Sunday, 3 June 2012

Euro 2012 Insight : Player Picks

With less than a week to go for the games to begin and almost finished with all the friendly games, its time to gear up for the games to begin.With gearing up i am indicating to all us fantasy managers to get the best team out there.The "McDonald's Fantasy Football" is expected to attract fantasy managers from all over the world and it makes the challenge even more bigger and exciting.

Lots of  good players who are ready to show up at this big stage and a lot more differential picks available this time around.

Lets get straight to the best picks for Matchday 1

Euro 2012 Matchday 1 Schedule :
Fri, June 0818:00(CET)Match 1Poland vs Greece
Fri, June 0820:45(CET)Match 2Russia vs Czech Republic
Sat,June 0918:00(CET)Match 3Netherlands vs Denmark
Sat,June 0920:45(CET)Match 4Germany vs Portugal
Sun,June 1018:00(CET)Match 5Spain vs Italy
Sun,June 1020:45(CET)Match 6Republic of Ireland vs Croatia
Mon,June 1118:00(CET)Match 7France vs England
Mon,June 1120:45(CET)Match 8Ukraine vs Sweden

Note :

All timings are as per CET.

Deadline for Matchday 1 is 8th June 2012 at 17.45 CET ( You will have the starting XI for the first game i.e Poland vs Greece available on twitter, sites etc before the deadline.)

Matchday 1 sees most the big teams playing each other. For e.g Germany play Portugal, Spain play Italy, France play England. I would suggest to stay away from defense from these teams as goals are likely.

After these games are done with, we could see easier games for these teams in Matchday 2 and 3.

With 1 wildcard available, it would be a good idea to use it after Matchday 1 and maintain that team for Matchday 2 and 3.

Goalkeepers :

Akinfeev ( 5.5 )
Russia have had a great qualifying run with only 1 loss in their 10 games.They also just conceded just 1 goal in their last 7 qualifiers.This makes Akinfeev a great pick for Matchday 1.Their group is open and doesn't have any big teams that poses any threat to the defense.

Cech ( 5.0 )
Top keeper, great value and playing in a relatively easier group makes Cech a great pick.With their first game against Russia, you will have to pick a winner between Cech and Akinfeev.Czech Republic have been poor in defense during their qualifying campaign with only 3 clean sheets and conceded 8 goals during the process.

Casillas ( 7.0 )
Spain have been great during qualifiers but their defense has also seen a number of goals go through.They, like Czech Republic, could only manage 3 clean sheets.But there is no doubt that they will go through their group stage unbeaten and Casillas is backed by a strong defense which could return your investment of 7.0 million.

Differential pick :
Stekelenburg ( 6.5 ) has had a great run in qualifications for Euros.With only 1 loss in 10 games and conceded only 8 goals in those games, he could be a good pick against Denmark.

Bargain Pick :
Given ( 4.5 )An edge over the likes of Lindegaard( 4.0 and tough opponent ,Holland ) and Chalkies ((4.0) who should keep his place ahead of Tzorvas ).The reason for Given ahead of the other cheaper picks is due to the easier opponent Republic of Ireland have i.e Croatia. and for the fact that they have lost only 1 of their 10 qualifying games.

The likes of Hart, Buffon and Lloris could be looked at in Matchday 2 and 3


Lewandowski ( 8.0 ) 
He has been in great form lately.Having scored 22 goals and 8 assists for Dortmund in the 2011-12 season including a hattrick against Bayern in the German Cup.He is values at just 8 and could be a good pick to kick off the tournament on 8th June.

Van Persie ( 11.0 )
Has to be the pick of the strikers as he has been on target for both club and country.Sure starter ahead of his teammate Huntelaar.With the likes of Sneijder, Robben and VDV supporting the forwards, you could see alot of scoring opportunity against Denmark.

Ronaldo ( 11.0)
You can't ignore a player of such talent against any opponent and has to be looked at through out this competition.In case you have additional funds for your forwards why not splash it on Ronaldo as he will pose a threat with his free kicks, penalties, and also the numerous runs forward.

Muller ( 9.5 ) / Podolski ( 10.0 )
Germany usually play a 4-3-3 formation where in Muller occupies the right forward spot where as Podolski occupies the left forward spot.Having scored 3 goals each and 5/3 assists respectively in their qualifiers, both could be productive picks.

Ibrahimovic ( 8.0 )
Matchday 1 fixture against Ukraine could be an ideal set up for Sweden as they hope for a upset in group D.
Having scored 28 goals for AC Milan in the 2011-12 season and 3 goals in the last 2 friendlies for Sweden against Croatia and Iceland , he is in great form.Valued at just 8.0 in the fantasy game which could be well worth the investment.

Differential picks 
There are a couple of differential picks which cannot be ignored.Llorente ( 9.0 ) has been in great form and in the absence of Villa, he will be ready to make the most of the opportunity.Jelavic ( 5.0 ) has made a mark with a great finish to the season for Everton.Slaven Bilic has pencilled in his starting line-up for their opening group game against the Republic of Ireland on Sunday June 10.Jelavic is earmarked to lead the line.Keane ( 7.0 ) could be a good value pick against Croatia and has been crucial to Republic of Ireland's run up to the games.Lafata ( 4.5 ) is not known much in the international stage but has just had an amazing season for Czech side Jablonec scoring 25 goals in 27 appearances.Playing as a second striker behind Baros he is tipped to come off the bench or may be play as a second striker depending on the formation.


Ozil ( 10.0 )
Is the pick of the midfielders as he offers plenty of goals and assists. He has scored 5 goals and 7 assists for Germany in their qualifiers ( 10 games ).If thats not enough he has also been spot on for Real Madrid in the 2011-12 season with 4 goals / 17 assists.Germany are strong favorites to reach the finals and Ozil will be key to their run in this competition.

Iniesta ( 9.5 )
His form for country has always been superior to that for club and he always seems to show up in these big competitions.Playing just behind the strikers he could have a lot of chances to score and assist.

Young ( 8.5 ) 
Key player for England this time around and lots depend on how he plays really.He has been instrumental in the build up with a couple of goals and assists.If i had to pick one of the England midfielders, it would undoubtedly be Young.

Eriksen ( 6.5 )
Always preferred picking midfielders who take set pieces, free kicks, corners etc and Eriksen is spot on when it comes to all these departments.He scored 7 goals, 18 assists for his side Eredevisie as they won the title this year.Available at 6.5 could add a good differential to your side.

Mandzukic ( 6.0 ) 
Another value for money pick as he plays upfront for Croatia. He has had a good season with Wolfsburg scoring 12 goals and 8 assists.

Rosicky ( 7.0 ) 
He did hit good form in the last couple of games towards the end of the season.He had 3 assists in Arsenal's last 5 games.For Czech Republic his role is that of a play maker and the team does depend heavily on him.He had 6 assists in the qualifiers.The Arsenal midfielder had missed the national side's two warm-up games with a calf setback, but has been given the all-clear to play against Russia by head coach Michal Bilek

Differential Picks 
Having to choose 5 midfielders, you will need a mix of both experienced and fresh talent who have been making a name for themselves in the run in to this competition.
Blaszczykowski ( 7.5 ) as the name suggest plays for Poland and has been the top scorer for them in the recent run of games.He takes all free kicks, corners and penalty kicks which could be an asset in this game.
Shirokov ( 6.0 ) is another differential pick from the Russian camp.Offers plenty going forward with respect to Goals and assists.Sneijder ( 9.5 ) is our experienced pick in the differential category.He has been spot on for Holland in their qualifiers with 3 goals and 6 assists in 8 games.Schweinsteiger ( 9.0 ) is another contender for valuable returns as his experience speaks for itself. 23 goals in 90 games for Germany and still feel his best is yet to come.Yarmolenko( 7.0 ) has been in good form and is instrumental in Ukraine's run in.

Bargain Picks 
In case you dont have much funds for your 5th midfielder , there are some good options available.
McClean ( 4.5 ) offers good value as he has been picked in the Republic of Ireland squad.His team mate Andrews (4.0) is another good option who does tend to score the odd goal.
Polanski ( 4.0 ) is a decent option from the Poland camp but not to sure of starting all games.


Van Der Wiel ( 7.0 ) 
Holland have had a good run in their qualifiers with just 1 loss in their 10 games.Van der Wiel has earned 6 clean sheets for his side and had 3 assists in that good run. Good option to have in your team as he offers alot in offence as well.

Jordi Alba ( 6.5 )
Sure starter for Spain at left back and his price is affordable.I would assume Spain to be outright winners in their group and Alba offers good potential.

Piszezek ( 5.0 )
As the hosts kick off the games on 8th June, all the home supporters will be behind their team as they hope to reach the latter part of the tournament.Piszezek is a great asset to have as he has had a great season in the bundesliga with 4 goals and 7 assists.Valued at just 5.0 could be a bargain.

Kadlec ( 5.5 )
Had a great run in the qualifiers with 4 goals. He is the penalty taker for the Czechs and that could well prove to be the differential in your team.

Zhirkov ( 6.0 )
Another good left back who offers lots going forward. Valued at 6.0 and a good pick to have in your team.Russia have been rock solid in their defense and with just 1 goals in their last 7 qualifiers speaks alot for their defense.

Differential picks :
K.Papadopoulos ( 4.5 ) has returned back to full fitness with a goals in their last friendly game and also he eases your funds to be invested elsewhere.
Strinic ( 4.0) is another good bargain pick as he tends to go forward and get the odd goal.
Dunne ( 5.0) has been instrumental in Republic of Ireland's run in to the games.He has seen his team lose only 1 game in their 10 games in qualifying.
In the experienced lot you could also look at A.Cole ( 6.0 ) , Boateng ( 6.5 ) and Evra ( 6.0 ) as their value seems to be worth it.

Well, alot of options we have there for you. You will find good picks in there to complete your 15 man squad and its important to have a good bench strength so that you can change any player who you feel hasn't  played as per your expectation.

You are most welcome to join our Blog Fantasy League ( Code : 5750-17458 )

You may also feel free to discuss your teams in the Comments section below.

Have a great tournament.



  1. Excellent post. Much appreciated.

  2. Any Thoughts that could help improve my team?

    Given / Isaakson
    Lescott – Dunne – Strinić (Piszczek – Gebre Selassie)
    Sneijder – Shirokov – Young – Özil (Petržela – the squad filler)
    Lewandowski [captain] – T. Müller – Robben

    2.5 Euros In the bank. So Definitely could do a upgrade or two here. Planning to do the wildcard on the 2nd or 3rd match-day, depending on match-day 1′s results

    1. Hi Derp,

      Team looks good, really like the midfield.

      You should put the extra 2.5 mill to upgrade Robben to RVP.

      Also, keep Piszczek in your main team and see how he plays.If he doesn't do well , you can switch him with your bench.

      Also remember you can play 2-5-3 formation if you like.

      Good luck

    2. Have made some ammendments in light of your advice. Is this better? i will start with whoever plays first and make changes if they don't perform.
      I've been thinking about bringing Ribery and benzema, but decided to wait for matchday 2.

      Given / Isaakson
      Lescott – Dunne – Abate (Piszczek – Strinić)
      Sneijder – Shirokov – Young – Özil (Petržela – the squad filler)
      Lewandowski [captain] – T. Müller – RVP

  3. OK
    Sorry about the last post
    Its not GR v Czech who play at 20:45 on Jun 11
    Its actually Ukr v Swe !!
    Need to change that error AM !!

  4. mine is right now....
    evra, boularhouz, olsson
    iniesta, young, erickesen, rosicky
    muller, baros, robben,

    with 3.5 to spend

    1. with akinfeev, polanski, stinic and zhirhov on the bench.

    2. Hi Greginho,

      I could suggest :

      Baros got injured while training, so watch out for that news .
      You need a top forward in your team i feel, Robben and Muller are supporting strikers not the front men.For eg RVP or Lewandowski

      3.5 mil could improve your defense.Need some potential scorers in there.

    3. i am debating on ibrahimovic or lewandowski. i aleady dropped baros for ibra, thanks for the help AM, and one other question guys ericksen or shirokov. ericksen was one of the first players i picked because of his importance for Ajax and country over the last 2 years. even though he is young, he has been part of every offensive attack. i figured he would get maybe one goal, but 3 assists minimum, but he has a tough group. shirokov is more of a scorer and russia have an easier schedule.

    4. Shirkov over Ericksen just for the fact regarding the tough group.

      Evra didn't train yesterday due to some injury.

  5. Welcome to my league "From USA with Love" on
    password: 114466-26789.

    let's have fun!

  6. How sure are you about about Lorente?

    1. Llorente is a great pick and I see him playing ahead of Torres and Negredo.With only 5 % of folks going for him, you could be in for an advantage if he scores.

    2. and a huge disadvantage if he doesn't play...
      What's your thoughts on cazorla?

    3. Cazorla could be benched.i see your support for Spain and llorente/iniesta seem good bets.

    4. What is the username and password for joining a league?

  7. Can't wait for EURO to start after Yahoo Fantasy EPL ends

    My EURO Team:

    Van der Wiel Kadlec Zhirkov
    Ozil Ineista Eriksen Mandzukic
    Lewandowski Van Persie Ibrahimovic

    Lindergaard, Piszczek, Strinic, Andrews

    Toying with the idea of starting Piszczek in place of either Kadlec/Zhirkov and also playing 5 MFs in 2-5-3 but not so sure about Andrews.
    Any suggestion?

    cheers & great (1st EURO) post!

    1. Great team there and good mix in all departments.

      Prefer your defenders in this order :

      Van der Wiel >> Kadlec >> Piszczek >> Zhirkov

      If you intend on playing 2-5-3 , then im afraid you need to upgrade Andrews.

      Some injury scare for Akinfeev , should get some news by today.

    2. i do not know why everyone is going 2 defenders, a clean sheet can get you similar or more points than 1 goal scored by each player and will give you more points than 1 assist from the midfielders and forwards. in the euros and world cups, most games score between 1 and 0 goals because teams are afraid to make mistakes, especially in the first two rounds of the group phase because a 1-1 or 0-0 tie will keep you in the group, but losses will send a team packing. picking the clean sheets should be everyone's duty, not getting $6 or $8 midfielder that will get you 2 points. because scores are lower, you will not see as many goals and assists as you think. remember in the final of the world cup, there was not a goal or assist in the 90 minutes, so only the defenders and goalies scored. i think 2 defenders will hurt you guys. in the world cup,lahm was one of the biggest scorers as well as van bronkhorst, who had more than lahm. that is why i think evra and zhirkov will be great picks and akinfeev and szczsesny will get me some points.

    3. Good point there gregInho and I totally agree.

      But u should keep changing your formation within a matchday as you can keep substituting players from your bench manually.Depending on how your defenders or midfielders have done on 8th or 9th , you can decide which formation to keep.

      Also, it's worth noting that match day 1 does not have many ' one sided ' fixtures so there fore investing a lot on good defenders as compared to midfielders could be a risk. But this strategy could be good for match day 2 and 3 where the likes of Spain, Italy, France , England have easier games.

  8. Team at present looks like:


    Piszcek Alba Van der Wiel Kadlec
    Iniesta Ozil Eriksen
    Lewandowski Van Persie(C) Jelavic

    Subs: Cech, Mandzukic, Mcgeady, Olsson

    1. Good team, your defenders are capable of high scores and if it works out, could be great for you.

      Also good option of having Mandzukic on the bench giving you that option to rotate your formation.

  9. Great post. Much appreciate for your work.
    -is fabio coentrao worth his price ??????
    -is ABATE going to start over MAGGIO???
    Thanks a lot.

    1. Maggio will be starting ahead of Abate.

      Coentrao isnt the best picks for matchday 1 as Portugal are conceding goals in the run up and against Germany i dont see any different.

      Not worth the money.

      Good luck.

  10. Good post!

    Trying the 2-5-3 for fun with the wildcard as backup, wanna see how it plays out.

    Ended up with this after alot of back and forth

    Piszcek - Kadlec
    Mandžukić - Özil - Iniesta - Shirokov - Young
    RvP - Ibrahimović - Lewandowski

    Bench: Given - Strinić - K. Papadopoulos - M. Olsson

    Any thoughts on this setup?

    1. You should save it.Its a good team.

      Just for todays games, you should put K.Papadopoulos in there and change him tomorrow.( Just in case scores or assists )

    2. After a lot of thought i ended up with:

      Papadopoulous Van Der Wiel Zhirkov
      Ozil Iniesta Polanski Snjeider Modric
      Jelavic Lewandowski

      Subs: Cech, Alba, Ibra and Olsson

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. 8.0 left in bank for a midfielder... Any suggestion??? pleaseee

  13. i think its time for you to post on the player picks for match day 2 ..:p

    1. Totally agree. Very helpful for first matchday!


  14. Can anyone help me with substitution rule please?
    I made subs on first and second matchday,it docked my points,but when i made subs for final day of matchday,it cancels out my subs points?
    I was like devastated...Please someone explain me the substitution rule?
    Are we allowed to make free subs on first 3 days of that matchday??

    1. You can use any of your bench players as long as they have not played.

      But the players you sub OUT will give you zero points.

      You can sub a player IN before he plays and as long as you do that this player you have subbed in will give you points and the player you sub OUT will give you zero.

      You can use a sub between any of the 4 days of 1 matchday.

      You can give an example or your team info for more explanation.

  15. Hey,someone explain me how to use wildcard considering the present situation!