EURO 2020 Fantasy Football: Quarter-final differential picks
Thursday, July 1, 2021
UEFA.com considers the players still being overlooked by most Fantasy managers who could make all the difference to your side.
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If you're after some differential options for your Fantasy side on Matchday 5, then look no further as UEFA.com outlines a few under-the-radar picks.
Whilst Spain conceded three goals in their thrilling 5-3 victory against Croatia in the round of 16, they had shown themselves to be fairly strong defensively during the group phase. Goalkeeper Unai Simón (€5.2m) kept two clean sheets in three group matches and he managed to atone for his first-half error in the round of 16 by making four saves across the match, including an outstanding stop early in extra time. Simón has accrued 16 Fantasy points so far but is still in just 6% of squads and so, with Spain likely to tighten up significantly from a defensive perspective against Switzerland in the quarter-finals, he looks a solid differential prospect for those seeking a goalkeeper.
The cheapest custodian expected to start on Matchday 5 is Ukraine's Georgiy Bushchan (€4.9m), who could prove an ideal enabler for anyone needing to budget carefully with the intent of spending more money in other positions. Although Bushchan has failed to post a clean sheet after four matches so far – explaining the fact he features in 1% of Fantasy sides – the Ukrainian No1 boasts the highest number of saves (13) made by any goalkeeper still available for selection. Bushchan also has a penalty save to his name, and his save tally should increase on Matchday 5 with Ukraine facing a strong England side. If his prospects of a clean sheet may not be particularly strong, Bushchan's shot-stopping abilities represent another valid route towards a healthy points score.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (€5.5m) ventured forward at every opportunity in Ukraine's round of 16 win over Sweden and reaped the rewards by not only scoring the opening goal, but supplying the cross that led to Artem Dovbyk's winner. If Ukraine are to topple England in the quarter-finals, Zinchenko is likely to play an important role and at 6% ownership, that makes him a viable differential candidate for Fantasy squads.
However, Ukraine will be up against an England outfit who are the only country yet to ship a goal at EURO 2020, with four clean sheets in as many matches. Several of their defenders should therefore be considered, but centre-back Harry Maguire (€5.5m) is perhaps the most eye-catching due to his attractively low ownership of 4% compared with team-mates John Stones and Luke Shaw. After missing England's first two games through injury, Maguire has started the last two, accumulating two clean sheets and 11 Fantasy points.
After Italy conceded their first goal of the tournament during extra time of their 2-1 triumph over Austria in the last 16, Roberto Mancini's men will be determined for normal service at the back to resume against Belgium. Defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo (€5.2m) looks a viable Fantasy option for those managers aiming to either bring in an additional Azzurri defender or secure a lesser-owned asset. With only 1% ownership and Alessandro Florenzi still an injury doubt, full-back Di Lorenzo is likely to keep his place in Mancini's starting line-up, although be sure to track any team news leading up to the Matchday 5 deadline.
After an outstanding cameo off the substitutes' bench on Matchday 4, Federico Chiesa (€7.0m) may have done enough to convince Italy supremo Mancini of his starting credentials for the quarter-final. If the winger, who amassed 15 goals and 11 assists in all competitions for Juventus in 2020/21, does make his second start of the tournament on Matchday 5, it will almost certainly be as part of a front three so, at 7% ownership, he represents a gamble with potentially high rewards.
With the Matchday 5 deadline due at kick-off in the first quarter-final between Switzerland and Spain, Fantasy managers will benefit from knowing the starting line-ups of both teams whilst transfers can still be made. This should particularly help those intending to bring in any Spanish midfielders, with coach Luis Enrique having tinkered with his starting line-up over the course of the championship.
Spain have bagged ten goals across their last two games and, with Enrique having utilised a front three throughout the competition, the expectation is that two of Ferran Torres (€8.1m), Dani Olmo (€7.0m) and Pablo Sarabia (€6.7m) will start, with the third man likely to feature as a substitute. At 1% ownership, Olmo is comfortably the least popular in Fantasy circles but he came off the bench to tee up two goals and help Spain overcome Croatia in the last 16. Olmo has started two of Spain's four fixtures so far and should he return to the side, may prove an ideal late transfer.
Whilst he has been fielded at left wing-back for Belgium in the competition so far, Thorgan Hazard (€8.1m) has still made a splash from an attacking perspective. Regularly getting into advanced positions, Hazard notched his second goal of the tournament in the last 16, conjuring up a wonderful strike from distance which turned out to be the winner against Portugal. With brother Eden potentially missing the quarter-final through injury, Thorgan could be just the asset to not only supply Fantasy managers with midfield cover in a strong Belgium side, but also help them leapfrog their mini-league rivals.
An intriguing selection of differential forwards were among the goals in the round of 16. Haris Seferović (€8.7m) scored twice for Switzerland in their stunning elimination of France, earning ten Fantasy points in the process. Despite his excellent form, with three goals and 17 points from his last two matches, Seferović is still in just 3% of Fantasy teams.
Another striker fresh from two last-16 goals is Denmark's Kasper Dolberg (€7m), who made an immediate impact on his first start of the tournament by plundering 11 Fantasy points from the 4-0 defeat of Wales. The Danes have scored four times in each of their last two games and will want to carry that momentum into their quarter-final with the Czech Republic. After his excellent showing against Wales, Dolberg could well be afforded a second straight start and with ownership of just 2%, represents excellent value for money.
Álvaro Morata (€9.1m) has not had things all his own way at UEFA EURO 2020, but a fine strike against Croatia in the round of 16 was his second of the tournament. His 9% ownership can take heart from the fact that last-eight opponents Switzerland have let in eight goals across their four games so far, the most of any country still involved.