Football, EURO 2020 Fantasy
1 week ago
It's the eve of Euro 2020 and excitement really has ramped up. Time for the talking to stop, the fantasy teams to be locked in and your fanteam entries to be confirmed, whether it's FanTeam's £1,000,000 season-long game or the Saturday Weekly Monster. Of course, we've asked our DraftGym crew to make some predictions for the event. We'll highlight the likely winners, runners-up, the golden boot winner, the player of the tournament and the team who might be the surprise package as the tournament unfolds.
I feel it's important for context to highlight how well our team did in the end-of-season Premier League predictions. We made predictions purely on the last 9 gameweeks of the season - a tricky ask to say the least, and that was reflected in the results. But one of our team did take the victory. Let's review it!
We asked our team to make predictions on who would finish in the top 4, who would join WBA and Sheffield United in being relegated, who would be the top-scoring player in each position, as well as who would win the Champions League and the Europa League. The predictions were made just before the start of GW30.
Only one member of our team correctly backed Liverpool to join Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in the top 4 - and on top of that, the same man also predicted correctly that Alisson would be the top-scoring goalkeeper (he must have foreseen that dramatic goal at The Hawthorns) and also predicted - as did many of the team - that Trent Alexander-Arnold would be the top-scoring defender. None of the team were able to predict Matheus Pereira as the top-scoring midfielder, Kelechi Iheanacho as the top-scoring forward, or that Chelsea & Villarreal would take home the European trophies.
So, taking him the win with 3 correct predictions ahead of one of our guests MAK, was ALEXEY B. (@KJIIOIIIKA) – the boss took the win! We can't be having that - so let's see if we can do any better with our predictions for the Euros!
Winners - France. France have no weakness with world-class players in pretty much every position. They have even added Benzema back into the mix. I don't see how anyone can compete with this team, although Italy might give them a run for their money if the two teams meet in the semi-finals.
Runners Up - England. England don't tend to do too well in big tournaments, but they are among the favorites now as always. I believe home advantage might prove the decisive factor with them reaching the final only to be taken apart by the ruthless French press with Kylian Mbappe the main man.
Surprise Package - Turkey. I see Turkey, Ukraine and Denmark as dark horses but I want Turkey to be the one as they play more attacking football compared to less sparkly Ukraine and Denmark.
Golden Boot - Kylian Mbappe. Obvious isn't it? This is his tournament.
Player of the Tournament - Kylian Mbappe. See above. This is the beginning of the Mbappe era.
Winners - France. By far the best squad with match-winners all over the pitch.
Runners Up - England. If they finish second in their group, I fancy them to go all the way but lose to France on penalties in the final. The ultimate heartbreak.
Surprise Package - Turkey. With Yilmad and Calhanoglu providing guile and goals, I expect Turkey to surprise us.
Golden Boot - Romelu Lukaku. It seems boring but there's no reason for Lukaku not to set the tournament alight.
Player of the Tournament - Phil Foden. If he starts regularly, the stage is set for him to conquer Europe.
Winners - Portugal. What I love about Portugal is that their star players will always give 100%. I just get the impression that players like Ronaldo, Dias, Bruno and Bernardo will do anything to win. I really fancy them for the tournament.
Runners Up - France. Most people's favourite and understandably so. Their squad depth is incredible but I just fancy Portugal to have something extra.
Surprise Package - Czech Republic. I have a sneaky suspicion that they might cause a couple of upsets. I expect them to be physical and to cause some problems when it comes to set-pieces. Turkey and Ukraine could also do better than expected.
Golden Boot - Romelu Lukaku. Belgium's group is decent and Lukaku leads the line. I expect him to get a good few goals in the opening three matches.
Player of the Tournament - Cristiano Ronaldo. If Portugal reach the final as I'm predicting, I'm sure he will have been a key reason why. I also think Ruben Dias will be in the hat but see the award going to an attacking player. If France win it, I'd expect Kante to be close.
Winners - France. I'm going with the boring obvious pick, but this is by far the most talented squad in the competition. I didn't think they played to their best when they won the World Cup, and now they've added Benzema.
Runners Up - England. It's coming home...almost. It's coming to Wembley but France will leave with it. England have a good squad. Their knockout route is tough but I wouldn't be surprised if its Spain or Germany in this spot instead.
Surprise Package - Germany. You can just never write off the Germans. They seem out of sorts but that makes them the ultimate dark horse. They're in the group of dath but if they pick up a draw and beat Hungary they'll be safely through, and a threat.
Golden Boot - Memphis Depay. You have to be different sometimes. The Dutch seem to be in turmoil but they love high scoring games. One of the easier groups and Memphis is playing to secure a move this Summer.
Player of the Tournament - Kylian Mbappe. A 22 year old with the world at his feet. I think this will be the tournament where we see what all the hype is about.
Winners - Belgium. It's an out-of-the-box choice because I don't want France winning a second big tournament in a row. Maybe the timing isn't perfect for Belgium to win something big, but they're still an amazing side. They were pretty close three years ago at the World Cup, and I hope luck will be on their side now.
Runners Up - France. France is the closest contender to win the title considering the quality and experience of their squad.
Surprise Package - Denmark. They won't have a big problem qualifying to the knockout stages. A lot of young but quality players. They have had very solid results against good teams in the last couple of years and have registered just 2 losses in their last 21 games. I think they're strong enough even to potentially reach the semi-finals.
Golden Boot - Romelu Lukaku. A goal machine playing in one of the best teams in the competition. He has had such a good season and I'm sure he's able to shift his goalscoring results from his club to the national team.
Player of the Tournament - N'Golo Kante. I feel it's between De Bruyne and Kante, but I'm worried about the fitness of KDB in the early stages. If he misses one or two games, I guess he may not do enough to win the award. Kante has had a strong season and we know that he plays brilliantly in the national team as well.
Winners - France. I really can't think of any other team to win the title. This squad seems to have no weaknesses.
Runners Up - England. It's time to shine for this young national team. After such a tough season, they should dominate in most games, even in the knockout stages.
Surprise Package - Denmark. Denmark played quality football in the Nations League games against Belgium and England and now will face the likes of Russia and Finland in the group stages here. They should be thinking of at least reaching the quarter-finals, or maybe even aiming for the semis.
Golden Boot - Alvaro Morata. I expect three easy games for Spain in Group E. This should be enough for their striker to have a lead that he can hold onto.
Player of the Tournament - N'Golo Kante. I think he's got the Ballon D'Or in his sight! Hopefully, their powerful forward line won't score too many so everybody will be able to see how good their defensive midfielders on the pitch are – and Kante is the best.
Winners - France. It's boring but it's tough to see past them. The attacking talent coupled with a machine like Kante is a dangerous combination, and Pogba tends to step up and deliver for France when he's needed too. I think if they get through the last 16, the momentum will be too much to stop them.
Runners Up - Portugal. It's a reflection of the strength in that group that I can see them meeting again at the close. They have a team littered with options and I hope they don't try to allow everything to go through Ronaldo, as some of the talent around him could stand out.
Surprise Package - Ukraine. Their squad has evolved and become much younger and have a forward in Yaremchuk who could be an interesting differential in fantasy games. Think they could be a real banana skin for bigger teams including the Netherlands in the group.
Golden Boot - Antoine Griezmann. There's a fear for me that France will share the goals around, but I think with the focus being heavily placed on Mbappe, Griezmann might be the man that benefits in front of goal. Beyond him, I think Lukaku is an obvious candidate if Belgium dominate as expected against Finland and Russia.
Player of the Tournament - Kylian Mbappe. I agree with a lot of the comments above. I think it's the start of the period when Mbappe takes over as the main man on the planet. This seems a perfect platform to demonstrate it.
Can Alexey back up his success in the Premier League predictions and do the double back-to-back? Can I bounce back from my disaster in the Premier League predictions? Let's all enjoy a fantastic tournament that will hopefully deliver and not be too impacted by COVID. Enjoy, all!
The latest addition to the DraftGym crew, FPL veteran and the Debate grandmaster.