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Griezmann can be the difference for hosts France against Germany .

Antoine Griezmann, Joe Allen and Joao Mario to shine in the semi-finals

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As Euro 2016 approaches the semi-final stage, France, Germany, Portugal, and Wales - yes, Wales - are just two wins away from glory.

Portugal are still carrying the unfortunate record of having failed to win a game in 90 minutes in the tournament, but they are in the last four all the same.


Wales can boast the more flattering statistic that they have won more knockout games in the last two weeks than England have in two decades, but all these records will be meaningless when the teams step out onto the pitch.

Each of the remaining four nations will be praying that their main men shine in this week's all-important round of fixtures. In partnership with fantasy football product DraftKings, we take a look at three who can make the difference for their respective countries.


Antoine Griezmann (France)

Antoine Griezmann's club manager Diego Simeone has previously hailed him as the third best player in the world and it's easy to see why.

With four goals and two assists so far in the tournament, the Atletico Madrid forward is on course for the Golden Boot. That makes him a safe choice to notch up +10 fantasy points with a goal, while any assist is worth +6 points.


In fact, Griezmann will be keen to make sure he is creating as many goals as he is scoring because if the race for the Golden Boot is a tie, it will be decided on assists. Even if he doesn't win the award, there can be no denying that the Atleti star has been one of the players of the tournament.

Griezmann's beautifully chipped goal against Iceland summed up everything that makes him such a top player. And while it is his finesse that makes him so exciting to watch, the Frenchman also contributes by tracking back, so he's a solid all-round pick.

Click here to select Antoine Griezmann. 

Joe Allen (Wales)

Joe Allen is making the most of the opportunity to put himself in the shop window, with reports this week suggesting Liverpool are ready to sell the Welshman for £14m.

After some impressive performances this summer, that fee is looking like quite a bargain right now. Allen loves to get stuck into a tackle, picking up +1 point a time, and that will be essential if Wales are to cause another upset.


Allen is a fine interceptor of the ball, too, picking up +0.5 points on each occasion. Wales aren't expected to have the lion's share of possession, but Liverpool's unlikely end-of-season hero can change that.

Portugal and Wales both have one superstar player, but it wouldn't be all that surprising if it were the so-called 'lesser' players who settled this one.

Click here to select Joe Allen. 

Joao Mario (Portugal)

Sporting Lisbon appear to be desperate to keep hold of Joao Mario as Manchester United hover around their star man. These are rumours that have persisted for some time, but they have intensified since Mario's compatriot Jose Mourinho took the reins at Old Trafford.

Mario is one of the reasons Portugal's current crop of players are being described as a 'Golden Generation'. The midfielder can be quite the handful and without the suspended Ben Davies, Wales might find the 23-year-old difficult to contain.

Poland v Portugal - Quarter Final: UEFA Euro 2016

Fouls drawn are worth +1 point, so Mario can pick up plenty of those as Portugal attempt to overwhelm Wales. Chris Coleman will also be conscious that in five appearances at the Euros, Mario has already created nine opportunities.

The key to any successful DraftKings fantasy football line-up is having an eye for players who others might not have considered. Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani are pretty expensive options when you have a salary cap of just $50,000, whereas Mario is a far better choice.

Click here to select Joao Mario. 


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