Euro 2020 Fantasy Football Tips: Qualification Matchday 1

The UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying rounds begin this Thursday as 55 nations look to secure their place in the European Championship next summer.

Matchday 1 runs from Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd with matches being played at different intervals throughout the day.

If you fancy giving Euro Fantasy a try this matchday, we’re hosting a contest that includes our top three fixtures from each day. It’s completely free to enter, and we’re putting £100 in the prize pot.

Click here to pick your team!

Need a hand with research? We’ve compiled the bookmaker’s odds to provide an overview on how they predict the opening the fixtures in our contest to pan out, both from a clean sheet and a goalscoring perspective.

Odds To Keep A Clean Sheet

Team Odds Implied %
France 1.3 77%
Netherlands 1.53 65%
England 1.53 65%
Italy 1.53 65%
Spain 1.55 65%
Portugal 1.75 57%
Belgium 1.85 54%
Sweden 1.85 54%
Austria 2.62 38%
Poland 3.2 31%
Romania 3.9 26%
Ukraine 5.5 18%
Finland 6.5 15%
Czech Republic 7 14%
Russia 8.5 12%
Norway 11 13%
Belarus 12 8%
Moldova 13 8%

Favourite France

Strolling into Moldova’s Zimbru stadium this weekend like The Monstars in Space Jam are the current World Champions France. With a whopping implied clean sheet chance of 77%, a lot of managers will be looking to pick up at least one French defender.

Benjamin Pavard, scorer of the goal of the tournament at the 2018 World Cup, is the standout prospect for France. The flying full-back is known for his high cross rate and penchant for a shot on goal. With a license to attack, Pavard represents France’s best avenue for combined defensive and offensive returns.

If you’re the type of player looking to stack French defenders and take advantage of their clean sheet odds, Raphaël Varane pairs well with Pavard. Lucas Digne is an outside differential option, but not guaranteed to start. The risk is yours.

Compete for £100 in Euro Fantasy Matchday 1. Free entry!

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Joint 2nd Party

With four teams occupying the spot behind France in our clean sheet probability table, you’re not short on options for your back line.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has been in fine form for Liverpool this season and much to the delight of fantasy players worldwide has shown himself to be tremendously capable over a dead ball. He is one of a handful of defenders who are currently recognised as set-piece takers for their countries.

Another defender playing for a nation ranked second for clean sheet probability and known for occasional free kick heroics is Alexander-Arnold’s club teammate Virgil van Dijk. Holland’s charismatic leader has been at the heart of his nation’s resurgence, keeping clean sheets against France and Germany in the Nations League as well as finding himself on the scoresheet against the latter.

Defensive Differentials

If you’re willing to gamble beyond clean sheet probability and you’re wanting something a bit more offensive, we’ve got you covered.

Portugal find themselves 7th in regards to clean sheet probability but if you’re feeling daring Nelson Semedo could be the man for you. Now plying his trade in Barcelona, the attacking fullback is known for taking up residence closer to the opposition’s goal than his own.

Roberto’s Martinez’s attraction to a wingback system makes Thomas Meunier a tantalizing option. Meunier was a fantasy football favourite during World Cup 2018 and all signs point to his popularity continuing through to Euro 2020. With an implied clean sheet probability of 71% and orders to attack from his manager, he’s certainly worth considering.

Odds To Score 2+ Goals

Team Odds Implied %
France 1.17 85%
Netherlands 1.2 83%
Spain 1.25 80%
Belgium 1.4 71%
England 1.5 67%
Italy 1.53 65%
Portugal 1.73 58%
Sweden 2.1 48%
Austria 2.5 40%
Poland 3.25 31%
Russia 5.5 18%
Romania 6 17%
Ukraine 7 14%
Norway 8 13%
Czech Republic 9.5 11%
Finland 9.5 11%
Belarus 10 10%
Moldova 15 7%

Pogba Essential?

On penalties, free kicks, and probably goal kicks if he wanted, Paul Pogba is the vital cog of an already remarkably talented French team.

Likely to play in an advanced role in front of Kante and Matuidi/Sissoko, the in-form mercurial man has been in scintillating domestic form.

With France the most likely to hit two or more goals this weekend, you would fancy Pogba to show why he will be a captain choice of many in the FantasyBet Gameweek 1 freeroll.

Premier League Outcasts, Cast Back In

Since Ronald Koeman took charge of the Netherlands, no player has scored more goals than Memphis Depay. The winger is often grouped with other young prospects who burnt out before they could reach their potential but Depay is making a comeback.

He has already begun to prove he’s ready to take on the mantle of being Holland’s talisman scoring 4 goals in his last 6 international appearances – including goals against France and Germany.

After missing Manchester United’s FA Cup quarter-final with Wolves due to a foot injury, it was a surprise to see Lukaku called up the Belgium squad. With this in mind, Michy Batshuayi may be worth the gamble.

Batshuayi is back playing regular football at Crystal Palace and has already scored three times in eight appearances for the Eagles. If you’re looking for an outsider pick, Belgium’s implied over 2 goal odds make Batshuayi an interesting proposition.

Compete for £100 in Euro Fantasy Matchday 1. Free entry!

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Big Hitters Worth The Investment?

With a wealth of tournament favourites having favourable fixtures this weekend, deciding which of the big hitters to go with is daunting.

Cristiano Ronaldo is priced at £13m and represents the most expensive option in the tournament. Picking up form domestically and looking to reach 100 national goals before retirement (currently sitting on 85), it’s difficult to fathom a freeroll team without Portugal’s talisman leading the line. However, Portugal do have the most difficult fixture of the pack with Ukraine only suffering 1 defeat in their last 10 fixtures. Difficult call.

Belgium host a Russia squad who are off the back of a remarkable World Cup underdog story. The worst ranked team at the tournament managed to reach the quarterfinals before crashing out. How much of this performance was due to the buzz of being the host nation? A lot.

The squad is ageing, their key players (Golovkin in particular) aren’t shining domestically, and Belgium are the kind of team who are capable of big scores against lesser teams. Russia aren’t going to replicate their World Cup run in Euro Fantasy, Belgium will. Hazard at £11.5 is not only worth the price, but he’s also captain material.

Matchday 1 Dream Team:

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Jamie Reeves

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