After a lively discussion on Twitter last night, I came to the conclusion that there are more likely to be goals than clean sheets at this stage of the tournament, so I made a made wholesale changes ahead of Matchday 1 with my budget of €100m.
In goal I retained Lloris for €6m, however I removed Yann Sommer for Rui Patricio based purely on the fact Sommer and Lloris plan on the same day most of the time throughout the group stage, so drafting in Patricio gives me an option if Lloris fails to keep a clean sheet.
I made the decision to change all five defenders so that I had a larger budget for my attack minded players. This time I spent just €26.5m on my defence which allowed to make improvements up the pitch. In defence I went for the experience of Barzagli from Italy as a cheaper option at €5.5m, despite the difficult game Italy face against Belgium. Instead of Boateng I selected Jonas Hector for €0.5m cheaper, which saves money while he will likely get the same points as Boateng with both playing in Germany’s defence. As a cheaper option to Pisczek I selected Aleksandar Dragovic for the same reason as Hector. Another couple of cheaper pickups were Omar Toprak and Chris Smalling who are both solid players and have games that they could certainly pick up clean sheets in.
Midfield is where I made the most improvements I believe,maintaining the firepower of Paul Pogba and Dele Alli, whilst also making some positive changes. The easiest decision with the extra money was to replace Mateo Kovacic with Luka Modric for €7m, as Kovacic is not a certain starter for his nation. I then replaced Granit Xhaka with Joao Moutinho who will hopefully link up nicely with Ronaldo to provide my squad with lots of points. Radja Nainggolan was the next to go, replaced by the more attack minded Calhanoglu who takes a mean free kick and seems to have gone under the radar for many fantasy players.
In attack I’ve maintained Ronaldo as captain for obvious reasons, and I also decided to retain Will Grigg so that I could make more improvements in my midfield. My final change was to replace Mario Mandzukic with Olivier Giroud who’s goals in France’s warm up matches set him up nicely to lead the line for the tournament favourites.
Remember you can join my league ‘Fake Madrid’ using the code 17731UUM if you think you can do better.