Expert explains how to navigate the French players


France celebrate

Euro Fantasy: France

The French national team arguably the favourites to lift this summer’s European Championship title.

Off the back of a World Cup victory in which they dominated the competition and were comfortable victors in the final against Croatia, their squad has only improved and been added to with not just young talent but a former talisman in Karim Benzema.

Therefore when it comes to picking who you want to include in your fantasy football team for the tournament it is important that you make the right choices.

The game this summer features some differences from the EPL version, all of which you can find out here.

At 101 we have done the work so you don’t have to, speaking with the experts of nations to give you the inside lane on the choices you should make.

Kylian Mbappe vs Peru

YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA – JUNE 21: Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates with teammate Antoine Griezmann after scoring his team’s first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group C match between France and Peru at Ekaterinburg Arena on June 21, 2018 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Expert insight

101 spoke with French football expert Jeremy Smith about which players should be considering for their Fantasy teams from France.

Defence

For a side who are the current world champions, many may feel some defensive picks could work to their favour. However, Smith believes there are some key figures you should probably be mindful of.

“In terms of defence, I’d steer clear of Lloris and Kimpembe. Although France could well keep clean sheets, Lloris doesn’t save penalties – so no extra points likely there. And, in my opinion, Kimpembe is France’s weak link and often feels not too far from conceding a penalty or getting a red card,” he said.

“Varane has got a reasonable goalscoring record for France – not spectacular but he can pop up with the odd goal, is genuinely clean so doesn’t attract too many cards and obviously is part of what should be a relatively mean defence. So probably worth a punt.”

Hugo Lloris lifts the World Cup

Hugo Lloris after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

Also, important to point out the impressive form of Mike Maignan and Steve Mandanda guarantees nothing in regards to starts for Lloris.

Attack

France sports one of the most fearsome front lines in the whole tournament and choosing who is going to start can be tricky.

“In terms of the attacking side, obviously Benzema’s recall throws quite a few things in the air and it’s no longer obvious who will have what role. But Antoine Griezmann has been the man who makes things tick for France for a while now,” Smith said.

“He scores important goals, he is the set piece taker so should hopefully notch a few assists too and he has been France’s penalty-taker. However… his recent penalty record is poor so, assuming he continues with those duties, there is an outside chance of dropping points there.

“It is obviously hard to look past Mbappe as another strong candidate. This has been the best season of his career in terms of goals (42 in all comps), he has carried PSG at times and scored important goals. As long as he isn’t too tired he should be expected to maintain his goalscoring form. And of course his speed puts the fear of god into defenders, so he could win the odd penalty.”

Bonus points

As this Fantasy is different, some types of goals earn additional points. Smith feels there is only one man to take a guess at for who might pop up with a couple screamers.

“If you want someone for long shots, the obvious man is Pogba. Perhaps he doesn’t score as many as he should for France but when he does, it’s usually a long-range effort. He seems to raise his game for France so could come up with the odd assist too,” said Smith.

Paul Pogba

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – JULY 10: Paul Pogba of France celebrates following his sides victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between Belgium and France at Saint Petersburg Stadium on July 10, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Unknown variable

Asking about a possible surprise, Smith felt there was only one man to talk about.

“The big unknown is Benzema. How he fits into the team. Where he fits into the team. Whether he has time to gel with his teammates. But assuming he can, he can of course do it all – it would be a calculated risk to include him from the start,” he said.

“Although if he matches his previous France form, it is in the groups stages that he does his best work before disappearing when the chips are down. That was a long time ago and he and France have changed.”

Euro Fantasy Football: Expert tells 101 how to navigate the French national team

SALVADOR, BRAZIL – JUNE 20: Karim Benzema of France (2nd L) celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal with Olivier Giroud during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group E match between Switzerland and France at Arena Fonte Nova on June 20, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

With this insight, hopefully you can be more educated when it comes to making your Fantasy picks.

101 will have you covered with plenty of Euro 2020 content across the tournament so stay tuned!

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