Here. We. Go.
Euro 2020 starts today. It’s a year late and the build up to it has all been a bit weird but I absolutely can’t wait for it to get started.
If the tournament had actually taken place in 2020, I’d be talking about Football Index and Footstock here but obviously we’re in a very different space now in 2021 so the less said about them the better. As it is, I’ve got my entry into the FiveYards High Fives competition and a little bit of interest in the Sorare Global Nations, but the main game in town for the next few weeks will undoubtedly be the FanTeam Euro 2020 £1m tournament.
I’ve been following the fantastic content put out by the rest of the FanTeam Focus guys and others as I’ve planned my teams, with plenty of crossing out and starting again.
It’s been tough to break away from the obvious template for the start of the tournament and a couple of the players that I thought might be differentials a week ago are looking suspiciously chalky now as others have caught on. After much deliberation though, I think I’ve finally settled on my core starting squad.
I’ve got four entries into the tournament so I’ve gone for a core set of players that stretch across all my teams, with a fringe selection that makes each team subtly different.
I’ll have a wildcard to play after the group stage so I’ve focused on the teams/players that I expect to do well during the first three games, forgetting the rest of the tournament at this stage. With a free transfer each gameweek, there’s also some room to switch things around if certain players over or underperform. If I’d have gone for more than four entries I may have mixed things up a bit more but I didn’t want to stray too far from the players I’m most confident in at this point.
There are some players that don’t feature in my initial draft but I expect to pull in fairly quickly, such as De Bruyne when fit, potentially some Spanish players depending on what the rotation/COVID picture looks like (Moreno if he’s a starter) and French/German players for the game versus Hungary. It’s good to build in a bit of slack in the budget to allow for that, rather than spend right up to your £105m limit from the off.
My starting squad
Donnarumma (Italy, £6m) – a core pick given his price and the strength of the Italian defence.
Others: Schmeichel (Denmark, £5.5m), Bachmann (Austria, £4m),
Alba (Spain, £6.5m) – a core pick, despite his price, with potential for attacking returns.
Maehle (Denmark, £4.5m) – a core pick for a good price with two games that have clean sheet potential.
Çelik (Turkey, £4m) – a core pick as an enabler for his price, and a starter in a solid team.
Others: Cancelo (Portugal, £6m), Dumfries (Netherlands, £5.5m), Meunier (Belgium, £5.5m), Bonucci (Italy, £5.5m) Alaba (Austria, £5m), , Glik (Poland, £4.5m).
Depay (Netherlands, £8.5m) – a core pick as an out-of-position attacker in a relatively easy group
Insigne (Italy, £8m) – a core pick with solid attacking returns and set pieces
Eriksen (Denmark, £7m) – a core mid-price pick for his set piece potential and general attacking play
Others: Fernandes (Portugal, £9m), Bale (Wales, £6m), Sabitzer (Austria, £5.5m), Calhanoglu (Turkey, £5.5m), Zielinski (Poland, £5m).
Lukaku (Belgium, £11.5) – a core pick given his form, his price and the overall strength of the team
Others: Kane (England, £13.5m), Lewandowski (Poland, £9m), Ronaldo (Portugal, £10m), Kalajdzic (Austria, £6m), Dzyuba (Russia, £5.5m).
So that’s my starting point. How does it compare to yours?
Good luck everyone!