There is just 24 hours until Euro 2020 gets underway and fantasy football squads, coupled with some pun-tastic team names, are having the final touches added as players around the country look to steal a march on family and friends.
We’ve already given your the lowdown on the ‘must-picks’, bargain buys and top tips for your defence and strikers, but no team would be complete without a midfielder – after all, it’s called the engine room for a reason.
Thank fully, we’ve put together a list of the key midfielders for every budget that we think will bring you points and, ultimately, bragging rights.
How do I play?
Easy. Head to the official Euro 2020 fantasy football site, pick and manage your own dream team for the tournament, and you’ll receive points based on your players' real-life performances throughout the tournament.
There are unlimited free transfers right up until the first game kicks off. Which is Turkey v Italy at 8pm on Friday 11 June and the deadline for all team picks.
What is my budget and how do I pick my squad?
To get started, you’ll need to pick a squad of 15 players, with a total budget of €100 million.
You can pick two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards then, on match day, you must pick a starting XI in any formation, from your squad of 15. When the competition reaches the knockout stages, your budget will increase to €105 million.
Which midfielders are a ‘must pick’ for your side?
Georginio Wijnaldum – Holland (€8m)
While he may not be the first name you think of as a ‘must pick’, the soon-to-be ex-Liverpool midfielder is still one of the best midfielders in the tournament and will pick up plenty points for you if he keeps up his recent form.
Despite being a midfielder, Wijnaldum was Holland’s top scorer in qualifying with eight goals, and is likely to grab you plenty of assist and goals points with him being the set-piece taker for the Dutch. He isn’t the cheapest of options, but with Holland the clear favourites in Group C, he’s definitely worth shelling out the big bucks on.
Jack Grealish – England (€7.5m)
The Aston Villa midfielder is the star of the show for the Three Lions currently. He is an assist machine, coming into Euro 2020 with 10 assists across just 26 Premier League matches. Quite simply, Grealish is England’s match winner.
While many felt boss Gareth Southgate may look to use the 25-year-old as more of an impact sub, his performances in the warm up games render him impossible to leave out and, after being handed the number seven shirt, he surely starts every game he’s available for.
Bruno Fernandes – Portugal (€10.5m)
Yes, he is the most expensive midfielder on the list but, as any Premier League fantasy football player will tell you, he’s worth every penny. The heir to Cristiano Ronaldo’s throne was a stand out performer in this week’s 4-0 Euro 2020 warm up win over Israel, scoring two superb strikes, and will be pivotal to Portugal hopes of grabbing a second European Championship trophy in a row.
While many will opt to plump for Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne as their Euro 2020 luxury purchase, Fernandes is the better value currently, with the Belgian midfielder doubtful for his sides opening games.
Serge Gnabry – Germany (€9.5m)
If there is one thing I’ve learnt about major tournaments in my lifetime, it’s this – never bet against the Germans.
They start in the group of death – alongside Portugal, France and Hungary – and may be in a transitional period, but you can bet Joachim Low’s side will still be there, or thereabouts, when the tournament moves into the latter stages.
Can they win it? Possibly. However, if they do, former Arsenal midfielder Gnarby will be front of centre of it. He notched an incredible eight goals in seven games during qualifying, and has close to 50 goals for his club side Bayern Munich over the past three seasons.
Who are our top tips and bargains?
Leon Goretzka – Germany (€6.5m)
He’s had an injury hit end to the campaign, but the Bayern Munich midfielder is still the second top goalscorer for Joachim Low’s side.
With seven goals in 31 games for the Bundesliga champions this season, the Bochum born player is one of the players to watch at the campaign, with the German media expecting him to recover in time for their game against France.
He’s a snip at €6.5m and is far better value than some other names on the list.
Tomáš Souček – Czech Republic (€6.5m)
Fresh off the back of a great season with West Ham United, the tall Czech star could be a surprise package at this year’s tournament after hitting double figures at the London Stadium last season.
The Czech side may no longer possess the quality of Pavel Nedved and Karol Porborsky, but there’s still enough there to say, on their day, this team could make the last 16. He’s got three goals in three games for the national side in recent qualifying games, so expect him to notch a couple at the Euros this year.
David Turnbull – Scotland (€5.5m)
A last minute addition to Steve Clarke’s side, it’s set up for the former Motherwell youngster to have a great tournament. Statistically, Turnbull was the most creative midfielder in the Scottish Premiership last term, with close to three key passes per game (almost double his nearest competitor) and was Scotland’s stand out player in the impressive 2-2 draw with Holland.
Worth a punt at that price.
Sebastian Larsson – Sweden (€6m)
It’s been quite a few years since the blonde bombshell departed English shores and, at 36-years of age, you’d be forgiven for swiping past him name on the list. However, Janne Andersson’s side are more than capable of qualifying from their group and will want to prove they are more than just Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer.
Despite his advancing years, Larsson is still a free kick expert, with the added benefit of being his side’s designated penalty taker.
A message from the Editor:
Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today.