DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: England v. Italy Showdown Preview

DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: England v. Italy Showdown Preview

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

For detailed stats and odds, check out the

DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: UEFA Euro 2020 Final 

Italy v. England Showdown Cheat Sheet

England and Italy haven't played each other since March 2018, so there's nothing to take away from prior matchups. Playing at Wembley, England are a slight favorite, which means these teams are considered fairly equal.

There wasn't a ton of trust in either team heading into the tournament, as Italy were thought to be a year away from having a chance at a major tourney, while England seem to always disappoint on the biggest stage. So far, Roberto Mancini has been everything the Italians needed and, despite loads of criticism, Gareth Southgate has gotten just enough from his players to get in this spot.

Similar to a lot of games at Euro 2020, this is expected to be a tight match without a lot of goals. England are favorites, but their implied goal total may not surpass 1.25 before kickoff. The odds point to a two-goal match with a 1-1 result and extra time the likely projection, though either team is just as likely to take it 1-0 or 2-0.

The Favorite

It's been an interesting tournament for Harry Kane ($10,600). He was unproductive in the group stage and only managed one shot on goal in three matches, never topping six fantasy points. As the competition picked up, so did his numbers, scoring a late bail-out goal against Germany and over the last two matches, he's had one of the higher floors on the team. In addition to three goals, he has three more shots on target, four chances created and five fouls drawn. In 120 minutes against Denmark, he had a double-digit floor.

Given those numbers, he's suddenly hard to fade in cash games because if he does the same against Italy, you'll likely need him to have a chance because he'll also be popular. He's in play for captain with the best odds to score by a decent margin. Raheem Sterling ($9,200) may be the one who stirs the drinks from the wing, but he's yet to hit 20 fantasy points in a game, something Kane has done in each of the last two. Sterling did a little bit of everything against Denmark and for much cheaper, so he makes more sense in cash games because he can get you a similar floor. 

Maybe the only other player who is a must if you're backing England is Mason Mount ($8,800), mainly because he's taking the majority of set pieces. He has a touch of upside, but maybe not as much as Kane or Sterling. Still, Mount had two shots, four chances created and a couple fouls drawn en route to the team's highest floor against Denmark (15.3 points). Since he's cheaper than the other two, there's a good chance he'll be the most popular cash captain.

Elsewhere, it's kind of iffy unless you want Bukayo Saka ($6,800) in GPPs. No matter who starts on that wing, he'll probably be subbed around the 70th minute, so it'll be hard to back them in cash games. Luke Shaw ($7,200) could be just as popular as Mount given his recent performances. I'm not completely sold on his floor, but if this match goes 120, he'll hit close to 10 points again and that's all you need. He's always in play for an assist, but if you take away the extra 30 minutes against Denmark, he probably would've finished closer to five fantasy points, as he took some sets once Mount went off.

Similar to prior games, the center-backs are better options than Kyle Walker ($4,200), who has about as much upside as Declan Rice ($3,600) and Kalvin Phillips ($3,400). There's always a chance those guys get a couple shots and create a chance, but if you can help it, they're better off avoided in cash games. Harry Maguire ($4,600) could be more popular than all of them after his recent goal and an 11.1-point floor against Denmark. John Stones ($3,800) doesn't get the same kind of attacking numbers, but he's a great pivot for GPPs.

If this match is as defensive as expected, going with a goalkeeper (either one) should be a viable strategy. Jordan Pickford ($6,400) isn't overly expensive and has allowed just one goal in the tournament. Even if he doesn't get the clean sheet, he could still make enough saves and get a win to reach a respectable total. There's a world in which Pickford finishes with more points than Kane even if the latter scores a goal. It's a weird world, but it's possible.

The Underdog

Lorenzo Insigne ($10,800) is the most expensive player and may not be as popular as prior contests because of price and that Italy are underdogs. The other part is that he was subbed in the 85th minute last game and only scored 3.2 points. That being said, he's still on the majority of sets for Italy and is the best cash option. It's also expected Italy will have more of the ball than they had against Spain, so there will be more opportunities for their attack because that's what happens when you have the ball more. England aren't the same kind of ball-dominant team as Spain and only controlled possession against Denmark because they were pushing a good portion of the match.

Still, it makes more sense to captain Mount in cash games because he's cheaper and has a similar floor for a favorite. Insigne could be a nice pivot for tournaments, as he'll be less popular, and he's also shown he can outproduce Ciro Immobile ($9,400) and Federico Chiesa ($8,000) if he's on his game. In the opposite mold of Kane, Immobile has done little the last three matches and was taken off in the 61st minute against Spain, something that's a worry again. Outside of the goal last match, Chiesa had about three fantasy points, so he doesn't have a guaranteed floor, though he's cheaper than the other two and arguably has similar upside. He'll again be popular if in the starting XI, but he unfortunately hasn't taken a set piece yet.

Unlike England, almost everyone is viable for Italy. Marco Verratti ($7,000) may be overlooked after his dud last match, but similar to Insigne, it's hard to see him putting in a repeat performance. Verratti could have a split role on sets and with more of the ball, his overall numbers should be better, similar to the Belgium game. Of course, he's also a lot more expensive than fellow midfielders Nicolo Barella ($5,400) and Jorginho ($4,000), neither of whom are bad options. Barella was the highest-scoring player against Belgium, while Jorginho is most likely to go a full 90. Jorginho doesn't have a ton of upside, but he's priced like a center-back.

Emerson Palmieri ($5,200) played well enough against Spain to get another start and I think more than 74 minutes is possible. Even in a tough matchup, he managed a shot and cross, and I think he should get up the field a little more against England. Giovanni Di Lorenzo ($5,000) seems more likely to go the entire way, but Italy have attacked more on the left flank almost the entire tournament. Giorgio Chiellini ($3,200) and Leonardo Bonucci ($3,000) are both older and a tad beat up, but they're cheap and get forward on set pieces. 

Similar to Pickford, Gianluigi Donnarumma ($6,000) has some value. Even though he's allowed a goal in each of the last three matches, he's managed to hit eight fantasy points in each. If you're taking an Italian approach, he makes sense in case they win 1-0 or 2-0. There isn't expected to be a ton of action in this match, so if you can get a winning goalkeeper, that may be enough.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Adam Zdroik plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: zdroik, DraftKings: rotozdroik, Yahoo: StreakMaster.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam, a 2019, 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's assistant soccer editor. He also runs RotoWire's Bracketology, as well as writes on other various college basketball content. He has previously worked at ESPN and Sporting Kansas City, and he is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.
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