We’ve a few hours left until Matchday 5 of this term’s Champions League matches gets underway. For those playing the official UEFA Fantasy Champions League, we bring you a total of 10 players worth considering over Tuesday and Wednesday, with five potential picks for each of the two evening’s fixtures. Please also be aware that the deadline for Tuesday and Wednesday is 16.45 GMT, due to the early kick-off between Zenit and Atletico today and CSKA against Bayern tomorrow:
The big news is that most of us will be looking for heavy-hitting strikers this week. Lionel Messi is injured and Cristiano Ronaldo has been ruled out of a prime home tie with Galatasaray due to a thigh problem. Both Diego Costa and David Villa have been left behind in Spain ahead of Atletico’s trip to Zenit, whilst Bayen are bereft of Mario Mandzukic for tomorrow’s visit to Moscow. Furthermore, City have already qualified and are expected to field a somewhat weakened side, with question marks raised over Sergio Aguero’s starting role for a home game against Viktoria Plzen.
With this in mind, my tips this week are forward-heavy, though it’s also worth noting that in midfield, some popular absentees include Bayern’s Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Leverkusen’s Sidney Sam, Napoli’s Marek Hamsik, Barcelona’s Adriano and Atletico’s Arda Turan.
José Manuel Pinto – with first-choice stopper Victor Valdes ruled out of the remaining two group games though injury, Pinto, at just 3.5, offers a budget route into the Barcelona defence for a trip to Ajax and home clash with Glasgow Celtic.
Oliver Giroud – a win at home to Marseille will place Arsenal in pole position to qualify from Group F. The visitors have been lacking defensive resolve in recent matches and, having notched twice this weekend, Giroud, at 9.0, allows you to replace Messi or Ronaldo and have spare change for an upgrade elsewhere.
Jackson Martinez – the Porto frontman entertains Austria Vienna this evening and will be looking to extend the form that has produced nine goals already this season. Priced at just 8.0, Martinez will fancy his chances against a backline that has conceded seven times in the last two group games.
Max Meyer – with Marco Hoger sidelined for Schalke, the highly-rated youngster looks set to continue in “the hole” in a 4-2-3-1. Meyer has netted four times and picked up a pair of assists in all competitions this term and priced at just 5.5, has a trip to Steaua Bucharest followed by a home clash against Basel.
Josue – Once again we go for the bargain basement Porto player. He’s on set pieces and penalties and has 1 goal and 5 assists to his name this season.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Messi and Ronaldo owners will likely be jumping over to the big Swede en masse for PSG’s home game against Olympiacos. Second only to the latter in the forward standings, the 12.5 priced Ibrahimovic has notched seven times in the last three group games and looks a real captaincy contender for tomorrow’s round of matches.
Edin Dzeko – with his side already qualified, the big Bosnian is expected to be handed a start at home to Viktoria Plzen. Bearing in mind City’s Etihad form, Dzeko, at 9.5, looks a tempting acquisition against a backline that has conceded eight in two road trips.
Paul Pogba – the former United man has been one of Juventus’ stand out players this season, firing four goals and three assists in Serie A so far. The Italian side are on a rich run of form ahead of a home clash with Copenhagen tomorrow evening – having struggled to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture back in Gameweek 1, the “Old Lady” will be looking to Pogba (5.5) to help fire them to victory.
Stefan Kiessling – a home clash with United will hold no fear for Leverkusen, who have dropped just two points in front of their own fans in the Bundesliga this term. With David Moyes’ men struggling for defensive solidity, the 9.0 priced Kiessling will be looking to replicate the form which has harvested 12 goals and six assists in 19 appearances thus far.
Simon Rolfes – another Leverkusen option, Rolfes comes in at just 5.5 and has served up some impressive midfield performances over 2013/14. Having found the net in three of the first four Matchdays, his consistency has been key to the German outfit’s fortunes in this season’s campaign.