EURO 2020 Fantasy Football: The Scout squad for the semi-finals
Monday, 5 July 2021
England provide five representatives for the Scout's semi-final squad, one more than Italy, with Spain and Denmark supplying three apiece.
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England's comprehensive quarter-final victory against Ukraine means they are the only side to provide five representatives for the Scout's semi-final squad, one more than Italy – although, with last-four games usually tight affairs, neither Denmark nor Spain are overlooked with three players apiece.
The two goalkeeping options for the semi-finals are straightforward; Gianluigi Donnarumma (€5.8m) and Jordan Pickford (€5.8m) are comfortably ahead of alternative options Unai Simón and Kasper Schmeichel in terms of Fantasy points returns at EURO 2020 so far. Indeed, Pickford's total of 31 points is almost double Simón's 18 and more than twice Schmeichel's 14.
Donnarumma has collected 22 points to date, although 18 of those did come in the group stage. The Italy No1 has registered two points in each of his knockout appearances and will be eager to get back to keeping clean sheets against Spain at Wembley. Pickford has had no such trouble; five shut-outs have brought in at least six points per game, with seven in the round of 16 triumph against Germany.
England's defensive displays to date mean it's hard to look beyond their assets when it comes to picking the five players for the back line. Budget constraints are a concern, however, meaning the attack-minded Luke Shaw and John Stones are just out of reach. Fortunately, Harry Maguire (€5.6m) is also a real danger from set pieces, as he showed with his quarter-final goal against Ukraine, while Kyle Walker (€5.6m) is the other defensive choice from his team.
England's first-choice rearguard occupies four of the top five positions among the defenders; they are split by Denmark wing-back Joakim Mæhle (€4.9m), who has collected a healthy 28 points to date. Fifteen of those have come via attacking returns, and he should once again be a key outlet for the Danes as they look to upset the home side at Wembley.
The first semi-final between Italy and Spain promises plenty of intrigue, although it's worryingly close to call from a Fantasy perspective. Eric García (€4.8m) is likely to return to the Spanish back line and Giovanni Di Lorenzo (€5.2m) should keep his place for Italy; both offer budget-friendly routes into their respective sides.
Those savings at the back come in particularly useful for the attacking positions. Raheem Sterling (€9.8m) is both the most expensive and the highest-scoring midfielder remaining on the game; having either scored or assisted half of England's goals to date, he's an easy pick. Lorenzo Insigne (€8.6m) is also priced towards the premium end of the midfielders, but is the third-highest scorer in his position with 22 points, eight of them coming in the quarter-finals.
Insigne's Italy team-mate Federico Chiesa (€7.2m) is a cheaper midfield option and, like Insigne, has the advantage of being deployed in an advanced role as one of the wide forwards. Dani Olmo (€7.2m) of Spain is also in this category and, with only 14 points to his name to date – half of them coming in the round of 16 – is included as a differential selection.
The same applies to Denmark's Mikkel Damsgaard (€6.3m), whose 16 points were largely picked up on Matchday 3 (eight points) and 4 (six). However, three goals in seven international caps from midfield suggests the 21-year-old could deliver again against that doughty England defence.
Also looking to pierce the England back line for the first time in the tournament is Kasper Dolberg (€7.2m), whose relatively low price tag belies the fact he is the joint-third-highest scorer among the forwards still involved. With 16 of his 17 Fantasy points coming in the knockout rounds, the Denmark forward has run into form at just the right time.
That certainly applies to England's Harry Kane (€11.6m), who belatedly scored his first EURO finals goal in his eighth appearance against Germany in the last 16, and swiftly followed up with two more in the quarter-finals. That made it 37 goals in just 59 England appearances and, needing just one goal to equal Gary Lineker's national record of ten at major tournaments, Kane is again likely to be the main threat to the Denmark defence.
Italy's Ciro Immobile would have been the third striker but was out of price range, so Álvaro Morata (€9.1m) gets the nod instead. The Spain striker has scored twice at the tournament, finding the net in the second and fourth match, so can he keep that pattern going in the sixth? He has insider knowledge in his favour having recently completed his third season playing with Italy's centre-back pairing Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini at Juventus.