On Matchday 5 and in the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2020, UEFA.com will take control of a number of players who are currently proving to be popular with fantasy managers.
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Jordan Pickford (5.7 million euros) arouses great interest after conceding his fourth goal in a row against Germany on matchday four. The English goalkeeper is the third most popular in his position in the competition and it would be no surprise if his percentage still climbs above the current 17%. Three parades in England’s 2-0 win over Die Team picked up Pickford’s score to seven Fantasy points and his overall record now stands at 25 points – the highest score of any goalkeeper still in the tournament.
Belgian Thibaut Courtois (6.2 million euros) also scored seven fantasy points on matchday four with a good individual performance in the 1-0 win against defending champions Portugal. Courtois made five saves as the Red Devils set up the quarter-finals against Italy. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Belgian goalkeeper is busy again, but that could improve rather than decrease his EURO Fantasy credentials. Courtois has only conceded one goal in the tournament so far, with three goals conceded and 22 fantasy points in his name and is represented in 23% of the teams.
Owners of Gianluigi Donnarumma (€ 5.7m) suffered a rare disappointment on Matchday 4 when the Italian goalkeeper was defeated for the first time at UEFA EURO 2020, but with 46% ownership he remains a hugely popular asset ahead of the quarter-finals Azzurri. With injury doubts at two of Belgium’s top attackers, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, Italy and Donnarumma will be calmly confident that they will finish again as they attempt to reach the semi-finals.
Italian Leonardo Spinazzola (€ 5.6m) still managed to score a respectable fantasy score despite his missing goal, winning five points after registering his second submission of the competition. The 28-year-old’s attack performance, combined with the Azzurri’s defensive steel, makes him the strongest defender remaining in the competition at 36%. As with the owners of Donnarumma, those who have Spinazzola in their ranks are hoping for a goal from the Italians on Matchday 5 and given his extra attacking potential his popularity is not going to decline anytime soon.
While Spinazzola is the strongest defender, he’s not the top scorer. This is Belgian Thomas Meunier (5.7 million euros), who also made his second presentation at EURO 2020 on matchday 4. This template, combined with a goal conceded in the 1-0 win against Portugal, brought Meunier nine Fantasy points and the right wing-back now has a remarkable 27 points and is in 27% of the teams that start in the 5th matchday . Roberto Martinez’s team have proven their defensive skills against the elite opponents in Portugal and will try again in the quarter-finals against Italy.
From a persistence standpoint, fantasy managers should look no further than England defender John Stones (€ 5.7m). Four game days brought the center-back four consecutive six-point results, which regularly rewarded his loyalty – 23% and promotion – with a healthy return. While he has missed any offensive contributions so far, Stones poses a set piece threat, and with that in mind, it would be no surprise if we had a bigger catch ahead of us. England’s quarter-finals against Ukraine could be the game for it and Stones’ fast-growing holdings will certainly hope so.
Another popular defensive choice is Aymeric Laporte (€ 6.2m), chosen by 22% of fantasy managers. The central defender has started all four games of the Spanish EURO 2020 so far and conceded two goals and one goal. His 12-point collection on matchday three justifies the great interest shown by fantasy managers, who hope that Laporte will be back on the points track in the quarter-finals against Switzerland.
Although he is currently the second highest midfielder at 23%, there are serious injury concerns over Belgian talisman Kevin De Bruyne (€ 10.7m) after the Red Devils playmaker was dismissed early in the second half against Portugal. Many fantasy managers have to decide whether to transfer him before the deadline. Should De Bruyne be fit for Italy, his references with a goal and two assists speak for themselves at the tournament despite the limited playing time. Be sure to keep an eye out for team news before the Friday deadline for updates on his fitness.
For the most popular midfielder, Raheem Sterling (€ 9.7 million), who is 25% owned, has no such injury worries, who maintained his top scorer form for England in the round of 16 with his third goal at EURO 2020 and scored eight fantasy points the process. It was also the tournament’s attacking midfielder’s third eight-point score and the managers will now find a way to bring the already popular Sterling to their squad. England’s quarter-final opponents Ukraine have not conceded a goal at UEFA EURO 2020 and a sterling in good shape must therefore be seen as one of the most tempting options for the quarter-finals.
Italian midfielders have been a decent point source throughout the competition, and two in particular have significantly high levels of ownership in the quarterfinals. Both Lorenzo Insigne (€ 8.6m) and Manuel Locatelli (€ 5.9m) are currently among the five most obsessed EURO Fantasy midfielders with 21% and 20% respectively. Nonetheless, each selection carries its own individual risk. Insigne has not launched an offensive since the first matchday, while the central midfielder Locatelli started the extra win against Austria in the round of 16 on the bench. Both have advantages, however, as Insigne has the misfortune of not scoring a goal against Austria, while Locatelli is a cheap midfielder.
With De Bruyne and Eden Hazard both facing injury concerns, Romelu Lukaku (€ 11.3m) could be responsible for giving Belgium the attacking impetus it needs to advance to the semi-finals. Although he failed to hit the net in the round of 16 against Portugal, loyalty to Lukaku has not diminished as he is still in well over 50% of the squad. While Italy will likely present their toughest challenge yet, Lukaku is a player who can score against any opponent and with the potential to expand his duties in the quarterfinals through penalty shootouts, his fantasy appeal remains strong.
On the other hand, Italian Ciro Immobile (€ 10.2m) has only two Fantasy Points less than Lukaku, despite playing less than the Belgian star on a matchday. Immobile remains the linchpin for a team that has scored nine goals so far at UEFA EURO 2020 and will be desperately trying to get into the scorers’ list for the first time since matchday two.
After three misses in front of the goal, England’s captain Harry Kane (11.5 million euros) scored his first European Championship final goal with the leaders in the last 2-0 win against Germany at Wembley Stadium. At such an expensive price, a lot was expected of the 2018 FIFA World Cup top scorer at EURO 2020, and despite the lack of attack returns, Kane comfortably remains among the top three fantasy strikers at 25%. A player who has a habit of scoring in bursts will continue to add the 27-year-old’s population to the quarter-finals after his drought ends.