25 November

Standard England – dominant against smaller sides, lost to the only side that mattered.

Not always a bad thing for FI. If that were to repeat then England could have a hard time in their opener vs Croatia but then be generating some very impressive points totals vs Czech Republic and Scotland, then potentially struggling in the knockouts from there.

Kane the obvious main man and whilst there were no goals his threat is massive. Could have walked away with 2-3 easily. 

I’ve been keen on him for a while and he’s been a fairly no brainer pick in this recent downturn when he could be had for £4 and under. Was always bouncing from there if the market turned. 

With him having improved for Spurs as per Scouting, and the added media appeal of the Euro’s plus those games… the current £5.28 to £5.50 I consider a very solid choice for a Core portfolio player. And I don’t expect there will be a better chance to pick him up than now.

Mount’s improvement at Chelsea as per Scouting is making it’s way to international level. Certainly versus Iceland, not so much vs Belgium it was a tougher game. But let’s keep in mind these are soft match days with only a few fixtures in the Euro’s and he is definitely capable of winning. As per scouting I like this pick now as the price drops at a time when he has improved for FI purposes.

The clamour for Grealish to be included has been heeded and he justified that with good performances even against Belgium. No goals but he’s a threat and can so easily win dividends in tournament football. 

He may even have a shot for Villa as per scouting. As per my reviews there I am much warmer to him recently since he crashed from £5+ and that risk of a big fall due to a collapsing transfer has now faded. 

We are now in the right part of the cycle to pick him up, £3.34 to £3.57 is a fair price and you can imagine a scenario where by say late Feb/March a big club transfer rumour plus Euro’s hype is combining to get him a very nice price indeed. And in the mean time a win at Villa isn’t impossible. I’m keen.

Sancho has improved recently for Dortmund as covered in Scouting – he has often been criticised for England performances. He was better vs Ireland, average when coming off the bench vs Belgium and Iceland.

Absolutely capable of wins at the Euro’s although there are better picks for a lot cheaper. I think England is a side issue with Sancho – it’s going to be all about the transfer. If you were picking him up the best time was a week or two ago at rock bottom £5-6. 

Now at £8.52 to £8.98… you can still probably juice more out of it but I’d be wary of holding too long if the price returns to anything like the previous high. Certainly whilst that risk of a big transfer collapse is still on the board. 

Foden fantastic versus Iceland, netting his first goals. I’d back him if on the pitch for sure – I’ve covered his high potential in scouting for years. 

Whether he will start for England is another matter. Overall, I think he’s one of the best young prospects around and if you want him then I don’t think you will get a better chance than right now at £4.25 to £4.51. 

A few months back at £8+ I was very, very wary of that as it’s just too much for a young player to deliver on. But with that near cut in half I’d say yes he’s a solid long term choice for that money.

Reece James was excellent – as he has been for Chelsea as covered in Scouting recently. He’s even on my explosion imminent list at time of writing. For England he does struggle as the right back slot is assumed to be TAA’s. Reece James is pushing him though he’s done really well.

Chilwell will be the most reliable defensive choice, he’s a similar level to James for club and country, more likely to start for England, and significantly cheaper. It’s well known I think he is a solid pick by now and currently on a £2.07 bid or thereabouts, strong value anywhere udner £2.50 I’d say.

Someone like Maguire, Mings, Keane, Dier. Maguire especially – these players have strong chances of winning at the tournament – arguably more so than the full backs. 

High baseline play is enough. It’s more likely a defender does NOT score on a limited fixture day – so I would be backing the high baseline CB’s to dominate the tournament in general, unless we have a full back on really red hot scoring/assisting form.

Maguire therefore could be a shrewd pickup in the midst of all his misery. £1.16 potentially on a bid. And he had big threat for England from corners – scoring vs Ireland. This is consistent, and he gets chances for United too.

For all the chat and internet memes about him being slow with the turning circle of a fridge… none of this matters on FI. He’s actually a decent FI CB if you can take advantage of that negativity and realise we are traders first and football fans second here… I like the pickup. Also one of the few defenders with some media potential.

Now we’re digging into fringe players and unlikely winners.

Declan Rice would probably be the least likely midfield/forward player to make a big impact. Yet, in tournament football a decent baseline can swing it. Bear in mind though it is a long way to the Euro’s and whilst it’s useful to factor it in – we generally need more than the tournament to warrant buying anytime soon. We need them to be relevant for the full season ahead, and that includes domestically.

If Rice was cheap closer to the tournament, maybe March… that might be a time to get him as a punt. Maybe.

Saka. Abraham. Calvert-Lewin. Maitland-Niles. Bellingham. None of them likely to figure seriously unless there are injuries. I would refer to normal Scouting here because the Euros is a limited factor for them unless something radical changes.

Obviously we haven’t mentioned Sterling or Rashford as they didn’t play this round. 

Sterling a nailed on starter surely. I think he’s a forgotten man at the moment and a great value pick up at £3.40 to £3.66. City may be out of form but the chances of him returning to fashion are high.

Rashford similar, he has bounced back a bit recently which may be due to school meals more than football but he still managed it – media counts! £4.41 or £4.80 is value. Will have to fight with Sancho for an England spot mind. 



15 October

A mixed report card for England, as always.

For all the time spent on FI talking about how great it is for a player to be “young and English”… when it comes down to it there aren’t that many genuinely great players who are going to actually win performance and get significant media for England related reasons.

And the very popularity makes it often really difficult to pick up genuine value.

Our big established 3 of Sterling, Kane and Rashford are reliable. None of them incredible but all capable of wins – particularly for England in tournament football when there is limited competition. And all can easily win media in the build up to and during a major tournament.

All 3 are probably as cheap right now as we are likely to see them. So if you want to carry a big hitting England star into Euro 2021… (or are we still calling it Euro 2020!?) I don’t think we will get a better chance to pick them up than now.

Grealish has to be the standout performer vs Wales, which is why him not seeing any further action is now a bone of contention.

He’s certainly done his case for inclusion in the Euro 2020 squad and even first 11 no harm at all. The public clamour for it will add pressure. 

Have to say… even though this was a good display to watch… he wasn’t much better performance wise for England than he was for Villa. If the match had been scored… he’s probably getting no more than 150 with the assist. And he didn’t have many chances himself. And it was a soft game.

It’s just good enough for midfield to expect an occasional win with a goal. But then… factoring in that competition at the Euros will be less as there will be fewer matches each day… you’d have to say yes, in an England shirt Grealish would be a capable winner.

Fact is though – the game wasn’t scored and most people will be unaware of that. The good performance will maintain optimism and if we see him start the next games mid-November he should get a bounce out of that.

Last review at £2.23 to £2.56 I called it undeniable value after the drop despite some weaknesses. Now optimism has resurged though and he finds himself at £3.52 to £3.95. 

That price looks very high now.. he’s got some potential but rarely at Villa. Could be held further but holders are really relying on further England appearances and a transfer rumour cropping up later.

Sancho‘s minutes were limited and what we saw of him was disappointing, again, in an England shirt. This does matter… if Sancho was to start in November and put in a great display it would likely cause a burst of optimism. 

If he’s average again will people question his place? It seems unlikely he won’t feature in the tournament itself though.

I think this is a trade you can overthink… despite the question marks remaining over his ability to deliver on anything like this kind of price tag… as long as that big EPL transfer looks on and he’s in and around the England squad I’d expect him to do ok in the build up to Summer.

Hype always dies in the end but a handful of players like Mbappé or Sancho have so much hype they can survive big barren spells – provided the reasons people say they are valuable remain far in the future and nobody has to prove anything.

I don’t think this is a great pick up for the money and better value is available. However, it’s a damn sight better than it was before this massive drop and if you are sure the EPL transfer will come… I think he’ll do fine from here.

Mount did well overall, and Wales was his best display. He only had 34 minutes but it showed he’s in contention when playing a full game versus a soft team. 

Overall… he looks a ton better after his drop and I no longer think holding is lunacy like I did 12 months ago. He’s had a couple of decent games recently.. vs WBA and Barnsley. He’s some way off the pace though when it comes to the tough midfield category. Better targets available in my view but not a tragic hold anymore.

TAA looked really poor, no where near his best numbers. However, I’d still expect him to be in contention if starting Euro’s games because competition is limited.

But overall, even after a long anticipated price dive from £10.50 to £7.33 – £7.51 I still cannot call this good value. It’s still at a very upper limit of rational value if you stretch… which is fine but so many other players are so obviously undervalued I can’t think of a good reason to park my money here. Maybe if I was planning on “setting and forgetting” my portfolio for 3 years. Which I’d never do.

Reece James was excellent versus Denmark – not just to watch but in his numbers too. Is he taking TAA’s spot though? Probably not. 

James is a solid pick and I think probably just about worth his money however I said Chilwell is likely as good or better a few weeks ago before he jumped in price from £2 to £2.61. 

I still think that is better value – and he’s more likely to fill the England left back spot too. I’d consider Chilwell the best pick at the back for England. And just a good pick in general.

Outside of this we’ve got a big supporting cast but nobody really special. 

Foden would come into it and if by November we thought he could become a starter… he is dropping in price recently so he’s looking more attractive. He is a premium price but whilst I felt £7+ was too rich… if you can pick him up for £5 to £5.50 now I think that’s very reasonable for a patient trader.

Greenwood maybe… he too is getting a big price drop. It’s a deserved one, in truth as per previous reviews in Scouting. I still think £7+ remains much too high.

It really is a difficult team to find value in. Ironically – it is the most obvious established 3 of Rashford/Kane/Sterling who escape the hype and therefore look the best value, along with Chilwell.


18 November

Good results for France, narrowly beating Portugal in an entertaining and competitive game. Then a relatively comfortable 4-2 victory over Sweden.

France will be in the same group as Portugal in the group of death with Germany. So it’s a confidence booster for France especially with that poor result for Germany.

Should go into the group as favourites.

Griezmann is always one to watch for France. He just looks a different player from what we see at Barcelona. 

I noted that in the 15 October review – it’s more of the same here. No goals but he had decent chances. 

A creative force that also works hard racking up recoveries/interceptions too etc. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t one of the best players at Euro 2020 and he’s a nailed on starter.

Were that prospect to combine with a transfer to another club (holders should hope for PSG) he could end up doing very well despite continued Barcelona struggles.

Martial had a game to regret, spurning clear cut chances versus Portugal. Really wasteful and it reduces confidence in him being the starting striker. Form is poor generally. 

The only positive I can think of is that he is dirt cheap at a £1.14 bid and for such a high profile EPL player if the market recovers he’d be one I’d expect not to last long at that sort of price. Even if he doesn’t do much more than bag a few goals.

Pogba is another who looks a different prospect for his country. Two really good games here. He did get one chance although that was it over both games. 

Could do well in tournament football where baselines alone can win it. 

I’ve been planting a red warning flag on this trade for over a year now and it’s just as well given the absolute car crash. These are the really bad losses to take in my opinion because you can see them coming a mile away.

But we may be reaching the point where if you can get some kind of £2.75 bid it might do ok. You’d need a big transfer to a great club where he ideally lands on penalty duties. Or to commit to United and reclaim penalties from Bruno. 

For the run up to Euro 2020 I’d expect him to be attractive too.

Excellent baselines though – huge involvement both going forward and defensively. 

Marcus Thuram of Gladbach made his full debut for France vs Portugal – did not waste the opportunity with a good performance. Unlucky to come off with a knee problem.

Managed an assist vs Sweden and he had a decent chance too. Overall numbers pretty poor as we expect from him. He’s no performance heavyweight but he does have that big transfer rumour factor – frequently linked to big EPL clubs and Barcelona and Juventus too. 

With the price dropping he’s a good pick up – the debut adds to his prestige and with the performances he should have at least done enough to make the squad.

Giroud reminded us what an underrated player he can be with two goals versus Sweden. Could have been a hatrick and the all round performance was solid. 

Should not be ruled out as a potentially great tournament punt. Especially with Martial so poor. We may need to know where he is headed after Chelsea though.

Coman was ok, didn’t really do anything special. It’s good to see him just rack up more and more minutes. I don’t doubt his ability but I don’t trust his injury record yet. Should start for France if he stays fit and he’s been over 6 weeks without an accident now. Bit better.

Rabiot solid enough but he does fit that “deep midfielder” archetype. Actually got a decent chance vs Portugal. Not a player I am generally keen on but in tournament football where baselines can win it he could be a good punt.

At the back the Bayern pairing Pavard and Lucas Hernandez did well. 

Pavard the more secure option as Digne and Hernandez will be fighting for that left back spot.

Pavard scores versus Portugal – had this been scored on FI this would have been a big total. Solid over both games. Good pick for Euro 2020 and in general. Been quiet lately for Bayern but should have his big days – as this quiet spell has caused a drop it makes him a good pickup. 

Hernandez decent too and created plenty of chances. I’ve been warming on him for Bayern. Now he’s challenging regularly for France too it’s only a bonus.

Comes with game time risk for both Bayern and France but when you can pay just 78p apparently that’s nothing to sweat on. Improving and elbowing his way onto teamsheets as a result.

Kimpembe played really well – if we’re looking for high baseline centre backs who can win at the tournament we won’t find many better. Really tidy passing and decent all round contribution. No threat but he may not need it. 

You could say much the same for Varane. Could be a decent tournament punt. Can’t see many reasons to trade him anytime soon though. 

Obviously we’re missing Mbappé who is a certain starter. Only made it on from the bench vs Sweden. Did manage an assist. 

He’s been another big red flashing risk for a while as I’ve covered many times in Scouting. Like many the price is collapsing and it’s bringing him into something like a sensible range. 

The problem holders have is this trade amounts to a huge bet on him signing for Liverpool. If he does not go to the EPL there is little chance of him justifying more than £4-5 and even that may be a struggle somewhere like Real Madrid.

I think it is a poor odds bet to carry trades like this for too long. If you are lucky to profit from that period of hype – cash it in before any bad news can hit. 

It is however reaching a point where if you could get 80%+ confident he was on his way to Liverpool and remained this kind of price it could look good. But it’s hard to be sure and these things can go down to the wire.

If trading him the best thing may be to try to get a bid of around £6.50 now and then if he naturally recovers when the market does (very likely) jump ship before the Summer transfer window gets close and anything can actually fall over. 

And do it sooner rather than later – probably more people will have learned the hard lesson from Sancho about not holding big transfers too long.


15 October

He may struggle for Barcelona but for France Griezmann is the man. 

France found it tougher versus Croatia so numbers were lower across the board in that game. But versus Ukraine and Portugal his numbers were elite level in the forward category.

He bagged 2 goals over the 3 games. 

In the right system he’s an FI powerhouse and for France at least, holders can expect him to do very well at the Euros. 

For Barcelona… it’s looking more difficult and he has not improved under Koeman the same way Coutinho has. Still, just £1.31 on a bid now and I think that’s a solid pickup at that price.

I certainly would not sell for that if holding… but I might have for now at £1.70 or so. This is what I was talking about yesterday – it’s hard to get out of difficult trades in 2020 and sometimes the answer is to tough it out if you can’t get a good sell price.

Griezmann could improve for Barcelona. And if he doesn’t… he likely ships out somewhere decent (PSG?) and he’d have the Euros as a backup reason to hold. 

Martial saw decent pitch time. Fairly average numbers but at the Euro we can expect less competition and he is the sort of player who would benefit. Can’t see a reason to rush to him though unless his form improves. 

His output was great in early/mid 2020 but it’s a 10 game goal drought now for club and country and it doesn’t even seem unlucky – he’s not getting many chances.

Mbappé was very strong here. As an FI prospect he currently sits in the “good but not good enough” category. Often close and hitting around the 200 mark but very often beaten by better scores.

For France in tournament football – he’ll definitely benefit from reduced competition and he could do really well over the tournament.

For PSG it’s much more hit and miss and whilst he is far from bad – you just need far, far better than this to be justifying a £10+ price tag.

I’m concerned for him long term because whilst we can expect a young player to improve – he’ll also likely go to a tougher league. PSG is about as flat a track as you’ll ever get. So I think it is a big stretch to assume he will improve enough to warrant the price.

And this is the killer with trades like this – even if he does improve that much – you only got reasonable value not great value.

He can still do well from here but it relies on the gamble of that EPL link coming off. If it’s Real Madrid? Almost no chance of justifying this money anytime soon. A tightrope. And yet… players that have this much hype tend to survive a lot so he might do ok. 

I’d probably be ok to hold for the next 2-3 months without too many nerves. But I’d be wary of any kind of crunch period where an EPL link could be taken off the table as that could really hurt.

Camavinga managed a goal but it was a soft match vs Ukraine and he got forward. Usually, he doesn’t. Really does look poorly suited to FI and the big price tag relies entirely on transfer hype. A gamble.

Aouar is edging his way in now. Looks decent and playing for France he’ll be a capable winner. 

A good pick up at that £2.01 bid or even up to the £2.45 blue button price. He can win for Lyon and possibly France if starting, and after the price drop amidst disappointment he didn’t move to the EPL – a trader can pick him up now and benefit from that transfer speculation coming around again later.

Tolisso played 2 games and looked really, really good. He’s always been a very high potential player, displaying very similar numbers to Thiago Alcantara.

One to watch for sure as if we see him get more regular Bayern minutes which we may with Thiago and Cuisance out of the way, he could be a surprise package. Except I won’t be surprised because I’ve known he was capable of big scores for years he just hasn’t had the opportunities.

I still expect him to deputise for Goretzka but it’s a packed season and rotation is going to happen.

Pogba looked good versus Portugal. Much more of a threat for France than he has recently for United. Long been on my list as a car crash waiting to happen… the car crash has happened so it makes it much better. 

Still… unconvinced. Maybe if the price keeps dropping he might make a good Euros punt unless we get nervous he’ll leave the EPL again.

At the back… Pavard solid, if unspectacular here. Well within range of wins though particularly for France in tournament football. Just a very solid addition to a portfolio for £1.82 to £2.01 – a good core pick.

I’d also be happy with Upamecano again at this stage. One of those rare CB’s who can win performance for both club and country just on baseline alone without needing a goal. Particularly on soft match days like tournament football.

He’s also got a very strong likelihood of big club transfer rumours coming around again, and he’s recently dipped in price. An all round good pick up with many reasons why you can win.


18 November

Narrow loss to France but they did beat Croatia which is a decent result.

That defeat to Spain for Germany probably improves optimism for Portugal. 

If Germany were in form Portugal would look like clear outsiders. They probably still are the most likely team to go out in the groups but it’s going to be tight.

I think the best strategy with this group is to pick players that have more than just one reason to hold them. We don’t really want to be punting heavily on players that we aren’t even sure will get through the group.

We want to be able to hold them for domestic reasons ideally with a Europa/CL knockout run as well as just Euro 2020. And ideally we want to be able to hold them into next season if we want to as well. 

Not that we will hold this long term in many cases – but stacking up those multiple reasons to hold a player is important.

Ronaldo quiet but not for lack of trying, had plenty of chances and had very competitive numbers. 

Could do really well in tournament football for FI. But it’s a tough group and he’s got problems – age and an uncertain future.

Outlandish rumours circling at the moment of a return to Manchester United. That would be huge. But what if that takes a turn and he goes somewhere random like the MLS or just retired? Or if he gets a really bad injury before then?

Probably not likely but you put yourself in a weak position when you gamble on these trades.

Could pay off though and he’ll be a star draw at Euro 2020 for sure.

Felix has been improving for Atletico as per scouting. 

He managed a goal here versus Croatia. Had good chances over both games but finishing let him down, he could have come out of the break with 2-3. 

Decent displays and good development in general. Seems a nailed on starter for Portugal now.

Could contend at the tournament and good displays would really showcase his abilities. He’s an easy player to sell when in form. 

Domestically we need to see him perform in tougher games, most of his best FI displays recently are against very soft opponents. 

£3.44 on a bid… he is one of the few to hang on to much of his price recently. That reflects a previous large drop and improving recent form – and that people are sticky on their wonderkids and reluctant to drop them.

So, you can’t say it’s a slam dunk bargain and there are better available. To get me interested I’d want a big transfer prospect at the end of this season and that feels too soon for Atletico to let him go.

Poor for Bernardo Silva. No major impact. He’s a player most have over estimated for a long time – but I was never convinced. Still aren’t even at close to £1. Better options out there for that money.

Bruno was ok – deeper than he is for United. Threat limited but in tournament football his baselines are probably high enough not to need a goal. 

He’d be getting slayed in the scoring for giveaway passes though – trying lots of risky stuff and it’s hit and miss. 

Did create a lot as a result so those key passes and assists will compensate for the minus points for giveaways.

Not as good for Portugal as he is for United on this evidence. Yet, more than good enough to win on soft tournament days – an assist would give him a good chance. 

Portugal involvement is just a bonus – if you are holding it’s for his media/performance appeal at United which remains intact.

Jota had a good game vs Croatia adding an assist plus getting 3 shots away, really should have scored at least 1. In great form and I’d definitely consider him a contender if he starts for Portugal. 

Not guaranteed a start, though. 

Remains to be seen whether he will be a super sub/rotation player for both club and country. He couldnt’ be doing more to make his case. 

This would be a tricky decision except with that bid dropping under £1.48 it’s hard to say that isn’t value. Maybe another one for that heavy run of EPL fixtures in late December.

Portugal have some attractive players at the back.

Both Cancelo and Guerreiro are very strong full backs that I would expect to do some damage. Both got forward versus France even though it was a tough game. Both very capable of chipping in with goals and assists. And have the baselines to make it count – not much different to their club form.

I’d be super keen on them for the Euros though that tough group does take the edge off. However they are solid holds for their clubs anyway so I don’t worry about this too much.

Another City youngster was arguably the star of the Croatia game though – Ruben Dias. He scored TWICE which is super unusual for both centrebacks in general and for Dias. 

He does get chances but we’re talking a goal every 10-12 best case unless he’s really lucky. 

What’s good about him though is his storng baselines which are very good for City and for Portugal too. In low fixture tournament football that can easily punch through.

And, City are one of the few clubs where CB’s can do enough to win on baseline alone even on competitive days. 

I like him and 73p is a great value pickup, or anything under £1 really.

22 October

Portugal are with France and Germany in what has to be the group of death. That’s going to somewhat dampen expectations for Portugal assets. 

Not that it’s impossible to see France or Germany getting dumped out by a Ronaldo inspired Portugal.

However – that doesn’t mean we should avoid them – I’d just stick to players who are good at their clubs too. And be a bit more wary of punts who are only good for the tournament.

Bruno Fernandes looks as good for Portugal as he does for Manchester United. He may be giving up penalties to Ronaldo but he’s got no problem getting chances from open play. 

He’d be worth having Euros or not but involvement is a bonus as it’s one more reason optimism will be maintained later into the season.

Speaking of Ronaldo he should still be one of the star draws of the tournament. And he can easily sweep performance and media.

It’s a valid punt that could well reward holders. The only reason I stay out is that at his age one really bad injury could absolutely smash the price.

If I may say… I admire the balls of the man who goes for this. But I feel it would just make me stress too much about Ronaldo news and possible injuries or retirement rumours. 

Felix is seeing plenty of minutes for Portugal. And he looks better for them than he does for Atletico – part of the reason I think Felix could improve at a more FI suitable club.

He could be a great player to have on side for the tournament however I think he would also need a credible transfer rumour for next Summer. 

If we think he’s going to have another season at Atletico next year then I think it’s a major buzzkill. And that’s more likely than not right now.

Bernardo Silva is a regular but looks particularly poor for Portugal. It took a while but traders have eventually figured out that he’s a weak FI player – something that was clear well over a year ago if you know what to look for. I don’t see that changing internationally. 

Renato Sanches is much more promising overall as covered over in Scouting. He’s in and out of the squad but if playing he could do some damage. 

I think he’s a solid hold anyway and any international involvement is a bonus. With Portugal in a tough group I wouldn’t be gunning for their assets too hard just for the Euros.

Guerreiro is as strong for Portugal as he is for Dortmund. Especially in a tournament format with limited games per day… he could do very well. 

Just another good reason to hold a strong player who remains at a very reasonable price because he hasn’t won in a while. But on his numbers I don’t think he’ll dodge the dividends for too long.

Cancelo will be in the reckoning too and looks good for Portugal, much as he does for City. Again, Euro 2020 is just another good reason to hold a good player.

André Silva sees plenty of Portugal minutes often off the bench or as an injury backup. He’s another striker who is severely undervalued right now for IPD purposes for his club and the prospect of Euro 2020 minutes, plus a good transfer, are the icing on the cake.

Jota was a beast in Portugal’s last game for Sweden, scoring two and assisting one. He’s done his chances of more minutes no harm at all. Could be a decent player for Liverpool too… but I just see him as a back up player right now which is off putting. 

You can make a case though that for this £1.46 bid you are getting a decent rotation option and you could drop on nicely if one of the main front 3 get injured opening up space for him.

Trincao could play his way in too particularly if he keeps doing well at Barcelona. He’s only had limited minutes so far but what we’ve seen is good.

25 November

Comfortable, dominant wins from Italy vs Bosnia and Poland. 

Italy have a soft group so optimism for them should be high ahead of the Euros, even if they may not be expected to get too far in the knockouts.  They are definitely capable of some big scores in the groups.

Immobile was missing here but he is back for the club now and he will undoubtedly be the main man – it’s another reason he is a good pick. Current £1.39 bid or £1.54 Blue Button, significant undervaluation.

Should Immobile be injured they have a very capable deputy in Belotti. He was a huge threat over both games, scoring 1 vs Bosnia, could have walked away with 2-3. 

Not a great performance player but really in tournament football one goal is enough for most players.

I think he is a great pick at 78p to 86p. There are so many ways you win here and so few you lose. He’s 26, entering his prime. Can get a big transfer. Could line up for Italy either in rotation or because Immobile gets injured. 

Can more than justify his current price in IPD alone. Can pull off an occasional performance win if he explodes. 

And really, from this very low starting price how does it go wrong? You’d need to be incredibly unlucky – we aren’t really asking for much to happen other than to play his usual game. 

If good things happen for a player like this they can find themselves to £1.25 or £1.50 so easily. That’s potentially doubling your money or more for minimal downside risk. I really rate under the radar trades like this. 

Insigne very strong and he’s a nailed on starter. 2 assists, 1 in each game. Huge baseline play. Chances of his own to score. He’s such a likely winner on a limited game day because he won’t even need a goal. But he can get one and blow anyone else away.

An unlucky player this season, niggling injuries holding him back but he’s often just fractions away from scoring big. Should be a force in the tournament if fit. Astonishing £1.35 bid price – way over pessimistic. 

Berardi a revelation. He’s been a Scouting favourite for a while due to his Sassuolo performances. One of the background factors was his fringe Italy involvement. It looks more than fringe now – he’s making his case strongly. 

2 goals, 1 in each game. Very FI friendly play as we expect from his club form. Not a guaranteed starter Chiesa may have something to say about that (he was injured for these fixtures).

Overall though Berardi is a great pick up at £1.70 to £1.87 for domestic reasons – if he can continue this form for Italy too it’s a nice bonus.

Barella and Locatelli are quite similar and seem to be cementing themselves in that midfield 3 alongside Jorginho.

All 3 are high baseline players with some threat and they are capable of very big scores. Or even winning without a goal. Jorginho has penalties in the locker and he scored one in this round of fixtures. 

That makes Jorginho a great punt, and I think he is for Chelsea when they have kind fixtures too particularly in Europe. Bad game last night but overall he’s a solid player and if you can use that negativity to get a cheap bid I think he’s value. 

Longer contract so not too concerned about age here.

Barella and Locatelli are younger but don’t come with those decisive penalties. On this evidence for Italy, Locatelli is the more likely winner and he sees a lot more of the ball. However both are good pick ups as per domestic Scouting. Can be had under £1 and are the occasional winner type – but that win can net a big percent of their total profit. 

These are the sort of players I’d expect could do quite well when the buying of the more “core player” type slows down. Or if they explode which they can 2-3 times a season.

Emerson at Chelsea is a forgotten man for the club. Not so for Italy. Good performances and very competitive FI numbers, with potential goals and assists. May move to a good Serie A club as soon as January. 

The sort of player traders are definitely not thinking about at all. Traders are writing him off. They are very likely to be wrong to do so. 

Still just 26… and happens to be potentially as low as 26p on a bid with Blue Button 61p. So easy to see that closer to £1 if he drops the right transfer and he’d be a capable winner at the Euro too.

There were a lot of absences including Bonucci, Chiellini and Verratti who will threaten either Barella or Locatelli

For your high baseline tournament CB you may have to look at Chiellini or Bonucci but neither are appealing to traders due to age.

In their absence 21 year old Inter defender Bastoni stepped up and played well on debut. Very strong passing ability which is not always on display at Inter, although in occasional games it is. For Italy though he’s average around 100 passes a game – can easily win without doing anything special in tournament football. 

50p to 73p right now. Probably a bit early to go on him for tournament purposes… but long term traders getting him at that low bid are probably going to end up happy. 

Chiesa was injured here as mentioned above – but he should come back into contention too he’s a regular. 

15 October

Immobile should continue to lead the line. No goals here but he was close vs Holland. Should just be a reliable option and he should be competitive in every competition that matters.

Belotti is a capable deputy and should Immobile get injured, he’ll fill the spot. Lots of ways to win with Belotti – IPD, potential big transfer, Immobile could get injured. 

£1.06 to £1.15 – it’s one of those trades that can easily rise towards £1.50 for a low key big profit, and if he slipped to 75p or so it would have to be extreme bad luck.

It’s good to see Barella feature strongly for Italy. I’ve warmed up to him considerably recently. Decent numbers and we could see him challenge particularly on soft days at the Euros. 

He won’t be winning every week but he is capable of some decent scores over a season. £1.03 to £1.24 is value and Italy involvement is another string to his bow.

Chiesa continues as a first teamer which is good for holders. Numbers nothing special here at all. His success more depensd on how he starts life at Juventus. 

If he does well there then people will expect him to naturally do well at the Euros. Which he might. I’d just consider the Euros involvement a bonus.

Goal for Pellegrini.. overall numbers weak as usual. He tends to be overrated historically and this price drop from £2.83 to £1.52 to £1.69 is fair. 

However, in tournament football he might get away with that weakness a bit more so he may make a good punt. And Roma have a soft group in the Europa which is also helpful for holders.

Could be a decent punt at this price. I’d just be wary about getting carried away – if he did hit a win and the hype men pushed him anywhere near £2.50 again I’d definitely be rethinking this.

Verratti… huge baselines but he’s rarely going to cap it with a goal. In tournament football though he may not need one though so he’d be a valid punt for limited fixture days. 

I’d be more inclined to go for Jorginho though as as far as we know he should still be on penalties for Italy and he does have them for Chelsea. 

Can pop up regularly with big scores and as long as he retains penalties 98p to £1.20 is great value.

Donnarumma is popular but… he’s surprisingly poor when it comes to FI scoring by keeper standards. In himself anyway. He’s been helped recently by Milan’s ability to keep a clean sheet – and when picking keepers – it’s more important to pick the team rather than the individual in my view.

£1.50 gives a keeper a lot to do though and it’s just a very unexciting option in my view.

Emerson would be the pick at the back… except he’s well out of favour at Chelsea and his transfer fell through. 

He is likely to get a good transfer later though and should feature for Italy where he looks well in contention for big scores. He played versus Poland and could have scored – all round game very good as we expect from him.

Perhaps that current bad feeling is exactly what makes him a good pick up? He doesn’t even have a bid price right now. Something like 40p to 50p would be a steal.

This is what I discussed this week – the “clustering” effect – nobody wants to go first without anyone coming with them. But when there are good reasons to do so we should be open to striking out alone.

Nice also to see fringe players Berardi and Locatelli getting some pitch time. Both strong players domestically and good selections. 

I don’t expect them to start but Italy minutes boosts their prestige (possibly helpful for transfers later) and they could find themselves in the side if a key player gets injured.

This was a big recall for Berardi in particular as he hasn’t featured for Italy since 2018. he got on the scoresheet and replicated close to the strong numbers we see at club level.

And let’s not forget the currently injured Insigne who should slot back in and will be Italy’s best performance player by some distance.

18 November

As per the previous review from October – Spain are a young side with plenty of talent. But they are not quite the force they once were and they look like a team in transition.

That showed versus Switzerland where they were only able to rescue a 1-1 draw late on. But then they came out last night and demolished Germany 6-0 which will be a big confidence boost. 

In a soft group with Sweden, Poland and Slovakia I’d expect this to boost optimism for Spain assets. The only issue may be pinning down the likely starters.

Ferran Torres was the star last night no question. His first career hatrick vs Germany and possibly a career best overall performance. 

He didn’to do a great deal goals aside has to be said – though he was better overall versus Switzerland which is a little odd.

Still, at this stage we are talking details – he’s made a serious case for starts and that’s all we really want from a young player.

On the domestic front he’s promising but we do want him in the wide role rather than filling Gabriel Jesus’ shoes. 

City looked to have secured a bargain and the £1.26 bid looks absurd value at the moment. Particularly if we are looking for a short term lean to EPL players for late December.

Morata is a revelation since moving to Juventus. Continued his good form here scoring the opener versus Germany. 

And what a superb all round display. Had this game been scored for FI he’d have done very well indeed in the scoring, with very swift mental maths 225-250 I’d expect and he was subbed on 74 minutes. Very competitive as a forward.

We may have to re-evaluate him – he is an IPD option traditionally but with his level of threat this season braces and hatricks should come frequently. And he’s improved just enough at Juventus (and for Spain) for a brace to get him into contention for dividend wins. 

Very keen on him at the moment and it highlights the crazy value in this market when you can get him for 69p to 79p even when by now the improvement is clear as day to see.

Usually when we spot an improvement like this early we can get rewarded with a solid price rise just weeks later but we’re having to be more patient in these troubled times.

Still, he’s killing IPD in the meantime. And these performances strongly make his case for being Spain’s leading man in a soft group. That brings heavy appeal come tournament time.

Fabian Ruiz has done his chances of a start no harm at all here. Good performances to watch for the fan.

And very strong FI numbers across both games particularly vs Germany where he racked up 3 assists. Had long range efforts of his own too which occasionally fly in (too occasionally on recent form).

I like him – unlucky to miss the transfer boat this Summer but it is likely he picks them up for Summer window. That could fall at a time when he is starting or at least appearing for Spain.

Plus he really doesn’t have to improve a lot to become a real FI force. I like him particularly if a bid of around £1.50 could be had. Which in this market it probably can.

Olmo was excellent across both games. Causes so many problems for opponents. Really establishing as a Spain regular now.

Had plenty of chances and should really have scored. 

Suffering a fair bit from the early substitution problem though – frequently coming off around 70 minutes for Leipzig and Spain. This is holding him back in midfield where baselines are crucial.

Good young player who can easily improve but he does have a big gap to close with the real big hitters on recent numbers. 

Something like £1.50 would be a decent bet. And the added prestige of good Spain performances is a plus particularly as we get closer to Euro 2020.

Oyarzabal solid too. In great form generally as per domestic scouting. Managed a late goal off the bench versus Germany. Numbers versus Switzerland are fairly poor. 

Probably best to consider his Spain involvement a bonus – he’s a solid pick in general mainly for his big transfer rumours. If that combines with a little Euro 2020 hype in early/mid 2021 that could do good things for him.


Ramos was ludicrously good at the back. He did miss TWO penalties vs Switzerland and miss them badly. 

But he had 7 efforts on goal in total in that game and you basically never see this level of threat from a defender. It’s consistent too for club and country. Plus he does tend to score his penalties usually.

Add that to his strong baseline numbers and it’s obvious why I rate him very highly. Could be a revelation in tournament football with limited fixtures. Would probably be the defender I was most confident in. 

But there is a but. His contract is up at the end of the season and that is a big risk to take with a 34 year old player. It’s currently in an on again off again situation. 

If we know he is around next season I would snap him up. If not… it’s a high risk but potentially high reward trade. I’d probably avoid it since there are so many slam dunk great picks at the moment that do not come with the headache. 

But this contract drama is worth watching with interest. 

Oh and another issue – he limped off last night injured and we don’t yet know how bad that is.

You also have two good young options at the back in Pau Torres and Eric Garcia. Both capable of elite level centre back play, both likely getting big transfers, both cheap. 

In tournament football big baseline centre backs will punch through often and these are good picks. I would probably consider them for later on – moving now may be a little too early. Maybe late January/February would be a better moment.

Reguilon had a good game versus Switzerland providing a superb assist for Moreno to equalise late on. Spurs fans will want to watch that one. 

He put up some great numbers here, better than he usually shows for Spurs. And his Spurs level is decent enough. 

I was concerned about his £2+ price tag it was too much but closer to £1.25 or even £1 now that’s great value. 

Oddly he was dropped for the Germany encounter and his replacement 25 year old Valencia full back Gaya also had a good game. 

So Reguilon is not yet nailed on for the left back spot. I wouldn’t stress too much about that now the price has dropped, though.

Obviously we’re missing some key men here with Fati and Thiago out injured. Asensio only made it on as a sub and Carvajal will be in the mix too. 


15 October

Very experimental sides from Spain with lots of key players absent too and I’ve got to say – they do not look even close to the force they once were.

Up top Oyarzabal, Moreno and Rodrigo shared pitch time. Morata should figure again too perhaps in the November internationals. 

Of those Moreno is the one most likely to deliver a big FI score. And he can be a capable winner domestically, as well as a solid IPD source.

Those are the primary reasons for holding because it would be a surprise if Moreno was actually a Spain starter at the Euros. 

Oyarzabal has a better trend profile and people will find him easy to buy. He scored but his overall numbers are pretty poor. Shouldn’t really matter though – as long as his transfer rumour stays around he should do fine. 

It’s just important to be aware he’ll need to improve a lot to justify a price tag much bigger than his current £2.09 to £2.24.

Rodrigo saw plenty of minutes but I can’t see him as much more than an IPD punt. 

Olmo is probably the pick of this clutch of games. Particularly vs Portugal he had really strong involvement and good chances to score. Excellent stuff and he’s done his chances of continued Spain minutes no harm at all here.

As per his domestic scouting I like him. Creeping down to £1.58 on a bid now too… that’s a bargain.

Fati got just under 120 minutes over 2 games. Didn’t do anything exceptional but he was fine and he’s well in range of a win on his day.

I think for holders the fact he is starting for Spain at all at just 17 is the headline here. Overall he’s doing just about as well as can be hoped so far – which is just as well because he has a big price tag to drag around.

I don’t love this trade but my line on him has been if you insist on holding overpriced youth at least hold the good ones and I’ll stick with that view here.

Adama, on international debut, had a good game and will be in contention for more minutes. Numbers are good – markedly better than what he produces for Wolves. 

That’s a good sign as it’s an indicator that a move to a bigger club can improve him.

I have really not been keen on this trade since he spiked heavily in price. He was a good punt when he was cheap but as you get to £2.50+ and then to even £3+ you really had to start questioning that. 

That predictable crash came and to be fair, £1.64 or close to that bid… that is good value again. That transfer rumour should swing back around and we may see more of him for Spain too.

You could accuse Mikel Merino of very nice performance numbers for Spain here. And indeed for Sociedad. Will he keep a first team spot for Spain though? Unlikely. 

Could be a decent punt for a win at Sociedad but I wouldn’t buy him in hope of Spain glory.

Rodri played versus Ukraine and for a tournament punt I like him because he could easily bag the midfield win on baseline alone on a limited fixtures day. 

He is also very likely to put up a few monster scores over the season and could snag a Gold Day. I think he’s great value for £1.21 to £1.39. Whether he starts for Spain is less clear but I think that can be considered a bonus and not stressed over.

Ferran Torres continues his good start to the campaign. Should have done enough to stay in the squad and, if starting he could put up a big score for Spain with a goal.

Continued Spain involvement adds to his prestige. The main positive for him though is he seeing minutes for City already. Looks a genuinely good young FI prospect – the only issue I see is going to be Pep’s rotation.

At the back Ramos was… pretty incredible. Huge involvement in play and one of Spain’s biggest threats. 

But that’s nothing new he does get forward and that’s before you even factor in that he is on penalties for both Spain and Real.

Really should be a consistent challenger for club and country – but he is 34 and the contract is expiring at the season end. A risk, but one that could pay off. 

At £1.58 to £1.70 that is a valid punt but I’d be wary of holding this too close to Christmas. People will be keen for the dividends now but with no contract for next season… the “end of season” fear will come for him faster than most – the Euros will not sustain him unless he also has a new contract by then.

Reguilon appeared twice… looking good both times. Yet to totally convince for Spurs… he’s in a dangerous period where the hype is gone and he needs to start delivering week in week out or traders may tire of it.

He’s looking quite good but not so obvious a winner that I’d be willing to back him to put up a big score before traders start jumping ship. One to keep a close eye on.

Solid from Eric Garcia vs Portugal – he’s a young player I  like and I am glad to see him staying at City another season. 

At 59p this is really good for a patient trader. He is capable of a win on a bronze day or similar and if he did move to La Liga he could do well there too for the money.

It’s a very unsettled side overall.

Ruiz couldn’t join up due to Napoli’s quarantine. Morata should figure again too. Thiago absent for covid. Asensio could come back in but he’ll need more Real minutes first.

25 November

Belgium are arguably tournament favourites and they start with a soft group. Could have significant trader optimism heading into Euro 2020 and rightly so.

Kevin De Bruyne the main man. Looks strong for Belgium just as he does for City. Out of form at time of writing – I think he’s just a bit unlucky and will return to form when City do. 

Under £5? I think he can cover that and that’s solid value for a hold over the next 6 months up to the tournament. If we look at True Value on the Dashboard it does say that for a player at over 28 of this level without media you don’t want to be paying much above £4.20. 

It’s not wrong – and it probably makes him technically overpriced in True Value terms. But not overly so. You can stretch this a bit if there are good reasons to so long as you don’t stray outrageously far from it. 

When we factor in what people are actually willing to pay for players who are returning lots of dividends now… I think he can do quite well for dividends and will probably continue to do well on the market up to the tournament. 

How long you hold beyond that at the high price? That’s a different question.

Interesting example of how True Value prices are a guide but not a law.

I am also bullish on Lukaku who is such a danger this season in all competitions. Perhaps not the best overall performance player but he can be explosive and win with a brace or more. Especially in tournament football – he may only need 1 goal. 

The great thing is on IPD returns alone he can cover his £1.75 to £1.93 easily as a good rotation pick. Any wins along the way are a bonus. He’ll be a strong pick for any European knockout games with Inter. And his Belgium involvement should make him very appealing come tournament time.

I touched on this in Scouting yesterday – Mertens shouldn’t be overlooked. A very capable winner for club and country. Older but with a long contract. A bargain at 63p to 69p. 

Tielemans could do well at a tournament – combining a big baseline where he can without doing much – with a little bit of threat. He scored in both games here actually. This is unusual – he’s lucky to get 2 from such limited chances. 

But he could win without a goal and probably once over the tournament he should pop up with a goal and that could be a hard score to beat. 

I’m warming to him generally recently, he is that sort who can pop up with an occasional win and at his new slimmed down price tag of 90p to £1.08 he is so much more attractive. When he was up near £2.50 I was much more sceptical. 

Can even win in the EPL occasionally and we do have December approaching where EPL players will have less competition. 

Thorgan Hazard. Plenty of involvement and did provide an assist. Good enough to win on baselines. No threat in any recent Belgium game in 2020 though. 

Tough season for him generally with rotation issues. Coming into it more lately for Dortmund though and he’s showing some decent numbers. Not brilliant – but I would be very confident that at 64p to 82p people are undervaluing him. Not every trade has to be sexy.

And Eden Hazard. Didn’t play – positive corona virus test. All very dependant on club form for him. His Belgium numbers historically are superb and a fit Hazard could well blow Euro 2020 away. 

But he’s got a long road ahead and a lot to prove at Real first. Since his latest comeback it’s mixed, good opener vs Huesca, two soft games since. Which just about sums up his Real career. 

One I’m watching closely because should he find his feet there is a good chance he is grotesquely undervalued by this point. And if he looks fit the Euro’s would be just another reason to fuel that theory. 

Alternatively, he could just never return to his best and just fade away. A make or break period for him.

22 October

Belgium have an appealing group with Denmark, Finland and Russia. Should outclass all 3 comfortably in theory at least.

Talisman Eden Hazard has not played for Belgium for nearly a year due to his injuries. He’s still their main man when fit though and playing his usual game the chances of him dominating FI scoring at a tournament are high.

Can be an FI powerhouse and between injuries has showed some very nice stuff at Real. But he’s injured again and not being rushed back. He probably gets one more big chance to make his come back at Real where he could either prove grotesquely undervaled at £2.07 to £2.55 or else fade away with a whimper. 

For the money the upside of that is potentially very high. But I think many are going to need to see some encouragement and consistency at Real before diving in. 

De Bruyne is a far more reliable option and he is just as good for Belgium as he is for City. But then, you also pay for that reliability at £6.08 to £6.33 now. 

If City have a deep run in Europe he could carry that optimism into Euro 2020 easily given the soft group. 

The pitfall is if City crash out of Europe early-ish and we start talking about him leaving again. There is probably a while to go before holders have to worry about that though. 

I’d be comfortable enjoying KDB for now… would I still want to be holding by Feb/March? Less sure. I think that social media narrative of “but he’s old and declining” could easily set in, whether it’s true or not.

Lukaku kills it for Belgium just as he does for Inter. 3 goals in the last 2 internationals. Lukaku is appearing in various scout reports a lot at the moment for very good reason. 

I don’t think there is a more dangerous looking striker in Europe right now. £1.95 is decent value – I would try to keep refreshing his 30 day IPD window though so it’s a little bit of maintenance. But well worth it and he should score enough to stay easy to recycle.

Tielemans is capable and he showed vs soft opposition in Iceland that he can dominate a game and rack up a big baseline. Given Belgium have a soft group… and his price has been dropping… Tielemans looks a decent pick up now and a win even at Leicester is not out of the question. I can see him being considered a good punt by the time the Euros roll around.

Thorgan Hazard is very out of fashion and hasn’t played because of injury since September. However, he shows nice numbers at times for both Dortmund and Belgium. 

At a £1.06 bid he’s well in that range where people are now too down on him due to the injury absences so a shrewd trader may be rewarded here as he makes his comeback.

Meunier is a Belgium regular. Seeing plenty of Dortmund minutes too. He does have a big score in him occasionally for club and country. 

By the Euros he’ll likely be considered a  good punt and that 54p bid is tempting – he could produce big scores occasionally at Dortmund in the mean time.

Witsel is a regular too. He’s a really high baseline player and he might add a goal perhaps 1 match out of 10. On that day… look out as it could be a monster score. 

Or in tournament football, he could take it on baseline alone. 

Hardly a thriller pick at 31 years old but… that 35p bid? That’s a tempting punt pick. Would seem incredible if he went into the tournament priced anything like that low.

Mertens could figure as a tournament punt – he’s a consistent scorer for Belgium and a decent performance player in his own right.  78p to 83p is cheap and he does have a longer contract now, recently signed. 

If we saw him more regularly for Napoli I might be tempted but I don’t think rushing to him for Euros purposes is needed quite yet! 

18 November

Comfortable 3-1 victory in the end versus Ukraine despite going behind early against the run of play. 

But it unravelled last night – Spain thrashing them 6-0. 

Germany are definitely considered a team in transition although it has to be said so are Spain. 

This awful result should dent trader optimism for Germany assets slightly – especially as they are in a tough group with France and Portugal.

I  would still expect German players with Euro 2020 involvement to get a boost particularly as we get into later season in 2021. Just not as strong as it could be if they were in form. 

It’s just another reason to hold a player later into the season which is helpful. Ideally, with many of these players like Gnabry or Goretzka it is not going to be our only reason – Bayern likely run deep in the CL too and stacking up multiple reasons to own a player is what we want to be doing.

In terms of the performances.

Goretzka gets credit versus Ukraine for 2 assists and a generally brilliant performance. Also racked up 5 shots of his own and should have scored. In tournament football this would have been a very competitive score. 

Like all Germany players it was very poor versus Spain though. 

Overall, given club and country form I consider Goretzka a vastly improved player in 2020 and superb FI value for his £1.23 to £1.63. 

No goal for Gnabry but he was the most consistent threat over the two games – the only player to look like scoring versus Spain – hitting the bar with a fierce drive. And close vs Ukraine too. 

Overall numbers are good for both Bayern and Germany – reliable option and the sort of “obvious” player I’d be targetting in this market. It won’t take much to restore optimism in him as the market rebounds.

Sané was brilliant vs Ukraine, scoring the equalizer. Abysmal versus Spain but then so was everyone. 

Overall he is in good form scoring 3 in the last 4. The numbers aren’t as brilliant as holders may hope – his tendency to give the ball away costs him. 

Not too far away from Gnabry though and the prices are equalising now.

At something like £2.75 if you can get that bid I think it’s decent, he wouldn’t have to improve much to contend. Plus he’s a player lots of people know and he could be another that people are naturally optimistic on if the market recovers without him having to do a great deal. 

Werner did the damage versus Ukraine, netting twice. Did nothing versus Spain. Hitting great form with 7 goals in his last 6 for Chelsea and Germany.

Feels like he is improving again and hitting the kinds of numbers that made me optimistic in the first place – the more he plays wide and less as a centre forward the better he’ll tend to do.

Also in this market he’s dropping in price to a palce where at something close to £3 or so he’d be looking a decent bet – has plenty going for him in terms of performance wins for club/country plus media appeal if he has a big day.

Also as mentioned in State of the Market – a little lean towards EPL players for the upcoming period should do us no harm as the EPL will be the only league in play in late December.

Kroos played the full match versus Spain – probably one of the few players to come out with a little credit for an acceptable performance.

Given the incredibly low possession from Germany he saw plenty of the ball. Remains an FI powerhouse if he can get on the pitch consistently – he isn’t for Real Madrid right now and that’s a problem.

 Still, capable of making a comeback with a monster score anytime the numbers are not far away.

It’s hard to recommend much in defence for Germany, they look really unsettled in selection and there are not many standout options.

Sule is probably the most reliable defensive option still although he was dreadful vs Spain, as were the entire defence particularly new Leeds signing Koch

Sulé was however decent versus Ukraine and in this softer game he saw plenty of the ball racking up over 100 passes – that’s competitive in tournament football and we may see more high baseline centre backs winning than we do full backs on limited game days.

Ginter did manage an assist versus Ukraine. He could make for a decent punt if he keeps this spot at right back. He’s certainly cheap enough at 30p to 50p and he probably makes a move to a bigger club than Gladbach – it’s a long standing rumour.

Rudiger very dangerous vs Ukraine with 3 attempts and high possession. Could be a good late tournament punt if he looks like starting he’s rock bottom price wise these days.

Neuer remains a strong choice mainly for Bayern reasons but having the Euros is going to be a plus. 

15 October

Regulars Gnabry and Kimmich were solid as you would expect. 

Gnabry is just a solid pick for so many reasons and his likelihood of doing well for Germany at the Euros is just one of them. 

Kimmich is getting a little more borderline the more he rises in price. £6+ is beefy now but it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t justify that price. 

You can argue other players are far better value for sure… but he’s basically doing the job a premium is supposed to do – you aren’t buying a hope of massive capital appreciation – but you are buying reliable chances to win dividends. 

And it’s a rational price. Just. Especially in a Euros year. 

Kroos played two games here and put up exceptional numbers as we often expect. Elite level and in tournament football… I’d be expecting him to challenge every game on baseline alone whether he scores or not. And if he does score… that’s going to take some beating.

He was not shy of shots particularly versus Switzerland – 5 attempts although these are not great quality chances – he’s blasting from range. That’s ok. 

He’s had a quiet 2020 but it would be very surprising if 5-6 games go by and we don’t see him back with a monster score again. £3 is about fair and I think he’s decent value.

Goretzka is a mainstay of this team now too. Scored versus Ukraine. Really does look superb in these games and is well capable of winning – similar  to his decent numbers at Bayern, if not better.

He’s really transformed in the last 6 months and £1.55 to £1.72 remains excellent value with both club and national team in mind.

Werner had no problem getting on the scoresheet for Germany. Should continue to lead the line and you’d think in the build up to the tournament itself Germany’s leading man would be in demand. And rightly so – he can win for sure.

It’s more his domestic form you’d worry about. As per scouting – despite the poor start – the numbers suggest he can turn it around and I’m not as down on him as many.

Lovely from Havertz particularly vs Switzerland. Hard to see him not challenging for Germany at the Euros – the only mood dampener might be the tough group with France and Portugal. 

Like Werner – he needs some better domestic performances and again, he’s improving and he does not look far away from some big scores at Chelsea.

I think both are just suffering from the pressure of high price tags. They aren’t undeserved price tags at all – but with many other players looking comparatively much cheaper they still look dear. They’ll need to win to turn it around… but they can.

Brandt played vs Turkey – superb. He may be struggling but there is evidence to suggest that he can pull a win out of the bag for both club and country. 

And yet people are really down on him with that £1.43 price tag. That could be incredible value. It really just depends on whether he breaks back into the Dortmund side which is unpredictable – it is surprising that Bellingham has had so many minutes at the expense of more senior players.

For the money though… he’s still just 24 so I think it’s an acceptable risk with a potential big upside. If he continues to struggle at Dortmund he probably moves somewhere decent.

Not much to recommend at the back. Neuer would be the pick and we could see him doing well over a season including at the Euros. 

Sané would also be of interest if not injured. But as per scouting – I am sceptical of his early Bayern displays.

We did not see Reus but look out for him making his back in to the Germany setup much as he should at Dortmund. A really capable winner that many are sleeping on – it would be no surprise at all if he turned up and blows away performance scoring much like Kramaric has done recently. And he’s still under £1.

We also saw some appearances for youth/ fringe players. 

Waldschmidt, shipped off to Benfica, bagged a goal versus Turkey. Traders are down on him after moving to Portugal but I don’t think he is done – 50p good business for a very patient trader.

23 year old Gladbach midfielder Neuhaus played a full game and scored vs Turkey. Really solid player expected to get a bigger club move at some stage and could feature more for Germany in the years to come. Again, patience needed but 87p to £1.08 is good value.


25 November

Like Belgium, the Dutch have a soft group to go at and they could do some damage come tournament time.

Depay is notably improved away from Lyon where he is struggling right now. 2 goals, 1 in each game here. Really, could have been 3-4. Has penalties for the Dutch.

Massive all round involvement. He’s an FI points scoring machine at his best. In recent days at Lyon? Not so much. But it’s a reminder of what a force he can be in the right side. 

Could be about to hit a January transfer merry go round with Barcelona the rumour but Juventus in there too. Not sure where Barca would get the money they are broke. 

£2.18 to £2.36 now? An overreaction to poor form and link to Barca. The social media narrative seemed to take hold that he’d die as a prospect when he had to compete with Messi – this is likely to be massively overstated.

Depay does carry this team a bit – great if you are holding him at the tournament – but other options are mainly limited to punts or youth selections.

Stengs had a good game when he came on vs Spain and when he started vs Poland, so his chances of more pitch time look good. For FI Terms it was… average at best. No real threat but the assist potential was good. 

Well short of his usual excellent club numbers, though. I think at his age starting will be enough to boost his prestige – it really is more about the transfer where he is linked to Barcelona and other big clubs. 

He’s got strong FI suitability if he lands in a decent side, I like him and he’s cheap right now. 

Malen had a good game versus Poland – looked lively and had chances which he did not finish. Another exciting young Dutch player often linked to big clubs – this sort of player is out of fashion right now and yet it won’t take much for them to rocket if they drop the right transfer link. 

It’s this sort of player that might be a good target if the market continues to recover for a few weeks and some of the more obvious value is gobbled up.

We saw nothing of Gravenberch he is still with the U21’s but it would be remiss of me to discuss young Dutch players without mentioning again how well Gravenberch is doing this season. Establishing in the side, really improving as an FI player. 

He once looked too deep but that’s not true anymore he has threat to add to his big baselines. Still young but those big transfer rumours should come.

Just dropped to £1.21 to £1.41. A steal.

Wijnaldum scored 3 times over these 2 games. And you know what, it’s not a fluke. He was very advanced, much more so than he is for Liverpool. That detail is probably lost on most so I wouldn’t really go for him right now given the limited prospects at club level.

But as a tournament punt to pick up around March if he is still cheap? Could be good. 

Berghuis – 28 year old Feyenoord forwards are never really in fashion. But he’s a very capable winner for the Dutch and you may find people like this punt as the tournament approaches. 2 assists here, should have scored too.

So you could buy later or a very patient trader could get him now at 25p and wait. Not something I’d do this far out from the tournament but it’s a viable strategy.

De Beek will be in there but it’s mainly about club form for him. Decent enough displays but the threat is so limited in the last 6-7 appearances. Has to improve at club level.

Did score in the friendly vs Spain. Hope is not lost for him but he needs a breakout performance. 

If I can get away with it for a sensible price nearer the time Blind might be a fun tournament punt for me. He’s got such high baselines for Holland that he can win without doing anything. And he’s so rock bottom at 31p with no bid. One to remember.

We saw surprisingly little of Promes with just 1 sub appearance. He’s a great performance player and he’ll be one I look out for to punt on closer to the tournament if the price is right.

22 October

Favourable group for Holland with Ukraine, Austria plus another softer team that comes through qualifying. 

Should be in demand in the build up to the tournament.

Depay the obvious main man. There are good reasons to hold him at Lyon and for the money I think he’s value if he moves to Barcelona. 

Leading for Holland is another string to his bow and he looks every bit as competitive for the Oranje as he does for Lyon. 

De Beek bagged his first international goal last game vs Italy. Definitely in contention particularly in a tournament with limited matches per day. 

I’d consider his Holland involvement a bonus – it’s really on his club form where he will be judged and we’ve barely seen any minutes yet though what we have seen is pretty good. And we know he is capable of good numbers at Ajax.

Promes is really strong for FI for both Ajax and Holland. Just 41p to 63p too. Should be no surprise at all if he won on a CL night and if he was anything like this price to take into Euro 2020 he’d be fantastic value. 

Could pick him up now and wait for the tournament, with hope of a CL win in the mean time. Or try to time it closer to the Euros although I suspect a few people may have that same idea. 

Stengs, Malen and Ihattaren are the most exciting youngsters. Both look FI suitable and are likely to pick up transfer rumours come Summer.  

Ihattaren is out of form and in a goal drought and did not make it on the pitch for the recent friendlies. due to injury. Interesting to see if he does next month.

Still, the hype for him is huge and it would be surprising if he didn’t do something to get back onto radars. He hasn’t scored in a while and the price has tanked from nearly £3 to potentially being available for £1.89 on a bid now. 

That looks strong value to me. 

Malen is in better form, scoring freely. Decent underlying numbers too for both club and country. Like many youngsters his price is suffering as people switch away from hype towards dividend winners. 

This behaviour can be exploited – where we know a player has real quality we can take advantage of that price drop whilst dodging the players who are dropping deservedly.

Stengs will be well known to scouting readers he’s a youngster I’ve tracked for a long time. One of the most obviously FI suitable youngsters around. Should at least make the squad and come on from the bench if he doesn’t start. 

This is ok as it’s more about him getting attention and building those transfer rumours which are already likely. 2020 form hasn’t been great but in the last game he finally found the net again for the first time since January. 

This £1.45 pickup is very short sighted from traders and anyone letting him go for that… I don’t think they really know what they are holding.

Veterans like Babel, Blind and Luuk De Jong may make decent tournament punts… but I’d probably not worry about that until closer to the tournament.

12 October

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