Euro 2020’s round of 16 has already claimed two high-profile victims… with England v Germany still to come.
Netherlands and Portugal were both eliminated on Sunday, leaving the majority of Dream Team Euros bosses with changes to make – some of you have just lost over half your team!
As the tournament’s leading scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo (£7.0m) was understandably popular while Bruno Fernandes (£6.0m) and Ruben Dias (£5.0m) also featured in plenty of teams after impressive domestic campaigns.
The Oranje were the top scorers in the group stage with Denzel Dumfries (£3.0m), Gini Wijnaldum (£3.5m) and Memphis Depay (£4.5m) proving to be worthy assets – until Patrik Schick (£2.5m) and co sent them packing.
When it comes to replacing your eliminated players, you’ve got a choice of two approaches.
You can chase the round of 16 by bringing in players from, say, France, Spain, Germany/England right now in hope of catching up.
This would maximise the schedule – always a good thing – but it comes with risk as another surprise upset would force further transfers before the quarters.
For example, imagine replacing Wijnaldum and Depay with Kai Havertz (£3.5m) and Thomas Muller (£4.5m) only for Germany to lose 1-0 to England on Tuesday.
Optimistic patriotism aside, such a scenario would require more transfers in response, potentially leaving you short when the tournament climaxes.
The safe option would be to wait until the round of 16 concludes tomorrow before making your transfers, guaranteeing you a full contingent in the quarters without any costly, inefficient swaps.
For those of a braver persuasion, the aforementioned gamble on Germany may appeal – Havertz has quietly been one of the most impressive players this summer.
The necessary removal of Ronaldo will at least be lubricated by a £7.0m budget injection. You could replace the five-time Ballon d’Or winner with Karim Benzema (£6.0m) ahead of France’s clash with Switzerland this evening and have an extra £1.0m to invest elsewhere.
Altenatively, you could target this 5pm kick-off between Spain and Croatia. La Roja will be favourites to progress to the last eight – they beat Luka Modric’s men 6-0 in their second-most recent meeting.
Alvaro Morata’s (£3.5m) unconvincing finishing has probably put him on the blacklist but installing Pablo Sarabia (£2.5m) could be crafty move after the midfielder’s 17-point haul against Slovakia – he currently appears in just 0.9% of teams. You could even wait until the teams are announced before acting.
Ivan Perisic – Croatia’s tournament specialist – will miss the game after testing positive for Covid-19.
You may also be tempted to go for Emil Forsberg (£2.0m) or Andriy Yarmolenko (£2.5m), depending on how you see Sweden v Ukraine playing out tomorrow night.
While such boldness may be suitable for those needing to make up ground in their mini-leagues, those in a decent position may prefer the safer option of waiting until the quarter-finals are locked in.
The primary benefit of this is you will have the option of investing heavily into the winner of England v Germany, who will have a favourable route to the final – though nothing is guaranteed of course.
If Joachim Low’s side progress then it may be worth bringing in Robin Gosens (£3.0m), Havertz and another defender/midfielder.
If the Three Lions prevail at Wembley then replacing Wijnaldum and Dumfries with Mason Mount (£3.5m) and Luke Shaw (£3.0m) could be profitable.