If you didn’t use your limitless in MD-2, then there’s a good chance you’re using it now. Plus, some of you are already using your wildcard chips to make the most of the group stage. These picks should be expansive enough to cover both strategies.
If you’re coming off a limitless chip, then you have your MD-1 geared-for-MD-3 squad staring you in the face, and you have two free transfers to deal with any holes that have been created by injuries or unexpected non-starters. Hopefully, you can find something here to fit your budget, but feel free to ask for assistance in the comments if you’re in a pinch.
You can also refer to David’s MD-3 Rate My Team article for player-pick ideas as well.
Match-ups (the good, the bad, and the ugly)
Switzerland needs both points and goal-difference against Group A punching bag Turkey.
Likewise, Germany needs both points and goal-difference against group-of-death minnows Hungary, though those minnows just bit favorite France (so much for pundits and paper — That’s why they play the game).
Ukraine and Austria both score goals and concede them, so their match could be fun to watch unless you bought their defenders for your fantasy side. Attackers however could rack up more points.
Italy, Belgium, and The Netherlands are through, so some stars may get rest. At least we get to see the Italian lineup before the deadline, and the Netherlands face the Macedonia minnows.
Russia may be ahead of Denmark on points, but they have the same goal-differential. So if the Danes can claim victory, they could send Russia bottom of group B. With an extra goal, they could even nick 2nd after a Finnish loss to Belgium.
Portugal squares off against France in a group-of-death cage match on the last day of the group stage. The winner could win the group, but the loser could roll all of the way down to third and then face another group’s top team. So expect all of the healthy stars to feature, but the going could be tough for all of them. Will CR7 go big in a big game?
Out of the 24 teams, only 16 advance to the knockout stage. The top two from each group will progress automatically, while the remaining four spots go to the four best of the six teams in third-place. With only three games played by each team, the points tally on the bubble is always going to be close. This means that there will almost always be some tiebreakers needed, which drives many teams to play more intense matches, though there will still be squad rotations among others who can coast into the next round. Don’t worry, NMA is here to help you!
According to official UEFA guidelines, ties within the group are broken using the following priority list:
- Head-to-Head points earned just among the tied teams
- Goal difference in matches among the tied teams
- Goals scored in matches among the tied teams
- Goal difference in all group matches
- Goals scored in all group matches
- Higher number of wins in all matches
To pick the 4 best third-placed qualifiers, this is the priority order:
- Goal difference
- Goals scored
- Number of wins
As a result, matches like Ukraine v Austria, Germany v Hungary, and Russia v Denmark could be potential goal fests, whereas teams like Italy and Belgium may take the air out of the ball because they just need to avoid defeat to top their respective groups.
With all that in mind, here are my picks adjusted for MD-3 match-ups and the risk of rotation on teams that are already through to the Round of 16. I just wish I could choose more than three players from one team, but I can’t, so I didn’t — but you might prefer a different three from your favorite team, so don’t hesitate to swap... please tell us in the comments whom you preferred. More analysis will be provided in the Pre-deadline Chat, so let’s dive right into the best picks for MD-3!
Note: We should see confirmed lineups for Italy, Wales, Switzerland & Turkey at 16:00 BST on Sunday, which gives a slight safety edge to players from those nations.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (€5.5m, Italy v Wales)
The Azzurri have now kept clean sheets in their last TEN matches, conceding only once since September 2020. Donnarumma hasn’t broken a sweat in the two Euro matches either. The stats of the young keeper speak from themselves.
Unai Simon (€5m, Slovakia v Spain)
Replacing De Gea speaks volumes about Luis Enrique’s confidence in Simon. Spain plays a possession game and have a decent defense. Scoring only 1 point in MD-1 (and yet to play in MD-2), Spain needs maximum points from one of its remaining matches.
Lukás Hradecky (€4.2m, Finland v Belgium)
It may not seem like a smart choice to field a keeper who’s up against Belgium, but hear me out: Belgium needs only a draw to finish top, so there is a chance of rotation and relaxation. Another interesting prospect, at this price range, is the number of saves Hradecky makes. So it is assured that he gets some extra points, and a nil-nil draw would be huge.
Fantasy fanatics are blessed that many wing-backs and even midfielders are listed as defenders in the game. This makes the choice of defenders a most interesting prospect!
Joakim Mæhle and Simon Kjær (€4.5m, Russia v Denmark)
Denmark is bottom of the group with 0 points, but that doesn’t do justice to the way the team plays. The Danes seamlessly switch between a back four and a back five, pushing Maehle up the left flank. Kjaer is the anchor of the Danish defense, and is also adept in the air. Both are nailed on starters, and a clean sheet is a high possibility.
Robin Gosens and Mats Hummels (€5m, Germany v Hungary)
The Germans have zero points as I write, and even if they take points off Portugal, they’ll need all the points they can get to make it out of the Group of Death. Gosens is another attacking wing-back, and Hummels is an aerial threat in the box who’d dearly love to atone for his OG in MD-1.
Stefan Lainer (€5.1m, Ukraine v Austria)
Not to be confused with his compatriot Konrad Laimer (CDM), Stefan Lainer is an attacking right-wing back. He has two goals and five assists in the last domestic season. Most of Austria’s attacking support from outside the box comes from Lainer and Sabitzer, the former being the much more economical option.
Clean Sheet Potential
Leonardo Spinazzola (€5.5m, Italy v Wales)
Spinazzola has a proven attacking track record and is part of the strongest defense in the tournament. Just make sure to check the lineups before you choose him.
Nico Elvedi (€4.5m, Switzerland v Turkey)
He’s the cheapest way into a disciplined Swiss defense.
Pau Torres (€4.5m, Slovakia v Spain)
The Europa League winner partners Laporte in the heart of Spanish defense and is also a good aerial presence.
Jason Denayer (€4.5m, Finland v Belgium)
Another budget option into a group topping side, Denayer denies goals.
Kieran Trippier (€5m, Czech Republic v England)
The La Liga winner is a right-back who shares England’s set-piece duties with Mason Mount.
With 14 and 15 points in a match respectively, you would want to keep Denzel Dumfries (€5.5m, Netherlands v North Macedonia) or Thomas Meunier (€5.6m, Finland v Belgium) if you already have them. If you don't, you may want to pass (especially on Dumfries), because both of these teams have already secured a spot in the next round and may rotate.
Serge Gnabry (€9.5m, Germany vs Hungary)
The Bayern Munich wide man plays as a central striker for Germany, and he has good chemistry with his fellow forwards. With 78min per goal or assist (before the Euro campaign), he is clinical as well. Gnabry is likely to be instrumental in increasing the much-needed goal difference.
Kevin De Bruyne (€10.5m, Finland v Belgium)
In his first match since Rudiger gave him a black eye in the UCL final, the PFA player of the year notched a goal and assist in just one half. Roberto Martinez would like him to get some minutes under his belt, to make sure he’s at his peak in the knockout stages.
Jude Bellingham (€6m, Czech Republic v England)
The 17-year-old Golden Boy nominee possesses talent and maturity beyond his age. He might be unlikely to start, but if Southgate rotates England’s squad, then Bellingham might turn out to be a good differential. He has also scored quite a few long-range goals for Dortmund.
Ondrej Duda and Marek Hamšík (€6.5m and €8m, Slovakia v Spain)
The pair is the main attacking outlet for Slovakia, who might have a decent shot at qualifying for the next round. Duda is a number 9 classified as a midfielder in the game, and Hamsik is the top goalscorer for his nation.
Piotr Zieliński (€7m, Sweden v Poland)
Originally an attacking midfielder, Zielinski is deputizing as a striker for the injured Milik, partnering with Lewandowski. The latter drops in deep to build up play, increasing the likeliness of Zielinksi getting returns.
Domenico Berardi, Manuel Locatelli and Lorenzo Insigne (€6m, €5.5m, and €8.5m, Italy v Wales)
These Italian mids are all excellent fantasy picks but could be subject to rotation. Since we get to see Italy’s lineups before the deadline, you can have a look at the lineup before saving the transfers.
Andriy Yarmolenko (€8.5m, Ukraine v Austria)
In a winner-takes-second-spot game, Yarmelenko could have a massive say in proceedings. The Ukrainian captain, he is nailed on to start.
Georginio Wijnaldum (€8m, Netherlands v North Macedonia)
In a role that makes much better use of his attacking prowess compared to his club, the to-be-PSG man plays as a highly attack-minded midfielder. Though it is unlikely, Wijnaldum also may rotate with less experienced players. So don’t prioritize him if you don't have him already.
Kylian Mbappé (€12m, Portugal v France)
In a match-day where his fellow high-end strikers (10m+ options like Ronaldo, Kane, Lewandowski) face opposition who primarily sit back, Mbappe faces Portugal, who prefer to have the ball. This only opens up more opportunities for the speedster to unleash his sheer pace.
Thomas Müller (€9m, Germany v Hungary)
Having been called up after a 3-year hiatus from the national team, the ‘Raumdeuter’ brings loads of experience to the squad and links up with a Bayern-dominated side. He scored 11 goals and a league-topping 18 assists in the Bundesliga and will play as a false 9 for Germany. He is likely to be the focal point of any German attack.
Breel Embolo (€8m, Switzerland v Turkey)
Switzerland faces a leaky Turkish side, and if the Swiss win by a good margin, they are likely to be among the qualifying third-placed sides. The physical and pacy striker could just nick a goal against a zero-point side that doesn’t have much left to play for.
Ante Rebić (€7m, Croatia v Scotland)
The 2018 World Cup finalists have not been reaching their expectations so far. After their draw in MD-2, they have just one point so will need a win against Scotland, needing both the points and more goals. The AC Milan man scored 11 goals in an impressive campaign and is known for his long-range belters.
Goran Pandev (€6.5m, North Macedonia v Netherlands)
The 37-year-old is the top scorer and a living legend for North Macedonia. In fact, he is older than his country! With his team already the first to be eliminated from contention, he could play for fun and look to go out on a high.
This article includes many more than the usual number of player picks so that you can shop to fit your budget. It may also help if you intend on using a chip to maximize your score before the knockout stage. Remember, as the tournament progresses, the number of picks reduces, and so does your chance of leapfrogging your competition!
What’s your chip strategy in Euro 2020 MD-3?
This poll is closed
I played limitless in MD-2, but I’m saving my wildcard for later
I played limitless in MD-2, and now I’m playing my wildcard
I’m playing limitless now for MD-3, and I’m saving my wildcard for later
I’m doing something else (please tell in comments)
So who’s on your shopping list? Did you add any from my picks above? And did I miss a sitter, so to speak? Where do you see maximum reward? Where do you see risk? Please share your thoughts and feel free to ask questions in the comments!