Euro 2012: Pick Your Perfect Fantasy Football Team

By Chris Wright

If you, like us, are planning to have a stab at a Fantasy Football game o’er the course of Euro 2012, feel free to have a butcher’s at our tips for a winning XI (price permitting of course!)…

Goalkeeper

Manuel Neuer (Germany): Likely to be slightly cheaper than Casillas, Buffon et al despite being just as reliable. Fantastic shot-stopper and a dab hand where penalties are concerned too – whether required to claw them away or slot them effortlessly into the bottom corner.

Defenders

Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Ukraine): Promising young right-back who is ear-marked for bigger things after the tournament and who definitely isn’t shy about letting fly from distance. Rakitskiy might have a goal or an assist in him – which is always a good trait to have as a defender in fantasy football terms – without being a bank-breaker.

Jordi Alba (Spain): It’s worth cramming your defence with flying full-backs as they’re always liable to reap a few ‘bonus’ points from mucking in up the other end. Alba has taken over from Joan Capdevila at left-back for Spain and is blisteringly quick when darting up and down the flank.

Michael Kadlec (Czech Republic): Not the prettiest peach in the punnet but the Bayer Leverkusen left-back scored four goals en route to Euro 2012. Yes, three of them were penalties, but he was still the Rep’s top scorer in qualifying. Just sayin’.

Midfielders

Franck Ribery (France): Ribery is flush with form coming into the tournament and, even more surprisingly, it looks like the rest of the France squad aren’t consumed with the fervent desire to tear his heart from his chest with their bare hands…yet. He’s likely to play off Benzema up top (the pair’s interchange for Ribery’s goal against Estonia was a thing of true beauty) and we all know just how slinky and devious he can be in and around the area on his day.

Ibrahim Afellay (Holland): Likely to save you a couple of million for use elsewhere, there is a gathering swell of anticipation over Afellay this summer – with people (including Pies) excited to see the Barca reserves’ best player stretch his legs on the international stage. Adept on either flank or through the middle, his talent isn’t in question – however, his inclusion in Bert van Marwijk’s first XI is.

Mesut Ozil (Germany): Crafty, skillful, direct, intricate, at ease in front of goal; Ozil will be Germany’s main man moving forward at Euro 2012. There’s a fair wodge of pressure on him to perform but let’s be real, the guy’s day job is playing for Real Madrid so it’s unlikely to be a huge factor.

Ashley Young (England): If England are going to produce anything through open play, it’s fairly obviously going to come through Young. If, as the last decade would lead us to deduce, they are to rely solely on set pieces to create opportunities, then it’s more than likely going to be Young providing the assist.

Forwards

Robert Lewandowski (Poland): Cristiano Ronaldo will probably be included in 99.9% of fantasy football sides, but he’s always liable to no-show at international tournaments – becoming increasingly frustrated, stroppy and flaccid as the games pass by, perhaps rattling in a sole freekick from 50-yards. With Poland’s group in mind, Dortmund’s 30-goal hero possibly represents a better (and cheaper) bet for goals.

Mario Gomez (Germany): An utter donkey he may be, but Gomez also manages to be an utter donkey who’s somehow still good for 40-odd goals a season. Let’s face it; if he plays, he usually grabs a goal. However, he won’t come cheap and if you’re struggling budget-wise at this point, it’s perhaps worth noting that Miroslav Klose started most of Germany’s qualifying games and always does the bulk of his best work at major tournaments – even if he’s likely to be coming off the bench in Polkraine.

Karim Benzema (France): France’s Euro 2012 could go one of two ways: First, they could disintegrate before the first game in a maelstrom of pissy posturing – or – they could be absolutely scintillating. Assuming we’re treated to the latter, it’s a fair bet that an on-song Benzema will be applying most of the finishing touches. Benzema a smidge too rich for your pennies? Might be worth giving Klaas-Jan Huntelaar the once over then.

Agree/disagree with our picks? Fancy having a shot of your own? Go on then, we bloody well dare you (we’ve gone with a dynamic 3-4-3, but feel free to vary the formation)…

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Posted in Euro 2012, Featured, International football, Top 10s & lists

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41 Comments

  1. At says:

    Ribery is French not German

  2. Davy says:

    Chris….Ribery is French, he plays in Germany but he French dude

  3. Chris says:

    Farking jesus. It’s all going to plop this week! Far too much Bank Holiday happy juice has been imbibed. Duly amended.

  4. Harsh says:

    What site are you guys playing on?

  5. hug me says:

    I’m going for:
    Neuer

    Cole Hummels Papadopolous Kadlec
    Ribery Affelay McGeady

    Young
    Van Persie Benzema

    All of which comes to a rather tasty 74.9 million out of a potential 75 million in the Sky Sports fantasy league.

  6. Nuno says:

    Although Neuer is a great Keeper, I went for Casillas in my Fantasy Team. Germany are playing Holland, Portugal and Denmark. Spain is playing Italy, Croatia and Ireland. Although Germany is favourite in the group, I still believe they’ll suffer a couple goals.
    I don’t have Gomez either, can’t like the man and he’s too expensive – got van Persie instead – but otherwise, some very interesting choices in there
    @Harsh
    There’s a Fantasy Football in UEFA’s site, there’s where I’m playing (although there might be some other sites as Chris’ team wouldn’t fit there, as there’s a 2 player per national team limit)

  7. bear says:

    If you create a pies league over on the UEFA site, I’d certainly join it!

  8. Foran44 says:

    Me too

  9. Harsh says:

    I’ve made a league on UEFA site. Lemme know if you guys need any invites.@Nuno: Yeah im playing there too. The 2 player limit is absolutely ridiculous.

  10. […] back into his creative midfield role and looks set to provide Russia with the creative spark needed.Euro 2012: Pick Your Perfect Fantasy Football TeamWho Ate All The Piesall 7 news […]

  11. Wolf Haley says:

    I’ve got a team on the UEFA site too, send on over a league invite code so we can all join!

  12. Nuno says:

    @Harsh
    Never mind, I prefer being last place in my own league.
    BTW, here’s my budget restricted choices:

    Casillas (Cech in the bench to perhaps play first round)
    Zhirkov M. Olsson J. Boateng
    Shirokov Sneijder Ozil Rosicky
    Van Persie Lewandowski Elmander

  13. Marco Boogers says:

    It’s Afellay, not Affelay. A common mistake, even in Holland.

  14. JJ says:

    Afellay? Has the guy even managed a game this year?

  15. ElChumpo says:

    The UEFA one is a shocking experience from beginning to end.. still..

    Gk: Szczęsny & Chech (both of which teams should go straight through)

    Def: Corluka Alba Papadouloulys & Rakitskiy (via the Pies) :P

    Mid: Xavi + Mesut ‘in 99% of teams’ Otzil + Duff

    Att: Podolski (when has he not been involved in a goal?) + Benzema + Lewandowski

    prediction: home before groupe stage is over

  16. Sjakie Meulemans says:

    @ JJ: Just wait and see….

  17. Pippo says:

    what about Philipp Lahm? always pretty damn strong. always!

  18. mareantheone says:

    i’m playing on the uefa site with this line-up:

    Akinfeev
    Piszczek Torossidis K. Papadopoulos M. Kadlec (C)

    Błaszczykowski Rosický Sneijder

    Ibrahimović Rommedahl Robben

    sub Casillas Srna Källström Rami

    just a note: the uefa game is like it was in the champions league, as in if the player that played in the first day scores low you can sub him with one from the bench. that’s why casillias is on the bench.

    i think maybe you should all take a second look at adil rami from france. he scored plenty in the europa league and he’s a center back. +there is a point given for each 5 clearences a player makes. so if you plan on playing on the uefa site, you might want to take a second look at your defenders :P

    also, pies, maybe start a league there? a head2head one too.

  19. mareantheone says:

    and you guys might like this http://twatball.co.uk/

  20. bear says:

    @mareantheone thanks for the Rami tip.

    Just waiting for the code to the pies team, so I can enter ;)

  21. Fat Nakago says:

    I’m playing on UEFA.

    This is my starting lineup for Gameday 1.

    Stecklenberg
    Zhirkov-Sergio Ramos-Torossidis
    McGeady-Rosicky-Schweinsteiger-S.Larsson
    Jelavic-Imbrahimovic-Gomez

    Subs: Alba-Ward-Eriksen

    Subject to change, of course.

  22. Joe says:

    Can’t believe nobody’s picked Huntelaar-he was the top scorer in qualifying by a mile. Once Van Marwijk finally sees how frankly terrible Van Persie is in orange, he’ll come in and get the golden boot.

    GK: Akinfeev (poor group)

    DF:Alba-V/d Wiel-Rakitskiy
    MF: Dzagoev-Ozil-Xavi-Andrews (For budgetary reasons)
    FW: Huntelaar-Klose-Jelavic

  23. Jack says:

    Akinfeev

    Kadlec, Pique, Ramos, Anyukov

    Ozil, Blaszczykowski, Dzagoev

    Young, Benzema, Lewandowski

  24. Mr Sensible says:

    Akinfeev
    Maggio Lahm Alba
    Young Gotze Ribery Strootman
    Kerzhakov Benzema Torres

    I’ve gone for a few risks, mainly that Torres won’t be shit which with the service he’s gonna be getting should virtually be impossible.

  25. Demon says:

    I. Casillas

    A. Cole F. Coentrao I. Abate

    S. Larsson A. Iniesta T. Rosicky F. Ribery

    K. Benzema A. Kerzhakov A. Robben

  26. Rashaad says:

    I’m playing on Uefa too. Anybody here started a private league on that site? Definitely would join :) My team (picked based on game consideration):
    Casillas – Piszczek, Rami, Badstuber, Zhirkov – Ozil, Sneijder, Afellay, Busquets – Lewandowski, Benzema.

  27. Dom says:

    My Uefa team:

    GK: Hart
    DEF: Agger, Vlaar, A. Berezutski
    MID: Afellay, Özil, Cazorla, Ribery
    ATT:Kerzhakov, Lewandowski (C), Benzema

    SUBS: Szczęsny,Elm, K. Papadopoulos, M. Olsson

    Based mainly on players that have performed well in friendlies prior to competition and in groups that will go far in.

  28. mareantheone says:

    since nothing has been said from anyone at pies i created a league for the users here. hope no one minds.
    174633-84684

  29. bear says:

    I’m in :)

  30. Rashaad says:

    Thanks, Marean. I’m in :D

  31. mareantheone says:

    i’ve asked pies on facebook to share the league code but they haven’t answered yet. too bad becouse in 3 hours or so the tournament starts.

  32. bear says:

    It would be great if they shared the code, either way the league is growing in size. Looking forward to it!

  33. frank says:

    Neuer
    Piszczeck Hummels Badstuber Lahm
    Schweini Khedira
    Reus Ozil Podolski
    Lewandowski

    simply a cocktail of borussia dortmund/poland and germany – this team could win anything, anywhere, anytime. Subs would be Gundogan for Khedira, Lars Bender for Schweini, Gotze for Ozil, Kuba for Reus, Klose for Lewy. Definitely wouldnt be affordable or legitimate in any fantasy league.

  34. laurence says:

    i picked these strikers before i came on this website lol

  35. tom says:

    hart

    richards lescott jagielka baines

    chamberlin gerrard downing

    walcott carroll welbeck

    ******************
    rooney *
    milner *
    henderson *
    ******************

  36. yankeedoodle says:

    3-4-3
    GK: Iker Casillas
    DEF: Pique, Chiellini, Ashley Cole
    MID: Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Ozil, Ribery
    FOR: C.Ronald, M.Gomez, Z.Ibrahimovic

  37. nick says:

    GK: Casillas
    DEF: Coentrao, Chiellini, Hummels, Alba
    MID: Gerrard, Pirlo, Schweinsteiger
    FOR: Cassano, Torres, Silva

  38. Toby says:

    GK : Casillas

    DEF : Ramos, Pique(C), Hummels, Alba

    MID : Xavi, Modrić, Iniesta

    FOR : Torres, Rooney, Fabregas

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