Just because there is no Premier League this weekend, that doesn’t mean there’s no fantasy football! Starting this Thursday, we’re hosting a fantasy contest with a £500 prize for Matchday 5 of the Euro 2020 Qualifiers.
We’ve cherry-picked our favourite fixtures from Thursday, Friday and Saturday and created an 8-match slate that includes the likes of England, Germany and Portugal.
In this article, we’ll take a look at who the bookies fancy in these fixtures by converting their odds for clean sheets and 2+ goals into implied probabilities.
Bookies Odds for Euro 2020 Matchday 5
The bookies have implied that Norway are, by far, the most likely to score and keep a clean sheet in Matchday 5 when they host Malta. The visitors have failed to score in 5 of their last 6 matches in Euro Qualifiers, whilst Norway have managed at least 2 goals in their last 3.
Fortunately for fantasy managers, Norway have named an unchanged back four in every Euro Qualifier match so far in 2020. H. Nordtveit (£5.0), O. Elabdellaoui (£5.5), H. Aleesami (£5.0), K. Ajer (£5.5) have each played 360 minutes over this period, with Elabdellaoui the only to register attacking returns with an assist against the Faroe Islands last time out.
The biggest beneficiary of the Faroe Islands fixture was Bjørn Maars Johnsen (£5.0) who managed a brace and all three bonus points in his first full 90 minutes of the qualifiers. Josh King (£8.0) was handed a rest, after featuring in every minute of Norway’s opening three. If he is to return versus Malta, the onus shifts back on to him.
King has been in exceptional form for his nation, managing an attacking return in all three matches, including goals against both Spain and Sweden. If he’s starting against Malta, I’d go as far as calling him a must-have, and he’ll most likely be getting my armband.
England’s Domination Continues
Free-scoring England top Group A with a whopping +9 goal difference despite playing the least amount of games (2). Their opposition, however, are the polar opposites, sitting at the foot of the table and without a win after 4 matches.
Raheem Sterling (£11.0) has scored four goals and assisted twice in 160 minutes for England so far. If you could guarantee his game time, then he’d be more of a must-have this week than Josh King. That said, he’ll definitely be in my lineup, I’d just be slightly hesitant to captain him.
With a 78% chance of keeping a clean sheet in Matchday 5, England defenders should also be in your team, unless of course, you’re opting for three attackers. Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.5) is yet to feature in the Qualifiers, but following his recent call-up, he’s hard to ignore against a leaky Bulgarian side.
Harry Kane (£12.5) also shouldn’t be ignored. He’s back to scoring ways, after failing to find the net against Newcastle in FPL Gameweek 3, with a goal in the North London derby. This is the kind of fixture Kane could easily explode in, and his price tag reflects that.
Wales To Kickstart Their Qualifiers
Wales are without a point since their opening game win against Slovakia. Narrow losses to Croatia and Hungary has left them languishing in 4th place of Group E, but despite losing key personnel such as David Brooks & Aaron Ramsey, things are looking up as they host 5th place Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan have lost their last 5 matches in the European Championship, conceding 5 at home to Slovakia in their most recent fixture. Gareth Bale (£10.5) will be the ownership pick in this week’s £500 Euro Fantasy Contest having played every minute of their three qualifiers so far. Though he is still without a goal or assist.
Daniel James (£6.0) has shown great form for both club and country of late, with his first international goal coming against Slovakia, and three goals in four matches in the Premier League for his new club Manchester United.
Clean sheets are also expected for the Welshmen, with a 67% implied chance issued by the bookies. Wayne Hennessey (£5.0) is their first choice keeper and available at a low cost. Whilst his chances of a clean sheet are high, saves and bonus points are a lot less likely.
If like me, Hennessey drifts a bit far right for your liking, Ben Davies (£5.5) provides a more stable option on the left side of the defence. Chris Mepham (£4.5) also offers a solid backup should you fall short of a million.
Bookies Dream Team