek that you think will boss things in a relatively easy match-up.
According to the bookies, in gameweek one, Denmark (vs Finland), Austria (vs N Macedonia) and Spain (vs Sweden) are the teams most likely to win while Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands and Portugal are also strong favourites in their games.
In gameweek two, The Netherlands (vs Austria), England (vs Scotland), France (vs Hungary) and Spain (vs Poland) are the teams most likely to win. Ukraine, Italy and Russia are also strong favourites.
Gameweek three is a bit harder to call as it will depend on which teams are through and which teams need results. However it’s also the matchday with on paper the most one-sided fixtures. At the time of writing, Italy (vs Wales), The Netherlands (vs N Macedonia), Belgium (vs Finland), England (vs Czech Republic), Spain (vs Slovakia) and Germany (vs Hungary) are the teams most likely to win.
For example, you might go Christian Eriksen ($7m) for Denmark against Finland in matchday one, Kylian Mbappe ($13m) for France against Hungary in matchday two and Memphis Depay ($8.5m) for The Netherlands against North Macedonia in matchday three.
You can also select a vice-captain each gameweek in case your first choice doesn’t feature.
- Planning your Transfers
With only two free transfers in total during the group stage, you don’t have a great deal of flexibility to shake things up so you want to select the squad that will perform best across the whole group rather than just on matchday one.
There may even be a strong case for not making any transfers ahead of gameweek two and rolling one over for gameweek three. By then you’ll know which teams are through and more likely to rotate or rest your star men.
LaLiga Expert’s Euro 2020 Fantasy Picks
Here are our initial picks for Fanteam’s Euro 2020 fantasy football Tournament:
Again it’s worth a reminder that changes are possible right up until just before the first match kicks off (Italy vs Turkey on 11th June) so this may change!
- Goalkeepers: Donnarumma (ITALY, $6m), Bushchan (UKRAINE, $4.5m)
In goal, we’ve gone for Gianluigi Donnarumma who will be Italy’s number one. They start with clashes against Turkey and Switzerland in Rome which ought to serve up at least one clean sheet. If Italy are through, we may see rotation in gameweek three so we’ve gone with Ukraine’s Heorhiy Bushchan as the back-up keeper. They were defensively strong in qualifying conceding just 4 goals and finish up with a winnable game against Austria.
- Defenders: Florenzi (ITALY, $6.5m), Maehle (DENMARK, $4.5m), De Ligt (NETHERLANDS, $6m), Celik (TURKEY, $4m), Karavayev (UKRAINE, $4.5m)
In defence, we’ve tried to save a bit of money and have picked players from five different countries to maximise options across the three matchdays. Matthijs de Ligt, Alessandro Florenzi and Joakim Maehle will be the initial starters with favourable gameweek 1 fixtures and all three play for countries who will have home advantage for the duration of the group stage and should progress. Zeki Celik and Oleksandr Karavayev both have tough opening fixtures, however Turkey and Ukraine should have more luck on matchdays 2 and 3 and they could become very useful options.
- Midfielders: Depay (NETHERLANDS, $8.5m), Mount (ENGLAND, $8.5m), Bale (WALES, $6m), Eriksen (DENMARK, $7m), McGinn (SCOTLAND, $4.5m)
The midfield feels as though it will have a lot of goals in it. Memphis Depay should start up front for the Netherlands and could have a really fruitful group stage in what isn’t a great group. Mason Mount looks a certain starter for England in that number 8 role and after a great season with Chelsea seems a good pick from the Three Lions, as there is greater competition in the wide areas making it tough to know who will start.
Gareth Bale invariably comes good in a Wales shirt and looks good value at $6m. Christian Eriksen is another player whose club career has stalled a bit but he’s got a terrific record for Denmark with 36 international goals! John McGinn is another very cheap option who plays in an advanced role for Scotland and is a decent back-up option who could chip in with a goal or an assist in one of their two games at Hampden.
- Forwards: Kane (ENGLAND, $13.5m), Morata (SPAIN, $10m), Immobile (ITALY, $9m)
Although expensive, Harry Kane looks a no-brainer as he will clearly lead the line for England and should chalk up plenty of points during the group stage. Spain’s starting XI is perhaps the toughest to predict of any team in the Euros. We’d love to see Gerard Moreno starting but it seems likely Alvaro Morata will be the main striker and he should have a decent group stage with favourable home fixtures, and the same could be said of Italy’s Ciro Immobile.