After plenty of tight games, and scores of late drama, the Euro 2016 group stages have come to a close, with all four ‘Home Nations’ progressing to the last 16 – where the fun really begins! To mark the beginning of the knockout rounds, we’re giving you the chance to make unlimited free changes to your Fantasy iTeam.
From now until 2pm on Saturday 25th June – when Switzerland v Poland kicks off – you’ll be able to tweak your side however you like. Once the aforementioned game has got underway in Saint-Etienne, you’ll receive a further three free transfers – with the opportunity to purchase a fourth to use in-between knockout games.
But how are you going to refresh your iTeam? Which players need to come out and – more importantly – who do you need to transfer in to claw back the deficit in your mini leagues?
FiT Value: £6.8m
Euro 2016 points: 20
West Ham’s player of the year came into the tournament with just three goals in 19 caps, and unsure of a starting berth in Didier Deschamps’ line-up. Fast forward a fortnight and Payet is now arguably the host nation’s key player, after stunning efforts against Romania and Albania helped secure France’s qualification from Group A with a game to spare.
With iTeam favourites Paul Pogba (3 games, 5 points) and Anthony Martial (just 58 minutes of game time so far) failing to impress, Payet is a man you simply have to include in your side on current form. France play the Republic of Ireland in Lyon on Sunday and, if they can break Martin O’Neill’s side down, a potential quarter-final with England awaits. You get the impression that France were just going through the motions in the group stages, and, if Didier Deschamps can find the right starting XI, Payet and co will be firing on all cylinders as we go deeper into the tournament.
FiT Value: £6.7m
Euro 2016 points: 21
Germany have failed to recapture the form of their World Cup-winning campaign thus far, finding the net just three times in Group C. They did, however, control all three of their games, managing a tournament-high 65% of possession and, with Bayern duo Boateng and Manuel Neuer in top form, are yet to concede a goal.
Boateng’s Fantasy iTeam points tally is the joint-second highest among defenders (only Fabian Schar, the goalscoring Switzerland defender has more points) and, with Germany set to reap revenge on Slovakia for a pre-tournament friendly drubbing in the last 16, expect Germany’s run of clean sheets to continue. Boateng is a must if you’re looking to offload a player whose side has leaked goals, such as Pepe of Portugal.
FiT Value: £8.1m
Euro 2016 points: 16
It hasn’t exactly been a classic Euro 2016 for strikers, with big hitters Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller failing to find the net in the group stages. Everton striker Lukaku looked lethargic in the defeat to Italy, but burst into life with a well-taken brace against Ireland, and will be looking to add more to his tally against a defensively suspect Hungary in the last 16.
With 59 shots, Belgium have had the third-most attempts of any team in the tournament and, despite coming second in the Group of Death, have an easier path to the final than their Italian conquerors, with Wales and Croatia or Portugal likely opponents if Marc Wilmots’ men can put a run together. If they’re to do so, Lukaku’s goals will be key.
Remember: the maximum amount of players you can have per country in your Fantasy iTeam now increases from three to four, so if you’re backing France, Germany or Belgium – all of whom have winnable last 16 ties – make sure you stock up before Saturday afternoon!
This post was written by Fantasy iTeam