The knockout stages are upon us and we got two fun matches here. The Danes were able to progress through and have the turnaround here to go against Wales who put together some impressive displays in the group stage and should put together a good fight as Denmark will play outside of Denmark here in this meeting.
For Italy and Austria we have Italy not playing host, but instead traveling to England for this affair. Italy looked like the most impressive team in the group stages and will be a tough out. They’re favored by quite a bit despite Austria gathering two wins in the group stage and providing some fireworks when they have played.
We also have some good showdown slates as well with these staggered start times and important matches where extra time will actually be a thing as well. Both matches are not expecting both teams to score for the most part and these matches do tend to be cagey at times. Just as a reminder with extra time being a factor, the use of a 6th substitute could be in play for these sides. Getting extended run with the 30 minutes could be something to slightly play for but don’t go overboard with it as it will not be critical.
Let’s have quite a bit of fun here, this will be an absolute blast and we’ll have all the content roaring and ready to go, good luck everyone!
Wales (+400) vs Denmark (-120)
Both Teams To Score: +125
Probable Set Piece Takers: Daniel James (WALES) / Daniel Wass, Mikkel Damsgaard (DENMARK)
Italy (-220) vs Austria (+700)
Both Teams To Score: +125
Probable Set Piece Takers: Lorenzo Insigne, Domenico Berardi (ITALY) / David Alaba (AUSTRIA)
The popular builds will probably consist of gunning for the Italy clean sheet with Gianluigi Donnarumma. Coupled with a pair of Italian attackers and then presumptuously Denmark pieces like Mikkel Damsgaard mixed in to make it work. With the defender spot being underwhelming from a floor perspective, we can expect ownership to be spread out a little bit and punting with a low priced defender to be a little bit more popular than usual.
The midfield position has a few good mid-tier plays. Daniel James has boasted a very impressive floor during the opening stages and will be a play fancied by most. He has take most of the set pieces for Wales and in the event Wales finds themselves chasing, the Manchester United product will be pushing down the wing showing off an impressive floor. Damsgaard himself looked impressive with his goal to kick things off against Russia and it was a worldie, with a slight share of sets and immeasurable talent, he will be popular here. Also in the mix with the strong Italian options like Marco Verratti, Jorginho, and Manuel Locatelli likely to take part in Italy’s XI and have boasted strong outings amongst them. There is a sense of upside with each player. Jorginho was subbed off early last game to preserve the legs a bit and takes the penalties which can always pay dirt and be a good way to get ahead of the field. Outside the penalties, he played very well in the first two matches. Verratti and Locatelli are higher priced options but shined in their most recent outings, think they could garner a little bit more ownership than is warranted due to their game logs, but can’t deny the upside they do have. David Alaba is also firmly in the mix. He played fullback in the final group stage match and was incredible in the first half taking all sets and assisting several shots. If Italy park the bus in any way, he could pay off the tag easily and also be fine against Donnarumma in the event we see two 1-0 matches which is entirely possible.
Obviously the Italian forwards of Lorenzo Insigne, Domenico Berardi, and Ciro Immobile are the most popular plays at the forward spots. I won’t waste too much time, Insigne boasts the strongest floor of the three, and Berardi is similar to him. Ciro Immobile has gotten several chances and against the Swiss, despite scoring he missed three big chances showing the amount of fantasy points left on the table. I’m likely not going to be too different from the field with two of the three forwards in most of my lineups. Where we can get a little different is going against Donnnarumma potentially and taking a long look at the likes of Marko Arnautovic and entertaining the possibility of Austria scoring against the most chalk keeper of the slate. BTTS is the same in both matches and yet Donnarumma will be far higher owned. Arnautovic is a very good player and shined at West Ham where he made his name for himself and now bangs goals home in China collecting a paycheck that is on par with most MLB All-Stars. He missed a big chance against Ukraine but also is their biggest threat from open play to score. The Danes and Wales will have a little bit of interest in my eyes. Gareth Bale has impressed just as much as anyone in this tournament. He has been terrific. Youssef Poulsen and Martin Braithwaite were both unimoressive to say the least against Russia. Poulsen was handed the goal to give the Danes the 2-0 advantage at the time due to an errant backpass by Roman Zobnin. Braithwaite looked scared to shoot at times which was different than the previous games, but will be given the green light if the Danes need to press further on. Will be fun to keep tabs on what to do, this is the early game too.
Daniel Wass took sets last time out before being subbed off early, while Joakim Maehle scored the 4th and final goal for the Danes and looked impressive down the left. The thing with these defenders and this goes for any team, if you think a team like Wales scores, run it back with Maehle or Wass to correlate your lineup. Their floors will be much better in the event they have to chase and correlation is the best, especially on two game slates. Similar to a lesser degree of Italy conceding and running it back with Leonardo Spinnazzola a little bit as well. I will likely play one stud defender and run it back with a cheaper player with a potential centreback and try and get more studs on this slate.
Good luck to all!