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07 Jun 2016 by TSZ

Euro 2016 Fantasy Football Must Haves and Sleepers

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Must Haves

Forward

Thomas Muller (Germany-10.5m- 34% selected): The German forward/winger/ramdeuter is a tournament specialist with five goals at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and was the third best scorer in qualifying with nine goals (only behind Lewandowski- 13 and Ibrahimovic- 11). The bookies have made the Bavarian their favourite to win the golden boot at 7/1 and this should come as no surprise as Muller- simply put- is arguably the best player in the best team in the competition. Last season, he scored 32 times in 49 appearances for Bayern Munich, including 20 in 31 Bundesliga appearances, and with Northern Ireland, Poland and Ukraine making up Group C, Muller looks set to score a few more before his well deserved rest.

Midfielder

Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium- 10m- 16% selected): Five goals and three assists, along with the most chances created during qualifying means this £51 million Manchester City man could lift Belgium to the heights which have been steadily setup for them in recent years. De Bruyne’s (KDB) 10m price tag may put off some, but after playing a part in 29 of City’s goals during an injury ravaged season, the stage is set for the former Wolfsburg player to announce himself to the world, along with his star-packed Belgium side. Standing in their way of the knockouts are Italy, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland. The latter two both finished third in their respective groups but cannot be underestimated with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Shane Long upfront. It was a tough call deciding between KDB and Hazard with the latter 0.5m cheaper and on penalties and you can’t go wrong with either of them.


Defender

Eliaquim Mangala (France- 5m- 3% selected): The hosts in Group A have two of the easiest opening fixtures for a defender in the competition. Romania and Albania scored a combined 21 goals in 18 games during qualifying and are team’s which obviously focus on defence first. With the best four third placed teams to go through to the knockouts, Euro 2016 looks like it will have a lot of clean sheets, as teams will happy to collect a point, rather than lose, knowing that just one win could be enough. Switzerland are not free-scoring themselves and the Manchester City defender is the cheapest guaranteed route into Les Blues, who have arguably the easiest group for a defensive unit.

Sleepers

Forward

Olivier Giroud (France- 8.5m- 10% selected): Overlooked by fantasy managers in favour of his compatriot Antoine Griezmann (10m 35% selected), the Arsenal man is set to be handed the lone striker role, following Karim Benzema’s forced absence; keeping the latter out on the right flank, where he scored just two goals in the host’s friendlies. In comparison, Giroud notched eight goals in France's six friendlies and more attempts on goal than any other Frenchman. The hosts have a kind set of fixtures against Romania, Albania and Switzerland; the first two games look set to be high-scoring affairs for Giroud and co. but Romania conceded just two goals in qualifying and in a new format where just three points could see you clinch third and a ticket to the knockouts, don’t expect France’s opposition to roll over and die, even if France score early.


Midfielder

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland- 8m- 4% selected): Iceland have never played in a major tournament before but it looks like many are already overlooking them and their talisman. The Scandinavians beat the Dutch twice in qualifying run, which also included wins against the Czech Republic and Turkey. The Swansea man scored six and assisted three in qualifying and is at the heart of all their attacks. Iceland rely on his ability from deadballs to score as the rest of the side focus on not conceding.

Defender

Juanfran (Spain-5.5m-7% selected): Dani Carvajal’s unfortunate injury in the Champions League final paves the way for the Atletico Madrid man to cement his spot on the right of the reigning champion’s defence. Spain’s goal was breached just three times in qualifying and Del Bosque’s style is one of defend first and allow the creative players to do their magic when on the ball. Domestically, Juanfran formed part of a unit that kept 24 clean sheets in 38, with only 18 goals breaching their defence over the course of the season. La Rojo are grouped with Czech Republic, Turkey and Croatia, none of which are the most prolific. Juanfran’s price and ownership is so low compared with Gerard Pique (6.5m), Sergio Ramos (6.5m) and Jordi Alba (7m) because his place was not guarenteed so you can save yourself some money and tap into Spain’s clean sheets with Juanfran.

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