Euro 2016 tournament continues on Thursday with a full slate of games including a feature clash between the top teams in Group C as Germany plays Poland. It’s been a bizarre couple of days as Portugal couldn’t beat Iceland (tied 1-1), Russia lost to Slovakia (2-1) and France was flummoxed by Albania, needing a pair of late goals to eke out the win (2-0). We took the time to break down the three matchups and build what we feel is the perfect fantasy lineup. Here is a look at the optimal soccer fantasy lineup for Thursday’s DraftKings tournaments.
GK: Andre Pyatov, Ukraine
Pyatov did all that he could to keep Ukraine in its opening match with Germany, stopping six of the eight shots he faced in the 2-0 loss. He should have a much easier time when Ukraine takes on Northern Ireland in its second group match and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he shut the door with a clean sheet victory. Northern Ireland failed to score a single goal against Poland, so about the same should be expected in this spot. Pyatov is a safe choice for soccer fantasy.
D: Jerome Boateng, Germany
Boateng was extremely active at both sides of the pitch for Germany in its 2-0 win over Ukraine and we expect the same from him in an even more important match versus Poland. Germany needs a win to put a stranglehold on Group C and that should bring the best out of Boateng in Thursday’s match.
D: Yevhen Khacheridi, Ukraine
Khacheridi is a smart value play for Thursday based on Ukraine’s favorable matchup and his extremely low price tag. He doesn’t offer much offensive upside but he is a strong defender that could benefit from Ukraine’s ability to close the door on the attack of Northern Ireland.
M: Toni Kroos, Germany
Kroos was all over the pitch for Germany in their opening win when he recorded an assist and three shots. He should be just as active versus Poland as Germany relies even more on their midfield to support the attack and put pressure on the Polish defenders.
M: Julian Draxler, Germany
Draxler was also impressive in his Euro 2016 debut with three shots versus Ukraine. He is listed for around the same price as Kroos in soccer fantasy and should be a strong complement as we capitalize on a strong midfield in a game where they should be very active at the offensive end of the pitch. We’re expecting a clean sheet from Germany, so that should give bonuses all around.
F: Harry Kane, England
England absolutely dominated Russia only to concede a late goal and settle for a 1-1 draw, so it should be motivated for redemption versus Wales. The problem is that a leaky defense leaves a lot to be desired and it will force the attacking players to step up and lead the way. Kane didn’t have a shot on target versus Russia but he did fire three shots in the direction of the opposing goal and played the full 90 minutes in that game. He should be in a better position to contribute on Thursday and we expect big things from him as one of the most expensive forward options on the board. If Slovakia can get one in on Wales, then Kane and England could be good for two or three.
F: Gareth Bale, Wales
Bale broke through with his first goal of Euro tournament competition versus Slovakia in a 2-1 win to open the group stage and he should be just as active in a key matchup for Wales on Thursday. England’s defense showed some lapses versus Russia in its opener and we expect Bale to take advantage in what could be a high scoring second game for both teams. Both teams need to be aggressive here if they want to move on.
FLEX: Shkodran Mustafi, Germany
With under $4K left over to spend on our final FLEX position, it only makes sense to take a chance on a strong value play with high upside in Mustafi. The German defender played the full 90 minutes in the opening win over Ukraine and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he delivered another solid performance in a key matchup with Poland.
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