Choosing perfect captain for 1st day of Euro-2016 group stage
oday Euro-2016 starts, and it is time to make the hardest decision in the fantasy-craft once again.
We're working by the traditional pattern: reviewing each match for potential captaincy, checking the quotes of bookmakers, dive deep into the statistics and writing out the top three for the Euro-2016 starting day.
Matches not worth seeking captain in
Wales — Slovakia. Whatever the temptation to make magnificent Gareth Bale and Marek Hamšík (and maybe the blond handsome Aaron Ramsey) the captains, but this match should be avoided. This is a typical game of three results, the outcome of which is almost impossible to predict; and judging by the game styles of the teams, this match could very well turn out to be "grass-root".
England — Russia. The Russian national team has a well-played defense and a perfect attack, but it completely lacks the midfield. Injuries decimated the best midfielders, opening up alluring attacking prospects for the British. There is only one problem: in what combination and in what style will the offensive line of «three lions» play? Roy Hodgson himself does not seem to know it. Kane, Alli and Rooney are there from the iron start players, but this is the first experience of a big tournament for Dele, and everything is still very complicated with the Wayne's position in the national team, as in the "MU". Kane is the only adequate and more or less reliable option, but the decision on his captaincy seems hasty, and it is better to see one or two matches against the British.
Spain — Czech Republic. Overall high level of team performance skills of the Spaniards is beyond question, but problems arise when switching to the individuals. There is no pronounced leader in this team, and there is simply no one to give the captain's armband to. Silva and Iniesta will definitely be in the start, but their effectiveness in the national team is poor; and it is hard not only to choose a captain from the long list of Koke, Morat, Fabregas, Nolito, Aduriz, and Pedro, but also even to understand who is guaranteed to come through.
Ireland — Sweden. The presence of Zlatan Ibrahimović may create the illusion that the Swedes are favorites of the match, but "Tre Kronor" made absolutely no impression at the finish of the group stage, and the sturdy Irish will clung to Ibra in the penalty area and will leave him perhaps the opportunity to score a classic heel goal and to distinguish himself from the standard. Besides, the Irish proved themselves worthy in the group with the Germans and the Poles, and writing them off is just not worth it.
Belgium — Italy. Marchisio and Verratti did not go to Euro-2016 forcing Antonio Conte to take a number of severe tactical and personnel decisions and crossing out the Italian national team from the tournament favorites list. The Belgians seem to be the more likely match winner, and de Bruyne and Azar seem to be the best choice, but Marc Wilmots was never able to set up a high quality team play for the national team and it remained a beautiful set of stars making it due to personal skill. Taking someone from this match into its composition is possible, but there are absolutely no potential captains.
Portugal — Iceland. «And what about Cristiano Ronaldo?» — your just exclamation can already be heard, but an underestimation of the Icelanders have already ruined the Dutch national team and nearly ruined the Turkish national team, so let's just not repeat the mistakes of the "orange". This could be the end, but nevertheless let's add a statistical fact: the Portuguese scored more than one goal only in 3 of 8 matches in the qualification, and even then it was against the Serbs and the Armenians, the two worst teams of the qualifying group.
Matches worth seeking captain in
France — Romania. The French national team is a clear favorite of the match, but there are several factors indicating that the French will not decimate the Romanian national team: the opening match of big tournaments is rarely productive, the French will play under great pressure, and the Romanians defended very well in the qualifying group and missed only 2 balls (it is the least in the qualification). But with all this, the frantic set of attacking players in the French national team is impossible to ignore, so they fall into the final statistical table in full.
Albania — Switzerland. Many considered the Albanian national team to be the Euro-2016 passenger, which is destined to wrestle with Romania for the third place in the group and, in the case of a successful outcome of the struggle, to fail out soundly of the 1/8 final. The Swiss know how to deal with the teams inferior to them in class, and therefore both Ricardo Rodriguez and Xherdan Shaqiri may well qualify for the captain's armband.
Turkey — Croatia. Anyone else but these guys are likely to think about buildup and long pace development for Euro-2016. It is quite possible that the match between Turkey and Croatia will be the most productive one on the 1st day. Naturally, we're aiming for the attacking players from Çalhanoğlu to Mandžukić.
Poland — Northern Ireland. The Poles are considered one of the dark horses of the tournament, and they will have to face the national team of Northern Ireland on the first day, which professes an extremely unpleasant and malleable style of play. Poland remains the favorite of the match at any scenario and the scoring potential of this team is undeniable, and therefore Lewandowski and Milik rightfully claim the captaincy.
Germany — Ukraine. The Germans have a mess on the defensive (Rüdiger and Hummels failed out due to injury, Boateng is not 100% ready), and Podolski and Gomez are called to attack, and indeed the world champions are clearly not in their peak form. One should not expect a downright smashing of the Ukrainians from Germany, but it would be wrong not to consider the captains from the world champions camp, therefore Muller and Ozil are at your service. There is also an ambiguous option with Götze, but it's too great a risk.
Austria — Hungary. The Austrians played in the qualification so well that they became obvious favorites of the match against the modest Hungarians. Arnautović and Janko will gladly accept the captain's armband, and if Alaba is listed in the defenders on the playing court, it is necessary to pay attention to him as well.
Call to bookmaker
We're choosing coefficients on individual team total over 1.5 and highlighting the least of them in the price.
France — 1.43
Spain — 1.60
Germany — 1.63
Portugal — 1.83
England — 1.88
Austria — 1.89
Poland — 1.94
Interestingly, the three main Euro-2016 favorites, according to bookmakers, have the greatest chances of 2 or more goals on the 1st day.
Perfect captain for 1st day of Euro-2016 group stage
We're collecting important statistical parameters of the players for the qualifying round into a table.
We will have to make a tough choice between a defender with amazing statistics of attacking actions (Rodríguez) and an effective attacking midfielder (Shaqiri) in the Swiss national team, wherein the latter looks more preferable just at the expense of efficiency. A clear leader of attacks in the person of Perišić stood out among the Croatians according to the statistics, but Rakitić is quite close according to the statistics parameters. Grosicki is, of course, very good, but it's very difficult to be compared to Lewandowski. Müller simply does not have any competitors in the German national team, though Kroos is trying very hard. As for the Austrians, everything here is quite difficult: spectacular Arnautović looks slightly better than Junuzović and Janko, but there are no questions to Alaba.
Since the French national team is the main favorite of the tournament, let us honor the "three-colored" with a separate table with the information on friendly matches of the 2015/16 season.
The French table shows the admirable form of Olivier Giroud and a terrifying efficiency of Dimitri Payet. We will therefore regard them as the main contenders for the captain's armband from the team of Didier Deschamps, although Blaise Matuidi is ready to argue.
The captain top for the 1st day of the Euro-2016 the group stage from the "Goose and water" blog:
1. Dimitri Payet (France)/Olivier Giroud (France)
2. Thomas Müller (Germany)
3. Robert Lewandowski (Poland)