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Giroud's form has picked up just at the right time .

Olivier Giroud, Chris Smalling and Emre Can set to star at Euro 2016

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As Euro 2016 gets underway, it's anyone's guess who will go all the way.

France are the favourites to claim the prestigious honour, but World Cup champions Germany can't be ruled out and, of course, England could yet be the ‘Dark Horses’.

Before they all start their campaigns this weekend, as always there are some tricky decisions to make over who to select on your DraftKings fantasy football line-up.

Here's a look at three of the biggest head-to-head battles during the early stages of the tournament.

Olivier Giroud (France) vs Florin Andone (Romania)

Olivier Giroud and Florin Andone both have something to prove this summer, but for very different reasons.

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Giroud went 15 games without scoring this season and Arsene Wenger will need a lot of convincing if the inconsistent forward is to keep his place next season.

As Arsenal continue their pursuit of Jamie Vardy, Wenger needs some proof that Giroud is good enough to partner him up front.

He did score a brace in France's final warm-up game against Scotland and needs to find that kind of form again during the tournament, as goals are worth +10 fantasy points on DraftKings.

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The good news is that Giroud created six assists last season and if he can set up a goal against Romania, it will earn him +6 points.

Andone, meanwhile, has impressed for Spanish second division club Córdoba CF, scoring 21 goals. That has seen him linked with a move to La Liga, and Euro 2016 represents his chance to put himself in the shop window.

The forward should do well against France, but the hosts' firepower should give Giroud the edge.

Click here - to select Olivier Giroud 

Chris Smalling (England) vs Sergei Ignashevich (Russia)

Chris Smalling scored the winner in England's recent friendly against Portugal, but his biggest impact will be as the Three Lions' defensive rock.

While Roy Hodgson frets over who will partner him at the back, Smalling will rightly be one of the first names on the team-sheet.

Smalling's a good pick for DraftKings because he'll secure a variety of points, including +1 for tackles won. England may be accused of playing the long ball too often, but at least it gives Smalling a chance to ping some crosses to whoever starts up front, each worth +0.75 fantasy points.

Hodgson has picked a refreshingly young squad to travel to France, so Smalling, at 26 years of age and with 25 caps to his name, is actually one of the most experienced players.

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That's nothing, though, compared with Russia's centre-back, Sergei Ignashevich, who at 36, has played 115 times for his national side. It's likely to be his last national tournament, so he'll be looking to make the most of it.

The CSKA Moscow man should be pretty comfortable as he will be partnering Vasili Berezutski, his defensive ally at club level. Ignashevich is a cautious defender who doesn't like to dive into tackles, but he can pick up plenty of +0.5 points for passes intercepted.

It's unlikely that Russia will be able to match England's attacking threat, though, so Smalling should be the best pick here.

Click here - to select Chris Smalling 

Emre Can (Germany) vs Artem Fedetskyi (Ukraine)

Emre Can has only recently returned from an ankle injury, but the Liverpool man could be key for Germany.

Can's importance is often overlooked because Joachim Lowe's side have so many big names, but for DraftKings, he is ideal.

Although he might lose a fair few -0.5 points for fouls conceded, that shouldn't have too big an effect on his overall score, as he isn't afraid to shoot from range. Those shots are worth +1 each, with an extra point if they're on target.

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While Can likes to press forward, Germany must make sure they aren't left exposed at the back, as Ukraine's right-back Artem Fedetskyi can also be a threat.

Fedetskyi will be most recognised as part of the Dnipro team that reached the Europa League final in 2015, and he also defended well when they beat Spurs a year earlier.

He may be a solid choice, but Can is more of a game-changer.

Click here - to select Emre Can 

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Topics:
Euro 2016
England Football
Football
Emre Can
Liverpool
Chris Smalling

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