How about a little International footy action? Let’s head to the UEFA Nations League, League A, Group 4 for 2 games kicking off simultaneously on Saturday afternoon. After this match, they’ll be halfway through the group play and shaping up for the knockout stages. This is quite the competitive group with all teams just a win away from the coveted first place. For those who are new to the competition, teams play each other home and away.
The group winners of League A then head off to a playoff featuring semis, a final and a third place match. Last place is relegated to League B from each group. Basically, avoid last and you live to fight another day but you are playing for first.
Through 2 games, Group 4 looks like this:
Not surprisingly Spain is out in front but perhaps the massive surprise is that Germany is sitting in third without a win through 2 matches. Joachin Lowe is catching some heat and Germany are massive favorites here.
Spain have stood out from the back after their 4-0 win over Ukraine. They’ll look to take a bite out of the bottom dwellers here to hold their grip on 1st.
To the desert…
VEGAS – Both games kick off at 2:45pm
- Spain -275 | 2.5,3 (-105o/-120u)
- Switzerland +700
- DRAW +360
- Ukraine +1200 | 3 (-120o/EVENu)
- Germany -475
- DRAW +500
Let’s talk about the Swiss first. Great at making watches. Not so much with footballers. We seem to see the same names year after year and while they do have some talent, this is a group where they were always going to struggle. It certainly doesn’t help that one of their best players, Xhirdin Shakiri, doesn’t play for his club team and has no form to speak of.
They have reverted to a back 5, presumably to keep them in the game but it’s created limited opportunity on the offensive end. In their 2-1 loss to Ukraine, they only managed 9 shots with just 1 on target. Seferovic bagged his goal but they conceded 2 big chances and Ukraine made them pay. Surely that was considered one of the better spots to grab points, even if it were on the road.
Against Germany back at home the performance was much better. In the 1-1 draw they were far more progressive with their play and managed a 1-1 draw while outshooting the Germans 20 to 14. In fact they blew several big chances to actually win the game and take all 3 points.
You have to go back to a 1-1 draw all the way back in June of 2018 to find a decent result away from home for this Swiss side.
Spain at home is almost always a win and all 3 points in the coffer. They’ve scored 25 goals in their last 6 home matches…all wins. Sure the 7-0 win over Malta and the 5-0 win over Romania contribute to that but you also need to consider the recent 4-0 win over Ukraine and 3-0 win over Sweden.
Spain are experiencing a bit of a transformation within the national team. New faces like Adama Traore and Ansu Fati are having an impact in the final third. We are seeing a shift in the type of player that represents the Spanish national team but very similar results.
The Swiss will put up a fight but I expect a Spain win here.
Just a quick reminder that Ukraine was hammered 7-1 by France just 2 days ago. It was 3-0 within 33 minutes and just 6 minutes later an own goal made it 4-0. I fully understand the snowball effect that can take place within a game but it was alarming to see them go through extremely poor spells without finding a way out. I doubt confidence will be high heading into a match with even a shoddy German side.
Shoddy? No chance. The famous German efficiency will return in this get right match. As nearly -500 favorites and without a win thus far, I can see Germany having a day here. Here is my issue with Germand: they keep conceding goals.
Keep a freaking clean sheet and you’ll be fine. Can they keep one here? I would hope so but my guess is no. In that case, the mission is to outscore the opponent. In Kiev that’s easier said than done.
Switzerland lost 2-1. Portugal lost 2-1. Estonia lost 1-0. Lithuania, Luxembourg, Serbia all lost. The Czech Republic lost 1-0. On and on I could go. I had to go back to October of 2015 to find the last time Ukraine lost at home.
I waste all that space to mention this….you know why Ukraine was smashed 7-1? Their team is MANGLED by Covid. They also had 10 players withdraw through injury. They are THIN.
Germans for the W and likely big.
I have no idea guys. These are educated guesses based on information available. With 3 games in a short space we have no idea what’s going to happen.
Set lineups and be prepared to pivot come 1:45pm on Saturday if you are playing.
Gnabry – GER – $10.7k
I definitely want shares of Germany and it starts right here. I’ll have to sacrifice many pieces of Spain I want to roster but the potential here is too high. His form is impeccable and while the price is high, a goal and assist is not out of the question.
Hofmann – GER – $9k
Waldschmidt started their friendly and bagged a goal but I have Hofmann starting and scoring here with Werner being downgraded to doubtful.
Fati – ESP – $7.7k
The youngster is projected to start and was an unused sub in their friendly with Portugal. As with Barca, he’s extremely productive in the final third. He’s already bagged his first senior goal so that monkey is off his back. I expect Ansu to feature in a wide open Spain attack.
Torres – ESP – $5.7k
I much prefer him at this price than Traore at $8.2k but both are playable. I’ll target the wide players for Spain of the #9 who I’ll list below. If it’s Torres I’m all in. If Olmo is in I’ll take a stab there at $7.2k. The hugely enticing piece here with Torres is the price plus ability.
Seferovic – SUI – $5.5k
Spain just don’t concede at home but if they do concede, it will be at the hands of the big Swiss up front in Seferovic.
Kroos – GER – $8k
Assuming he starts, he’s in my cash lineup. I’ll have to sacrifice somewhere but I have Germany projected for a ton of possession here. Possession leads to deep progression. Deep progression typically leads to opportunities or fouls and who takes set pieces? Kroos.
Draxler – GER – $6.5k
Insert Brandt here as well if you’d like but whoever starts opposite of Gnabry is in play at under $7k. Goal upside is great
Ceballos – ESP – $5.6k
Cheap exposure with likely 1 to 2 holding Midfielders alongside him in a midfield 3. He can play make or take on the shot himself.
Vargas – SUI – $3.4k
If he starts as one of the front 3, it’s hard to fade him even if he gets 60 minutes total. This is simply too cheap for an attacking player for a team that just took 20 shots against Germany.
Wildcard: Shaqiri – SUI – $8.8k
He passed a second coronavirus test and should be available but like I mentioned he hasn’t played first team football in ages. He does take every set piece for the Swiss when he plays
Ramos – ESP – $4.8k
Nearly $5k for a CB? Not just any CB. Ramos takes penalties, captains the side and is always a threat on set pieces. He’s also scored in 3 straight UEFA NL matches.
Benito – SUI – $3.9k
Wide left wing back typically in this system with Rodriguez tucked in the back 3. At this price and with his role he’s very much in play at all contests.
Gaya – ESP – $5k
If I have a preference, I’ll take the LB over the RB for Spain. If Navas starts here at $7.1k and a M position, I have no interest. We’ve seen relatively equal contributions in the attack from either fullback so we’ll go based on price and position.
Rodriguez – SUI – $5.1k
Another pay up option but in a very tough matchup. If he plays as one of the wing backs he’s very enticing. If he’s part of a back three and in a lineup WITH Shaqiri I want no part. Set pieces typically but Shaq takes over.
Sule – GER – $3.5k
If he starts, cheap with potential CS equity.
SUI GK (Sommer)
GER GK (Neuer)
ESP GK (De Gea)