Euro 2024 Fantasy: Guehi ban + the Spain minutes issue

England and Spain became the next two nations to make it through to the European Championship quarter-finals with wins on Sunday.

We’ve got the key Euro 2024 Fantasy notes from both of the day’s last-16 ties here.

GUEHI SHINES AGAIN – BUT WILL MISS THE QUARTERS

Marc Guehi (€4.6m) is now the leading points scorer among defenders in Euro Fantasy.

We’re accustomed to his ball recoveries (he banked another three points from those on Sunday) but his flick-on for Jude Bellingham‘s (€9.5m) dramatic late leveller also gained him an assist, maintaining his average of 7.0 points per match at this summer’s tournament.

However, he’s now banned for Matchday 5.

An early yellow card against Slovakia, his second of the tournament, rules him out for the Switzerland game.

He’ll be back for the semis, should England progress that far, so some of his owners may opt to ‘bench’ – rather than sell – him should they be able to field a strong enough XI in the quarter-finals.

Having a non-playing member of a 15-man squad in Euro Fantasy is far less optimal than in FPL, of course, given the allowance of manual substitutes.

England might have a second defender unavailable, too, after Kieran Trippier (€6.0m) hobbled off. Further word is awaited on him.

That might pave the way for a Luke Shaw (€5.0m) start, provided he can prove his fitness over the next week.

“Yeah, I think that’s got a chance [to face Switzerland]. I mean, we could have put him on, but he has done so little full team training that would been a huge risk.

“A bit more training and a little bit more evidence for us of the level he is at would be helpful.” – Gareth Southgate on Luke Shaw

ENGLAND DIRE AGAIN

England’s extra-time win couldn’t mask another awful showing from the Three Lions.

Looking vulnerable to breaks at the back and, more frustratingly, utterly devoid of any attacking inspiration, it was only a moment of magic from Bellingham that spared the blushes.

He and match-winner Harry Kane (€11.0m) were among those serving up poor individual displays. Both were too static for the most part.

One major advantage they have as Fantasy picks is Southgate’s faith. Were they Spain attackers (more of which below), they may have been hauled off on the hour mark.

But the England boss has been reluctant to take them off early, let alone bench them. Only once, when Kane was subbed off against Denmark, has either player lasted less than 86 minutes in a match.

Here they both got 105 minutes, that manager’s trust allowing them to salvage late returns from dire displays. There’s a lot to be said for ‘xMins’ in Fantasy.

For all the impact of Ivan Toney (€6.5m), Eberechi Eze (€5.4m) and Cole Palmer (€7.4m) as substitutes on Sunday, you can bet your bottom dollar that Bellingham and Kane will be in the starting XI – and getting lots of minutes – next weekend.

The prevailing feeling after this match was not over which England players to bring in for Matchday 5, however. The Three Lions, without a single shot on target until Bellingham scored, look there for the taking by any above-average side. Switzerland, on this evidence, seem like the team to back in Euro Fantasy.

THE SPAIN GAME-TIME CONUNDRUM

In the blurb for this week’s Scout Picks, we wrote of our Spanish midfield double-up:

“The minutes are a slight concern… but the hope here is that plenty of damage has been done by the midway point of the second half.”

The risk paid off with Neco Williams (€7.0m) but emphatically did not with Pedri (€7.0m).

Unlike Southgate, Luis de la Fuente is very happy to call upon his squad during matches. It’s not just players being subbed off when the game is done and dusted but also alterations being made when the result is still in the balance.

Pedri, for instance, was removed when Spain had only just moved into a 2-1 lead against Georgia. Alvaro Morata (€8.5m) got the chop with the scoreline the same. The electric wingers, Lamine Yamal (€6.5m) and Williams, unexpectedly got the full 90 minutes against Georgia, having been subbed off in both previous starts.

Here is a game-time breakdown of the first-choice front six in the tournament so far, with Pedri and Morata the biggest losers:

Starts Subbed off Avg mins per start
Rodri 3 1 88.7
Ruiz 3 2 86.7
Pedri 3 3 60.7
Williams 3 2 78.3
Yamal 3 2 82.3
Morata 3 3 70.3

The minutes risk is offset by the devasting nature of the Spain attack. You really want to be part of it, as a Fantasy manager, especially when opposition like Georgia come calling.

Fabian Ruiz (€6.5m) and Yamal both had seven shots on Sunday, the former bundling in from the latter’s cross to put Spain in front for the first time. That was one of six chances that Yamal alone created.

Even Pedri, in his limited minutes, had two shots in the box and created four opportunities for others.

Rodri (€6.5m), a curious choice for Player of the Match, had struck La Roja’s leveller. Williams and sub Dani Olmo (€7.5m) added deserved gloss to the scoreline as Georgia wilted.

Germany won’t be quite so porous as the Georgians. But Denmark posed the hosts plenty of problems in the last 16, while let’s not forget that Spain utterly dominated Italy – racking up 20 shots – earlier in the tournament.

UNLUCKY CLEAN SHEET BUST

Spain have yet to concede a goal to an opposition player at this summer’s Euros.

The underdogs took the lead on Sunday night but it instead came courtesy of a Robin Le Normand (€4.5m) own-goal.

While Georgia were game on the counter-attack, they had as many shots from inside their own half (two) as they did Spain’s.

Le Normand, Aymeric Laporte (€5.0m) and Marc Cucurella (€4.5m) at least compensated with a combined seven ball recovery points.


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