Euro Cup Football Sports

W Fansports: Matchday 1 captain

With the opening round of EURO 2020 fixtures spread across five days, Fantasy managers have plenty of opportunity to maximise their captaincy returns.

Fantasy managers will have opportunities to pick a captain on Matchday 1, and score double points in the process, so selecting a squad with a marquee player from each gameday is a worthwhile strategy when creating your initial 15-man party.

Here are five options with appealing armband potential on Matchday 1.

FRIDAY 11 JUNE

Ciro Immobile (€9.0m) vs Turkey
The first match of any tournament is always an exciting occasion and Fantasy managers will want at least one captain option on Friday as Italy take on Turkey. Immobile is therefore worthy of consideration, with the 31-year-old expected to lead the line for the Azzurri after another strong campaign at Serie A side Lazio. Over the course of the past two seasons, Immobile has scored 64 goals at club level and if he can replicate that form at EURO 2020, then those Fantasy managers who jump on him early will profit. The striker both scored and provided an assist in Italy’s final warm-up friendly against Czech Republic, turning in a performance that has only increased his Fantasy appeal ahead of Matchday 1.

SATURDAY 12 JUNE

Romelu Lukaku (€11.5m) vs Russia
Next up is one of the most highly owned players ahead of Matchday 1 with Internazionale forward Lukaku set to spearhead a hugely talented Belgium side. The potential absence of key creator Kevin De Bruyne may dissuade some Fantasy managers from opting for Lukaku from the outset, but that could be a big mistake when factoring in his strike rate in national colours. Aside from being his country’s all-time leading goalscorer, Lukaku has either scored or assisted in 13 of his last 14 competitive fixtures at international level and he looks well capable of repaying the faith shown in him by Fantasy managers.

SUNDAY 13 JUNE 

Memphis Depay (€8.5m) vs Ukraine
While Harry Kane will no doubt be a popular captain choice on Sunday when England get their EURO 2020 campaign under way, this is one occasion where it could be worth going against the masses, with the in-form Depay representing an equally appealing option for the Fantasy armband. Having ended his season at Lyon with seven goals in eight games in all competitions, the forward has looked sharp in the Netherlands’ warm-up friendlies and has scored five goals in his last three appearances for his national side.

MONDAY 14 JUNE

Robert Lewandowski (€9.0m) vs Slovakia
With such fierce competition for a spot in Fantasy forward lines, Lewandowski is just the fifth-most selected striker at present, a touch surprising given the Bayern man scored more goals in 2020/21 than any other striker featuring at EURO 2020. It’s not just at club level that he has excelled, though – as 66 goals for Poland can attest to – and there is no doubt that he will be the main man for Paulo Sousa’s side in Group E. Rising Spanish star Ferran Torres is also likely to be a highly popular pick for captain on Monday, but Lewandowski is arguably a safer pair of hands given his years of consistency at the top level.Volume 0% Watch all Cristiano Ronaldo’s EURO goals

TUESDAY 15 JUNE

Cristiano Ronaldo (€10.0m) vs Hungary
If you’ve got all the way to Tuesday and are still not satisfied with your captain returns on previous days, then Ronaldo isn’t a bad candidate to turn to at the last. Among his numerous personal accolades, the Portuguese superstar is level with Michel Platini on nine goals as the joint highest scorer in EURO history, while he is only the second player in the men’s game to have scored more than 100 international goals. The defending champions have been given an incredibly tough group at EURO 2020, but their opener against Hungary will be seen as a must-win encounter, and with the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva feeding him, Ronaldo could be the man to save your Matchday 1 if it comes to it.

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