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David de Gea to outdo Gianluigi Buffon in Spain's tie against Italy

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Euro 2016 is finally hotting up and the Round of 16 will separate the good from the great. Only the biggest and best teams should go through to the last eight, but as anyone who has followed the European Championships before knows, it doesn't always work that way.

At least one giant is going to fall at the next hurdle, as Italy and Spain go head-to-head. Both were disappointing in their final group games, losing to Ireland and Croatia respectively, but that was when they were already through.


There can be no room for complacency in the knock-out stages. It's about to get very serious. With money to be won on DraftKings, there are also some big decisions to make about who makes the fantasy football line-up.

Here are three of the trickiest head-to-heads this week.

Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) vs. Nani (Portugal)

Cristiano Ronaldo may be Portugal's superstar, but the galactico needs Nani as a trusty understudy. That was clear enough against Hungary when his former Manchester United team-mate got the opening goal, and they teamed up well throughout.

Nani made a couple of defensive errors in that game, but going forward, he's a huge player for Fernando Santos' side, with two goals at +10 fantasy points apiece so far in the competition.

Ivan Rakitic, meanwhile, has weighed in with a goal for Croatia in their 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic, and he is a better commander in midfield than Nani.

Croatia's talisman has steadily proven himself in the big games for Barcelona, whereas Nani struggled to find consistency at United. Rakitic is often charged with taking Croatia's set pieces too, which makes him a strong candidate for assists, each worth +6 points.

Portugal will need Nani in form if they are to get through, but Rakitic should have more of an influence overall.

Click here - to select Ivan Rakitic. 

Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) vs. David de Gea (Spain)

David De Gea has been under fire for his role in Spain's defeat to Croatia, but the Italy game is his chance to bounce back. Normally, the Spanish stopper would be an easy choice, but his opposite number is, of course, the one and only Gianluigi Buffon.

Clean sheets are worth +5 points, and Buffon gets plenty of those, having kept two in the tournament so far. In any DraftKings' fantasy football line-up, the key is to pick the 'keeper who's likely to be on the winning side, as they earn another +5. In this case, that's an extremely close call, but Italy don't have as robust a defence as they usually do, so De Gea just edges it.

On average, the Manchester United man made over two saves a game last season (which are worth +2 points each), while the Juventus veteran made almost a save a game less.

Buffon may have secured legend status long ago, but De Gea is a legend in the making. This is his chance to finally prove he's the world's number one.

Click here - to select David de Gea. 

Dele Alli (England) vs. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland)

England's game against Iceland is huge for Dele Alli. The 20-year-old has a big opportunity to announce himself on the European stage, so he needs to take it.

The Three Lions will most likely be forced into a war of attrition, so it will be hard for the starlet to express himself. If he can find holes in Iceland's defence, though, he can find space to shoot, earning +2 point for shots on target.

Even if the Spurs prodigy is stifled, he is always good at spotting opportunities, placing lots of through balls into the box. That's something he has in common with Iceland's star man Gylfi Sigurdsson.

The Swansea midfielder is the heart of the minnows' attack and likes to cross the ball, racking up +0.75 points on each occasion.

Iceland are massive underdogs for this one, but if England's star men - including Alli - don't perform, then you never know. However, the likelihood is that it will be Alli, and not Sigurdsson, who steals the show.

Click here - to select Dele Alli. 

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Manchester United
Euro 2016
England Football
David de Gea
Cristiano Ronaldo

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