Lining up your Fantasy Football dream team

Round one - kicking off!

Round two - what a week!

Round three - crunch time at the EUROs!

Round four - and then there were four!

Round five - It all comes down to this…

Round five - It all comes down to this…

England vs Germany at Wembley - it doesn’t come much bigger than this. After two thrilling semi-finals and goals galore, it is set to be an epic battle between two heavy weights of the women’s game.

We have been treated to top notch football throughout the tournament, with some surprises, quality goals and record-breaking crowds. Throughout it all, you have kept on top of your fantasy football squad, tweaking and manoeuvring your players for maximum impact. And now, we are down to the final.

It’s a case of history versus stats. This is Germany’s ninth appearance in a European Championship final, meaning they’ve appeared in 69% of the total finals in the competition’s history (9/13). They’ve won all eight of their previous finals, including a 6-2 win against England in 2009.

England have won just two of their 27 meetings with Germany in all competitions and have lost more often against them than any other opponent (D4, L21). However, the Lionesses did win their last such meeting 3-1 in February this year and have scored the most goals out of any team in the tournament. They are 19 games unbeaten under manager Sarina Wiegman. They are also ahead of Germany in total attempts in this campaign. This is worth bearing in mind when choosing your teams. The question is, do you trust form or do you trust pedigree? We never said it would be easy!

Helpfully Starling Bank have given you a little more flexibility for the final game round, by adding a chunky £12 million into your budget pot for your last team of the tournament. You can now also select up to eight players from either team. Just make sure you make any changes before 17:00 GMT Sunday. Captain and super-sub are key in this round too, so don’t forget.


You would think this would be an easy choice with only two goalkeepers to pick from but both England and Germany have conceded only one goal this tournament, keeping four clean sheets. Mary Earps however has made ten saves to Merle Frohms’ seven and if you want to be really picky, the only goal Germany conceded this tournament was classed as an own goal. However Earps does come in as top keeper budget wise at £9.5m to Frohms’ £8.6m, so we would recommend the latter.


These teams are so close, that we need to drill down into the stats. Defensively, you’re choosing from two of the best teams in the tournament but when getting down to the numbers, there are more English defenders in the top 10 for ball recoveries than there are German. Those players are Leah Williamson (£8.2m), who’s marked as a midfielder, and Lucy Bronze (£9.1m). They also have two players in the top 10 for tackles made versus Germany’s one - Williamson and Bright (£8.4m) vs Hegering (£7.0m).


For us, this is where the game will be won or lost and perhaps, where both teams have their most underrated and key players. England’s Walsh (£8.3m), Stanway (£8.1m), and Kirby (£9.0m), versus Germany’s Oberdorf (£7.4m), Magull (£9.2m) and Däbritz (£7.5m) will be a tasty affair. More often than not, it’s the forwards that get all the plaudits but these players have been so key to their teams’ progression, pulling the strings in midfield.

Klara Bühl (£9.0m) and Jule Brand (£6.6m) have also played in midfield for the Germans, the former out with Covid-19 and the latter putting in a stellar performance against the French. While it may seem difficult to choose your players in this position, with such high quality on both sides, you’re pretty much guaranteed to pick up points.


It seems obvious but the two players we need to talk about are England’s Beth Mead and Germany’s Alexandra Popp who are fighting it out for the golden boot. Both players have scored six goals with the latter becoming the first player to score in five consecutive games in a European Championship. Does that give her the edge?

As expected with a final, everything comes down to fine margins. Budget wise, Mead sits above Popp on (£10.4m) with the German coming in at £9.6m, but if you’re looking to spend big on goal scorers, we can drill down a little further to help you make this decision. Mead tops the charts in terms of assists throughout all players in the tournament, with five, so if she’s not scoring she’s likely assisting and getting points for the team.

With England having used the same starting eleven for the last five matches and bringing on similar subs throughout, it will help you pick some more moderate, supporting players. England’s youth have regularly made their mark, whether it’s starter Lauren Hemp tearing down the wing or up front substitutes Alessia Russo (£8.9m) and Chloe Kelly (£7.3m) coming on to change the game, you’re pretty much guaranteed to pick up some points with these players. Germany however have relied a little more on wider members of the squad to net goals, along with Popp.

This game is probably the most difficult to call out of the last three weeks, but one thing we do know is that it’s going to be a memorable, epic clash. With so much talent on display, you pretty much can’t go wrong with your choices.

Round four - and then there were four!

As the EUROs continue to get tougher, so too does choosing players for your fantasy football team. Ok… maybe it’s not as tough, but it certainly isn’t easy.

Sweden, England, Germany and France will contest the semi-finals of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. All four teams are littered with quality and depth meaning there’s still plenty of choice. Here at Girls on the Ball, we’ve rounded up the players who impressed us the most in the quarter-finals.


This is without doubt the easiest position to choose in the semi-finals with each team only using their number one goalkeeper throughout the tournament. If you weren’t lucky enough to choose one of the four remaining goalkeepers, here’s how they stand.

Sweden’s Hedvig Lindahl (£7.7m) is the most affordable keeper left available and has made the most saves (eight) in the tournament out of the remaining four. England’s Mary Earps (£9.1m) is the most expensive keeper with seven saves made. France’s Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (£7.8m) has made five saves so far, equal to Germany’s Merle Frohms (£9.0m) but the latter is yet to concede in the competition.

Based on the stats we would go for Lindahl, as she offers best value for money and top quality.


England’s Millie Bright (£8.0m) has been stand-out in the whole tournament and evidenced her quality again in England’s match against Spain, while France’s Wendie Renard (£7.8m) and Germany’s Marina Hegering (£7.0m) both impressed during their quarter-finals.

A more affordable option, and a player who arguably changed the game for her team in the last round, is France’s Selma Bacha. We recommended her from day one of the tournament and she has proven us right. At just £5.9m she is well worth including in your team. While she hasn’t always started for France, she is likely to get a run out against Germany in the semi-finals.


German duo Lina Magull (£9.4m) and Klara Bühl (£9.2m) both impressed in the last round with the latter picking up a player of the match award.

At the higher end of the budget is France’s Grace Geyoro (£9.4m). With an opening match hat trick, she has looked seriously threatening for the French. If they manage to find their shooting boots in the semi-final, she will play a big part.

We hope you took our advice on England stalwart Keira Walsh, who has risen from £7.7m to £8.3m during the tournament. She has been hugely influential to her team and ranks highly in the tournament for passing accuracy and passes completed. It will be earlier decisions like this that will help you build a more solid squad for the final three games.

Longevity and strategy are key, but so too is budgeting. With that in mind, here are some more modest suggestions to flesh out your midfield. Young Swedish midfielder Johanna Rytting Kaneryd continues to impress and at just £5.5m, is an excellent and affordable choice. Her fellow Swede Filippa Angeldahl (£7.9m) has looked strong too, scoring twice against Portugal in the group stages and looking dangerous against Belgium in the quarter-finals. She ranks eighth in the tournament for shots on target.


No semi-finalist scored more than two goals in their previous match. Each game was a tight affair, which demonstrates how close this competition has been.

Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius (£8.0m) has had more shots on target than any other player so far at this year’s UEFA Women’s European Championship (10), with 71% of her total efforts being on target despite only netting one goal. She will be desperate to get on the score sheet against England, where she plays football domestically.

Elsewhere, England’s Beth Mead (£9.9m) and Germany’s Alexandra Popp (£9.2m) are fighting it out for the Golden Boot, with Mead on five goals and Popp on four. Both players are likely to get on the score sheet in their respective matches but both are also at the top end of the budget.

French wingers Delphine Cascarino (£7.8m) and Kadidiatou Diani (£7.9m) come in slightly lower down the budget and both have continued to look frightening down the French flanks. France will need to continue their quick starts to matches when they face Germany and these two will be vital. So too will Melvin Malard (£6.9m) who has stepped up in the absence of injured Marie-Antoinette Katoto and is the most affordable striker who is likely to start for her team.

The choices you make now will have a big impact on your budget for the final, where we’ll be sharing our player recommendations one final time. Good luck.

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Round three - crunch time at the EUROs!

We’re finally heading into the knockout stages of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 and the eight teams have been decided. We have the England vs Spain, Austria vs Germany, Sweden vs Belgium and the Netherlands vs France matches to look forward to.

Now that we’ve said goodbye to eight squads, it’s time to readjust your fantasy football teams. It won’t be easy either. With so many players showing their skills in the group stages, values will have changed, so you need to flex your fantasy budgeting skills better than ever. Here at Girls on the Ball, we’ve rounded up the players who have impressed us so far.


If you’ve taken our earlier advice, you probably don’t need to make too many changes in this position. England’s Mary Earps and Germany’s Merle Frohms are yet to be beaten and Austria’s Manuela Zinsberger was recommended in our first blog.

However Daphne van Domselaar of the Netherlands has been a surprise stand out. After the Dutch lost first team choice Sarri van Veenendaal, the youngster stepped up between the sticks and has impressed. It’s fair to say she has played a big part in getting her team through to the quarter finals.


If you need to replace some players in your backline, it’s worth having a look at the Austrian team. As one of the lowest ranked quarter finalists, along with Belgium, their players are a bit more affordable, but they have conceded very few goals in the tournament and defend resolutely.

Laura Wienroither and Vicki Schnaderbeck have had strong performances for their team and are worth looking at. Both Felicitas Rauch and Jule Brand of Germany have impressed in the full back position. With their team facing Austria, they will be called upon a lot to break down a tough defence and send in crosses for their forwards to finish.

Versatile defenders can offer a little more in terms of how they serve their team. They’re more likely to play and can often crop up with surprise assists or even goals. Sweden’s Nathalie Björn is one such defender playing both full back and defensive midfield position for her team while England’s Rachel Daly can play a plethora of roles for her team, often in one of the full-back positions. If you want to be strategic with your choices, these two players can offer a lot.


In the middle of the park, there have been some notable performances, particularly from the youngsters in the tournament. Sweden’s Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (25) had an impressive run against Switzerland when she was subbed on and was rewarded with a start against Portugal. At £5.3m she is an affordable choice. Some other options in this position, in ascending price order are Jackie Groenen (£6.2m) who has made a return from Covid isolation and picked up where she left off with an impressive run out against Switzerland.

Next up is one of Austria’s key players, Sara Zadrazil (£6.7m). Recommended in round one, she is certainly worth retaining for the quarter final where she will have a tough task against a solid Germany team.

Another midfielder who has stood out in the group stages is England’s Georgia Stanway (£8.1m). She’s started every game and even bagged herself a goal and a player of the match award. While she’s at the higher end of the budget, it is very likely she will line out again for England when they take on Spain, providing some much needed tenacity in the midfield.


In the absence of Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Melvine Malard was given a chance against Iceland, netting her team’s only goal and winning player of the match too. At £6.9m, she’s not as pricey as some of the remaining teams’ firepower.

Another modest acquisition is Spain’s Clàudia Pina. She hasn’t had many minutes so far in the tournament, but with Spain struggling in front of goal and rarely playing a natural number nine, she can offer them what they will need most against England - goals.

If you’re looking to make up some points in this round and spend a little more, Kosovare Asllani has been superb for Sweden over the last couple of games. Given their match up with Belgium in the next round, they are likely to not only win but to score goals. If she’s not netting herself, she’s generally assisting or having an all-around good game. She will be at the higher end of your budget at £8.6m but, based on current form, she’s worth it.

As the tournament goes on and squads start to get knocked out, selecting both a strong and affordable team will prove more difficult. On the other hand, you will be faced with less choice, so perhaps in the end, it will get a little easier. If one thing’s for sure, we will be here to help you along the way.

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Round two - what a week!

The UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 is up and running – and what a week it’s been. We’ve seen record crowds, goals, bookings, and unfortunate injuries, all of which will have an impact on your team going forward. Another factor we’ve had to consider is the recurrence of Covid. Several players have had to pull out after testing positive, but the good thing is, most of them are back with their team within a week or so.

We’re pleased to see some of our first round suggested picks doing well. Aitana Bonmatí, Jill Roord and Iceland’s Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir have all had stand out matches so far – but it’s worth remembering some of the names who are no longer in the tournament. Sari van Veendedaal, Alexia Putellas, and Simone Magill are all out. With star striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto hobbling around on crutches after France’s match against Belgium, we would recommend either subbing or swapping her out for round 3. France have already qualified for the quarterfinals, and it is unlikely that French boss, Corinne Diacre, will risk her with so much talent on the bench.


You may need to make some changes here if you went with Dutch keeper, van Veendedaal. Both Germany and England are the only teams to have kept clean sheets so far, so Mary Earps and Merle Frohms are strong choices. But one keeper who has stood out for us is Denmark’s Lene Christensen. She will no doubt be busy again against Spain on Saturday but her team’s hopes of progressing all hang on this result.


A couple of defenders who have impressed us – although they sadly won’t be progressing – are Sarah McFadden and Julie Nelson. The latter scored Northern Ireland’s first ever goal in a major tournament – and they both did well keeping Ada Hegerberg quiet in their first match against Norway. It’s safe to say they will put up a big fight in their final game against England – and they’re affordable. Germany’s Marina Hegering put in a ‘player of the match’ performance against a tricky Spain – the team spent much of the match with the ball, and in Germany’s half. She’s certainly worth considering. Speaking of Spain, Ona Batlle put in a stellar performance and is having a strong tournament so far. With the team pipped to progress, she is certainly worth adding to your squad at only £5.5m.


Moving into the middle of the park, there have been some sublime performances. Fridolina Rolfö and Jackie Groenen certainly standout. Although the latter tested positive for Covid after her first match, she’s itching to come back and it’s quite possible she’ll feature against Switzerland. Group C is all to play for with all four teams still in with a chance of qualification.

If you’re looking to go big this round, France’s Grace Geyoro has been on fire. With three goals in her first match against Italy, she has hit the ground running. Keira Walsh has also been in fine form but often goes under the radar. While she might not be scoring worldies every match, she’s a pivotal part of England’s team – pulling the strings and directing play. Likely to start every game and put in a strong performance, she’s an excellent choice for a modest £7.7m.


Now to the business end of the pitch and we’re spoilt for choice. For those of you looking to splash out in this area, Beth Mead is on fire, scoring England’s only goal in their opener and a hat-trick in their rout of Norway. France’s wingers Kadidiatou Diani and Delphine Cascarino have terrorised both Italy and Belgium’s defence. If they’re not scoring goals, they’re assisting – and would be a good investment with France’s progression into the knock-out stages confirmed.

If you’re looking for more modest options: Tabea Waßmuth would be a good choice. The German forward has had a brilliant domestic season and came on as a substitute against Spain. With her team already through to the quarters, we may see some rotation in the side –and she may get a start.

A team that has surprised many this tournament are Portugal. Having been called up late to replace Russia, they have had very little preparation time. They’ve come back from 2-0 down in both of their matches. While they ultimately lost to the Netherlands, they drew with Switzerland, meaning they still have a slim chance of getting out of their group. They must beat Sweden to do so – and that means they must score goals. Both Jéssica Silva and Diana Silva have scored for the Portuguese – and are affordable options that are worth a punt for the final group matches.

Only three teams – England, Germany and France – have qualified for the knock-out stages with a group game to spare. This means there is a lot at stake in round 3 – and no doubt plenty of drama is yet to unfold. We’ll be back again ahead of the quarter-finals with more tips. Good luck in your choices.

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Round one - kicking off!

When Starling Bank told us about their plans to launch a Women’s Fantasy Football tournament, we at GirlsontheBall jumped at the chance to get involved. We’ve covered the game for the best part of a decade, and think it’s about time a game was developed for the UEFA Women’s EURO; Fantasy Football always makes tournaments more enjoyable, and it helps fans increase their knowledge of the game.

If you’re looking for some guidance on how to build out your team, we’ll be sharing our recommended players over the next four weeks.

Balancing the budget

With so much talent available and a Fantasy budget of £84 million for 16 players, it’s going to take some careful planning to select a winning squad. As tempting as it is to go for big names, your Fantasy budget will only get you so far, and you can only choose a certain number of players from each team.

The permutations are endless. You can go for fire power up front and be more modest throughout or, like us, you could go for a strong spine in the team - a solid defender, midfielder, and striker - and then pack out the squad with some more prudent options.

We also consider how far a team is likely to go, so we will not have to do too much chopping and changing as the tournament goes on.

Between the sticks

As followers of the World Cup can attest, there’s an abundance of talented goalkeepers in the game right now.

If you want to splash out on a top keeper look no further than Manuela Zinsberger of Austria or Sari van Veenedaal of the Netherlands. The latter is more likely to go further in the tournament given her side are the reigning European Champions.

Inês Pereira of Portugal could make a good backup for the group stages. She saw plenty of action for her club Servette this season, pulling off some top saves against Chelsea, Juventus and Wolfsburg in the Champions League.

Building your back line

There are plenty of quality defenders to choose from. France stalwart Wendie Renard is always a good shout. Not only is she one of her team’s key players but, more often than not, finds herself on the scoresheet.

Sweden too have some top class defenders. Chelsea captain, Magdalena Eriksson, often sits in a central pairing for club but plays full back for country. Along with Hanna Glas, they are some of the best in the business.

If you’re looking for some more frugal purchases, youngsters Selma Bacha and Giulia Gwinn have been impressive domestically and would be worth a punt. Meanwhile, England’s Rachel Daly is fast cementing her place in the left back role. Her versatility could be of benefit too.

Middle of the park

Choosing your midfield is going to be a tough job - nations are absolutely stacked with quality. From Denmark’s Pernille Harder to Austria’s Sarah Zadrazil and Spain’s Alexia Putellas, it is definitely worth spending on this position.

Even if it is just on one or two players, let’s try and be smart. If you’re going to spend big on a midfielder, aim for someone who is likely to go far in the tournament, rather than having to splash out later.

While Ballon D’Or winner Putellas is tempting, you could save a little by choosing fellow Spanish talent, Aitana Bonmatí. Germany’s Lena Oberdorf or Svenja Huth are both affordable purchases with plenty of potential.

Moving away from the group of death to England; Keira Walsh is a solid choice. They’re likely to get into the knockout stages and Walsh is more or less guaranteed to feature heavily. A couple of thriftier choices to look at would be Germany’s Jule Brand and the Netherlands’ Jill Roord. Both have good seasons under their belt and can certainly bag goals and assists.

Up front

And now we get to the exciting end of the pitch, the forwards. Like the midfield area, there is plenty of choice, from established stars to rising newcomers.

If you’re looking to go big, you’ve got lots of options. Marie-Antoinette Katoto of France is one of our tips to win the Golden Boot, while the Netherland’s Vivianne Miedema has shown what she can do in the FA Women’s Super League.

Norway’s golden girl, Ada Hegerberg, is back from injury and doing what she does best. Out wide, Hegerberg’s teammate, Caroline Graham-Hansen, is in fine form while Lauren Hemp is tipped to shine for England.

Fridolina Rolfö too has been showing her speed for Barcelona and Sweden and offers plenty of versatility to a team while Italy’s Cristiana Girelli has also been good internationally.

If you’re looking to spread your budget with your forwards, Spain’s Athenea del Castillo really shone in February’s Arnold Clark Cup and Iceland starlet, Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir, impressed in the Champions League for Wolfsburg. And despite being surrounded by some serious firepower in France, Sandy Baltimore is also making a name for herself and will be looking to make her mark in a stacked team. These players won’t break the bank and are definitely worth a look.

Good luck in choosing your starting squad. We look forward to seeing them in the Fantasy league tables, and to bringing you more tips and tricks as the tournament unfolds.

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