Euro 2020 Fantasy Results | Day Three in Summary
FFHub’s Deputy Editor @FFH_James looks back on an eventful Sunday of Euro 2020 fantasy action.
Everything you need to know about Euro 2020 fantasy lurks behind this link. Team guides, strategy, chips, captains. You name it, we’ve got it.
Firstly, Some Perspective
Christian Eriksen’s shocking collapse during Saturday’s Denmark vs Finland game was a stark reminder of the relative unimportance of football and its fantasy counterpart.
That fact has not escaped us at Fantasy Football Hub.
We’ll resume our Euro 2020 coverage with an overwhelming sense of relief that Eriksen has made it through Saturday’s ordeal, and the hope that he continues on his journey to a full recovery.
After all, it really is just a game.
Euro 2020 Fantasy Results | England Shrug off Demons
In large part, these were the same players that mastered England’s World Cup demise in 2018. The same names and faces that, until that fateful semi-final in Moscow, were mostly unknown to the average England fan.
Sunday afternoon was a different story. England fans eyed the Croatia line-up with worrisome familiarity. There’s Luka Modric, pulling the strings in midfield. There’s Ivan Perisic, the dangerous winger who restored parity for the Croats in 2018. And look, it’s Domagoj Vida, their frustratingly stubborn centre-back.
Within minutes, however, it looked clear that England had swept aside their various demons.
Their line-up will have surprised fantasy managers. Kieran Trippier, England’s only goalscorer in Moscow, started at left-back at the expense of Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell.
Jack Grealish was another notable exclusion, with Raheem Sterling‘s starting berth undoubtedly raising pre-match eyebrows.
England’s Efficient Win
The Three Lions set an opening tempo that defied the heat in which they were playing. When Phil Foden, an ever-present threat, hit the inside of the post on six minutes, it was hard not to reflect on England’s scintillating start against Croatia in 2018 too.
Unlike 2018, though, England maintained their opening tempo throughout the game, playing around a Croatian side that looked in total disarray.
For all of their dominance, it wasn’t until the 57th minute that the brilliant Kalvin Phillips flaunted a side of his game seldom seen at Leeds. Having had a few rasping efforts well saved already, the 25-year-old weaved through a couple of defenders before feeding Sterling, who made no mistake with his finish past Dominik Livakovic.
It was a combination that few fantasy managers would’ve called, yet both players have made a case for inclusion in future matchdays.
Those who backed England’s defence would’ve been comfortable watching this game. It was a sturdy, stable performance from a pair of centre-backs that aren’t always associated with sturdiness and stability. Kyle Walker and Trippier provided attacking pace on the flanks but helped to shepherd England’s defensive organisation too.
No defender did anything to hurt their chances of starting against Scotland.
Perhaps the only negative for England was Kane’s lack of meaningful contribution. The striker was quiet, struggling to free himself from the bounty placed on his head by Croatia’s backline. Indeed, the focus on England’s captain afforded the likes of Foden and Sterling far more freedom than they might’ve otherwise enjoyed.
Croatia, meanwhile, will need to dust themselves off ahead of their remaining group fixtures. They’ve got an uphill battle ahead, and have done very little to reassure their fans that they’re capable of climbing it.
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Euro 2020 Fantasy Results | Austria 3-1 North Macedonia
Fantasy managers backing Austria’s more popular assets might well have been relieved to see that the likes of David Alaba and Marko Arnautovic both contributed attacking returns, particularly given that the game was finely poised at half-time.
It was surprising for many, however, to see Arnautovic benched in favour of Sasa Kalajdzic. Any hope of emphatic points returns from the ex-West Ham man were quickly dashed, though owners will be hopeful of future starts after his impactful cameo.
Still, North Macedonia proved they won’t be a complete walkover in this tournament. This is a team that has consistently defied the odds in the run up to the contest, and their goal to wipeout Austrian clean sheets was no exception.
North Macedonia have illustrated exactly why defensive stacking is a risk. Those eyeing their fixture against Netherlands in Matchday 3 will do well to bear this in mind.
Euro 2020 Fantasy Results | Netherlands 3-2 Ukraine
It was a second half to remember as the much-tipped Georginio Wijnaldum opened the scoring on 52 minutes, created by the very impressive Denzel Dumfries.
Dumfries was at the centre of the second goal too, after he drew out a mistake from Vitalii Mykolenko to open the door for Wout Weghorst to capitalise. Within six minutes, the game suddenly looked beyond Ukraine’s reach.
But Ukraine boast some huge talent – a fact highlighted when Andriy Yarmolenko curled in a stunning strike to claw his side back into contention. His goal was consolidated four minutes later when Roman Yaremchuk nodded home a pinpoint Ruslan Malinovsky cross.
With the game hanging in the balance, it was the Netherlands who triumphed when Man of the Match Dumfries headed into the bottom-right corner with five minutes to go. Ukraine couldn’t find a response in time.
There were plenty of fantasy talking points here, not least the conspicuous lack of returns from 24% owned Memphis Depay. The Lyon forward mustered just one shot on target, a stat that might concern managers who were hoping for a continuation of his fine club form.
The 17% owned Matthijs de Ligt was a predicted but still notable absentee from the squad. The centre-back is listed on the official UEFA Euro 2020 fantasy site as “doubtful”, but is rumoured to return for Matchday 2. His imminent return could mean more defensive solidity at the back for the Dutch.
Though his great performance only scored him seven points, Dumfries will be a consideration for fantasy managers – particularly those playing their Wildcard ahead of their Matchday 3 fixture against North Macedonia.
It was also notable that Maarten Stekelenburg was preferred to Tim Krul between the sticks. If the Dutch shot-stopper can hold his place he could be a great shout for their remaining group fixtures.
Other Euros Content
Find all our other Euro 2020 Fantasy Football content here which includes how to play guides, team previews, team reveals and more!
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