From England to Portugal who will win the first UEFA Nations League?

ooooo (1)

We know now who will take part in the very first UEFA Nations League semi finals which will be held next year in Portugal in June.

Even though there have been mixed reactions to the new competition it does seem like the majority of teams are at least taking the games seriously enough and if the group stages didn’t convince some the semi final and final of this competition will and they are sure to be classic and intense matches.

The first thing we need to know is that the draw has not been made yet for the semi finals- this happens in December. We do of course know who will have the chance to pick up the very first Nations League trophy and below we will look at each teams chances.


What a year it has been for Gareth Southgate and England, reaching their 2nd semi final of a competition after their World Cup exploits in Russia this summer. England have had to beat Croatia who knocked them out of the World Cup in the last four and Spain away from home to get here, so there has been no lucky games for the three lions. Southgate has believed in youth and has shown hands on managerial one to one expertise which has run through this team. England want to play to win and have their best team in a generation. This could be England’s first chance of silverware since winning the World Cup in 1966.


Portugal will be the favourites to win the competition- mostly because of two things; they are at home and they have Cristiano Ronaldo- although after what should be a taxing an thrilling season for Ronaldo, his debut one in Serie A with Juventus they will be hoping that their man is fit enough and ready for the occasion. The last time Portugal hosted a tournament at home they lost in the final to Greece. Although they have more than made up with that in recent times winning Euro 2016.


Switzerland will be seen as the rank outsiders to win this, although their 5-2 demolition of Belgium, a side that dazzled at the World Cup should have raised some eyebrows. They are here on merit and always put in a solid display making them a hard side to beat. Switzerland have never won a major trophy, and will be 100% motivated to do so.


It’s fair to say that since reaching and then losing in the 2010 World Cup final, the Netherlands have been very poor, failing to qualify for the last World Cup and going through many coaches and a transition of sorts. It’s also fair to say that they played poorly in their final Nations League group game against Germany and yet claimed a 2-2 draw which saw them beat France on goal difference to be here. Perhaps the Germany draw was a real turning point for the nation, and they could be a genuine danger to any side come next June.



Euro Fantasy League Podcast – #22 – Round of 16 Review, Quarter-Finals Predicted


Dave and Jamie return to round up what’s been going on in those seven long days since they last darkened the airwaves. The group stages have finished, the round of 16 is now also done and dusted and now we look ahead to the quarters, and beyond.

#It’sComingHome #DareToDream

Continue reading

Switzerland’s lack of intent exposed by Sweden


For Switzerland to be disappointed at a missed opportunity in a World Cup quarter final says a lot about the heights reached under Vladimir Petkovic over the past couple of years. Sweden’s 1-0 victory at the Krestovsky Stadium, courtesy of Emil Forsberg‘s deflected second half goal, knocked them out of the tournament. It was also just their second defeat in two years; while the Swedes were a more than beatable opponent on paper, perspective is needed as the post-mortem starts. Continue reading

Switzerland need more pace in attack against Sweden


Vladimir Petkovic has worked wonders while in charge of Switzerland; his impact has been in evidence particularly since their Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Poland two years ago. They have lost just once in a competitive match from then to now, and only missed out on automatic qualification for the World Cup to Portugal on goal difference. The biggest thing Petkovic has instilled since taking charge in 2014 is a never-say-die attitude.

Continue reading

Which three youngsters have been impressive so far this World Cup?


The World Cup 2018 group stages has now come to an end, where most teams have amazingly reached to the Round of 16 within the competition, whilst the others return to their native countries, and enjoy a short break before the pre-season campaign start towards the last two weeks of July.

With the Round of 16 just kicked off, it’s time to take a quick look at some of the young individuals that have impressed their fans and football supporters around the world in their first World Cup campaign for their respective country. Some players are quite known and some are still on the rise.

With no further ado, here are the three youngsters that were incredible during the group stages…

Aleksandar Golovin – Russia

From the first group fixture against Saudi Arabia, CSKA Moscow’s Aleksandar Golovin showed his quality on and off the ball, from being able to drop deep to help his midfield to producing the key passes in the final third of the pitch. Also, his versatility is something that most managers in the world would love to see in a player, as he can play on the flanks as well as a central midfielder.

At the age of 22, he still has a couple of years left until he reaches his total peak and is already showing signs of how complete of a midfielder he actually is. Due to his recent rise and well as his consistent and please performances in the Russian Premier League last season, he has been now scouted by many of the well-known European clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Juventus.

Hirving Lozano – Mexico

Mexico surprised a lot of people when they went on to beat Germany as well as qualify for the knockout stages. Given the defensive solidity that Sweden possess and the energetic and fearless players that South Korea have in their line-up, all the odds were up against Juan Carlos Osorio’s men, who were expected and predicted to leave the competition before the World Cup had even started.

However, a certain winger called Hirving Lozano, has helped his side from the flanks through his incredible burst of pace and intelligent movement in the opposition’s half. The PSV Eindhoven attacker assisted his national team by scoring a goal against Germany and providing a valuable assist in the win over South Korea, which allowed Mexico to achieve six points from their first two games.

Manuel Akanji – Switzerland

Switzerland have had the tendency to be known to have a solid defence, dominant midfield and an inconsistent attack. Due to this, the national team have constantly done well in the group stages but have failed time and time again to do well in the knockout rounds. Centre-back Manuel Akanji has been one of the few reasons to why Vladimir Petkovic’s side have been aerially dominant and very tough to beat.

The 22-year-old is currently enjoying his time at Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, who he joined during the January transfer window on a four-year deal from FC Basel. Since then, Akanji has made a number of league appearances under head coach Peter Stoger, and will be aiming to become a regular starter for the German side anytime soon. With Sokratis expected to leave in the summer, Akanji’s time to shine has certainly come.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Fantasy Football Managers? If you’re up to challenging the best then play now!

World Cup Preview


After the first break of the tournament, the World Cup is ready to proceed with what promise to be four great days of football. The round of 16 will kick off later today with two of the most interesting match-ups on paper: France-Argentina and Uruguay-Spain.

Les Bleus have won two out of three matches in the group stage, but they have been rather uninspiring so far, squeaking by Australia and Peru and drawing with Denmark. The Albiceleste is the poster child of not playing up to their talent: they showed great character in the thriller against Nigeria, but their manoeuvre is still way too discombobulated. Both teams need to improve to go far, but they have an excellent launching pad early because eliminating a contender always gives you a big boost. Continue reading

World Cup Weekly Recap


A couple of shockers, late drama, clutch goals: the third round of the group stage did not fall flat. The biggest surprise was obviously Germany dropping the ball against South Korea: Die Mannschaft just had to win two-nil (or more) to be safe, but despite multiple good chances, they did not manage to score and eventually the Taeguk Warriors took advantage of their unbalanced tactics and punished them, much to the jubilation of Mexico.

The World Cup Champion curse continues, as also Spain in 2014, Italy in 2010 and France in 2002 also were not able to get past the first phase after lifting the trophy. Continue reading

Brazil Through to World Cup Last 16


Brazil have made it through to the last 16 of the World Cup after beating Serbia 2-0 at the Otkrytie Arena. The five-time world champions began their campaign with a stutter but by the time they took to the field against Serbia – also contenders to qualify on the night – they were looking much more like their usual selves. The football was fast, fruitful and flowing – and suddenly fellow challengers for this year’s World Cup crown may be fancying a draw away from the South Americans for as long as possible. Neymar  put in easily his best performance of the summer so far, and helped to inspire Brazil to the top of Group E.

Continue reading

Euro Fantasy League Podcast – #21 – Lee Stobbs on England


The lads are back with a catch up of all the goings-on during the World Cup so far. Dave reveals his true colours (anything but the white shirt of England) while Jamie and guest Lee Stobbs happily agree on Gareth Southgate’s standing as England boss.

All the groups are given the usual treatment, and a roundup of Dave and Jamie’s predictions ahead of the tournament show that one of the two seems to confuse himself when it comes to points scoring.

Continue reading

Serbia suffer huge slip up as Switzerland takeover


After confidently beating Costa Rica in their opening fixture of the 2018 World Cup, Serbia were regarded as a national team that could be seen as one of the dark horses of the competition, that could go on to at least reaching the Round of 16. This was stated for the likes of Croatia and Mexico, who have also been impressive and exciting to watch during their group matches in recent weeks.

On Friday evening, Mladen Krstajic’s men had to make sure they would either pick up a draw or a win against Switzerland. This would have allowed them to stay in the driving seat of Group E, no matter what the result would have been in the other group fixture between Brazil and Costa Rica.

However, Serbia’s moments in dreamland were intercepted and crushed as they were brought back down to reality as Switzerland’s never-say-die attitude and mentality allowed them to pull-off a second half comeback with goals from Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri. The result now leaves Switzerland in second place on four points whilst Serbia are behind them by just a single point.

The Serbia players as well as the manager himself will feel that his side were hard done by, given that German referee Felix Brych completely missed out on two blatant penalties in each half of the game. On top of that, a lot of aggressive and forceful fouls produced by Switzerland’s defence and midfield were gone without any recognition or punishment after the free-kick was officially given.

The likes of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Luka Milivojevic and Nemanja Matic were booked in the final ten minutes of the first half, whilst individuals such as Xhaka and Fabian Schar got away with a number of fouls. Most importantly, Mladen Krstajic made his voice heard after the game came to an end, where he mentioned that the referee should be put on trial and punished for his mistakes.

On the other hand, the referee should not be blamed for everything and VAR should have stepped up for when it was needed the most. Football fans either feel that the system interrupts the momentum of the game or it helps the match to be treated fairly, but the consistency of this method has not been convincing enough and the people who actually watch the replays of the game do not get the chance to communicate with the referee.

Overall, Serbia’s style of play and tactics as a whole have not been versatile at all as their direct and short passing approach has been proven to be easy to come up against. For sure, the side’s target man in Aleksandar Mitrovic was giving Switzerland’s defence a lot of tough moments, but he did not receive many clear-cut chances and nor did he go on to produce any chances for his team-mates.

Up next, the team will go on to face one of the favourites to win the competition, Brazil, who will be aiming to secure their position as the winners of Group E without any issues. There is only way that Serbia can get past the group stages, and that’s by beating the South American side as well as having a lot of faith that Costa Rica can hopefully prevent Switzerland from taking the three points off them.

Play the most challenging Fantasy World Cup 2018 game here