EURO 2020 Fantasy Matchday 2 – Differential Picks
Monday, June 14, 2021
UEFA.com considers those players who have been largely overlooked but who could still make all the difference in the second round of group games.
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UEFA.com runs through a number of lesser-owned picks among Fantasy managers who could emerge from under the radar on Matchday 2.
Despite the absence of central defender Harry Maguire, England managed to shut out Croatia in their opening Group D fixture, which led to goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (€5.5m) accruing six Fantasy points. The Three Lions have now kept four clean sheets in their last five competitive fixtures, underlying Pickford's appeal as a viable Fantasy asset on Matchday 2 as Gareth Southgate's men take on fierce rivals Scotland.
With Sweden up against Slovakia on Matchday 2, head coach Janne Andersson will have earmarked this fixture as one his side must win – and if they are to do so, they will need to show the defensive stability that brought them four clean sheets across their most recent five matches leading into EURO 2020. With that in mind, goalkeeper Robin Olsen (€5.0m) looks well worth considering as a differential option on Matchday 2.
While Wales keeper Danny Ward (€4.5m) failed to stop Switzerland from scoring on Matchday 1, the 27-year-old impressed hugely for his country, helping them secure a 1-1 draw and a valuable point after making a number of crucial interventions. Three saves in total brought the Welshman three EURO Fantasy points and following such a performance, Ward and Wales will be confident they can go one better on Matchday 2 against Turkey, who failed to threaten Italy in their opener.
Other differential choices: Dominik Livaković (€5.0m), Georgiy Bushchan (€4.5m), Maarten Stekelenburg (€4.5m)
Despite having started Matchday 1 on the bench, Belgium wing-back Thomas Meunier (€5.5m) found himself on the pitch before the half-hour mark after coming on for the injured Timothy Castagne. Meunier went on to shine, registering both a goal and an assist to go alongside his clean sheet, ultimately racking up 15 Fantasy points. With Castagne likely to miss the rest of the tournament, Meunier should be nailed on to start from Matchday 2 onwards, making him an extremely attractive Fantasy proposition given his current ownership of 10%.
Another right-wing-back who impressed going forward in his opening match of the tournament was Denzel Dumfries (€5.5m) of the Netherlands. After letting slip a two-goal advantage, it was looking like being a night of frustration for Frank de Boer's side against Ukraine before Dumfries nodded a late winner following a run into the opposition penalty area. Dumfries being afforded such licence to get forward by De Boer bodes well for his limited number of EURO Fantasy managers, for whom the 25-year-old acquired seven points on Matchday 1.
Owners of Leonardo Spinazzola (€5.5m) are sitting pretty right now, knowing that not only do they have a player who starts in an Italy defence that has registered clean sheets in each of their last six competitive fixtures, but also an asset who isn't afraid to get forward in a bid to join his side's offensive play. This was evident on Matchday 1, as Spinazzola provided an assist against Turkey in a 3-0 win for the Azzurri. A total score of nine points represented an excellent return for a player who is presently owned by just 7% of Fantasy managers, although that percentage is surely set to rise ahead of Matchday 2.
Other differential choices: Benjamin Pavard (€6.0m), Kyle Walker (€5.5m), Stefan Lainer (€5.0m)
Despite boasting an abundance of talent within his attacking midfield, England manager Gareth Southgate stayed loyal to Raheem Sterling (€9.5m) on Matchday 1. Sterling repaid the faith shown by his manager for starting him against Croatia, scoring the only goal of the game to set the Three Lions off to a winning start in Group D. Sterling has now been directly involved in 19 attacking returns (13 goals and six assists) over the course of his last 17 appearances for England. If he remains in the side, he could turn out to be a golden differential.
Georginio Wijnaldum (€8.0m) continued his excellent recent scoring form for Netherlands, notching the opening goal in a 3-2 victory against Ukraine which helped him pick up a tally of seven points. The central midfielder now has five goals and one assist in his last six competitive fixtures for the Netherlands and, featuring in just 7% of teams, represents an exciting Matchday 2 alternative for anyone looking for a leg-up on their mini-league rivals as the Oranje face Austria.
After securing a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Switzerland on Matchday 1, Wales are all set for a crunch Matchday 2 encounter with Turkey in Group A. The Dragons will be well aware that this represents a must-win game for them against a side who were beaten comprehensively by Italy in their opening Group A fixture and will therefore be looking for midfielder Gareth Bale (€9.5m) to take centre stage. A talisman within this Welsh side, Bale was disappointed not to contribute an attacking return for his country against Switzerland, so he'll be desperate to get on the scoresheet in this one. With free-kicks and penalties also coming under his responsibilities, Bale represents an excellent differential pick for those Fantasy managers willing to splash out.
Other differential choices: Kevin De Bruyne (€10.5m), Andriy Yarmolenko (€8.5m), Ivan Perišić (€8.5m)
While 24% of Fantasy managers have recruited Netherlands forward Memphis Depay into their sides, his strike partner Wout Weghorst (€7.0m) has gone under the radar in contrast. Depay failed to get on the scoresheet against Ukraine on Matchday 1, but Weghorst found the back of the net and ultimately picked up six points for his vastly smaller number of coaches. It is no surprise that Dutch attacking cover is a priority for Fantasy managers, given the fact they have scored 19 goals across their last six competitive fixtures. So, for those looking for a cheaper alternative to Depay on Matchday 2, look no further than the 1%-owned Weghorst.
At the ripe old age of 37, North Macedonia captain Goran Pandev (€6.5m) continues to lead the line admirably for his country. While his side fell to a 3-1 defeat against Austria on Matchday 1, Pandev still managed to find the net and grab six points in the process. With North Macedonia needing to put points on the board against Ukraine on Matchday 2, Pandev could get more opportunities to score, particularly against a side who shipped three goals in their loss to the Netherlands last time out.
For those looking for a more premium differential forward to bring into their squad for Matchday 2, look no further than Antoine Griezmann (€11.0m) of France. The 30-year-old is a trusted part of Didier Deschamps' attack and headed into EURO 2020 having scored in both warm-up friendlies ahead of the tournament. The top scorer at the 2018 World Cup, Griezmann is one to look out for as France take on Hungary in their second Group F game.
Other differential choices: Dries Mertens (€9.0m), Roman Yaremchuk (€7.0m), Kieffer Moore (€6.5m)