Euro 2016 Fantasy Guru: Tips & tricks to pick your Fantasy team - the quarter-final crisis
Last time around, I suggested that users take players from teams I expected to qualify for the quarter-finals and of those teams only Croatia and England didn't make it. So if you followed my instructions properly, then you will be able to make the required transfers using the four free transfers at your disposal for this round. If you don’t, then go ahead and use your wildcard.
The quarter-final round poses a dilemma as it is very difficult to judge which team will qualify for the next round.
Which teams are likely to go through?
It is important that you understand which teams are likely to go through so that you can pick players from those teams. This is because users are allowed only 6 transfers in the semi-final round and we need to use them wisely.
The first game in this round is between Poland and Portugal. Poland have been exceptional when it comes to defending and have conceded just one goal in the four games they played so far. The only goal they conceded was a wonder goal from Xherdan Shaqiri. They managed to hold Germany to a goalless draw in the group stage and if their defensive record is anything to go by, then this lackluster Portugal side will struggle to break them down. However, at the other end of the pitch Poland have scored just three goals so far in comparison to Portugal's five.
The second fixture between Wales and Belgium is an interesting one as these two teams qualified for Euro 2016 from the same qualifying group. During the qualifying phase, Wales defeated Belgium in one game and held them to a goalless draw in the other. The only goal in these two games was scored by none other than Gareth Bale. Despite this, it is hard to say who will go through but I would place by bet on Belgium considering they've picked up their form after the initial defeat to Italy and their captain, Eden Hazard, has finally hit top gear.
The third game in this round is the most difficult one to predict. Italy have an incredible record against Germany in international tournaments and their defence has been simply remarkable. Even though Germany steamrolled Slovakia, Italy will be a tough game for the World Champions or any team to be very honest. So I would suggest that users don't take more than 2 players each from these sides.
Hosts France take on the underdogs Iceland in the last game of this round. Although France have been in good form so far, Iceland have proved to be a tricky customer for all teams. However, France will be tougher than any team Iceland have faced so far and I fully expect the hosts to go through.
Whom to pick?
If you took my advice earlier then you will have Lloris and Neuer as your keepers now. If that's the case then you have saved your transfers. If that's not the case then please pick only one of Lloris or Neuer because if Germany and France go through to the next round, then they play each other. Your other keeper should come from one of Poland, Portugal, Wales and Belgium as these teams won't go against one of Italy, France, Germany or Iceland before the final. I've picked Courtois of Belgium and Lloris of France as my keepers for this round.
From this round onwards it will be difficult not to select a goalkeeper and defender from the same team. I have Lloris and Courtois as my keepers and I also have Meunier and Sagna among my defenders.
Meunier of Belgium is a sure starter, a full-back from a team that I expect to go to the next round and to top it all - he costs just €4.5m. Also, like in the previous round, I would suggest sticking with Giaccherini as he is listed as a defender and plays in midfield for Italy.
In addition to these players, I would recommend a defender from France, a defender from Poland and a defender from Germany. My picks are Bacary Sagna, Lukasz Piszczek and Jonas Hector respectively.
The advice I give for midfielders is becoming redundant now. Go for attacking midfielders and wingers. I've had Payet from the first matchday and I still have him. In addition, it would be wise to pick one of Eden Hazard or Kevin De Bruyne as they are both in fine form.
The wildcard pick for this round is Germany's Julian Draxler. The youngster has cemented his place in the starting lineup and costs just €6.5m. Other players users can go for are Jakub Blaszczykowski, Mesut Ozil and Toni Kroos.
It's becoming increasingly difficult to pick forwards as no player has performed consistently so far. I still have both Ronaldo and Bale in my team but I have no hope that they will do any wonders but I still hope I'm proved wrong.
Olivier Giroud is a sure starter for France and so is Antoine Griezmann, so it would be a good idea to pick one of them. Other than these players, Romelu Lukaku, Graziano Pelle and Thomas Muller are the players I would recommend.