Champions League

UEFA Champions League – Initial Selection Guide

As already mentioned last week, we’ve set up a league for the official UEFA Champions League game , which gets underway this evening.

With that in mind, we’ve taken our lead from this excellent Hot Topic by VS10, which highlights some of the best budget options available to Fantasy managers for their opening squads.

Rather than suggest the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for your 15-man squads, we’ll instead seek out some cut-price alternatives across the positions that could be worth considering for the group stages.

As hinted at by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte only yesterday, we’ve also factored the possibility of rotation into our suggested picks.

This could promote players such as the Blues’ Michy Batshuayi in our thinking, along with Premier League assets such as Man United’s Victor Lindelof and Tottenham’s Son heung-min.

When assembling your squad, it’s also worth noting that, maybe by Matchday 5 and certainly by Matchday 6, those teams that have already qualified as group winners may start rotating their players.

Goalkeepers

Alphonse Areola – Paris Saint Germain – 4.5
The 24-year-old has started all five league matches for the Ligue 1 big spenders this season. Areola has conceded just three times in those outings and looks excellent value for a Group B that includes Anderlecht and Celtic, as well as Bayern Munich.

Bruno Verela – Benfica – 4.5
The stopper has been an ever-present in the league so far, conceding just three times in five appearances. Verela offers clashes with CSKA Moscow and FC Basel, in addition to Group A favourites Man United.

Pepe Reina – Napoli – 5.5
A little more expensive on the budget, the Spaniard has shipped two goals in three outings for Napoli this season. The Serie A side have started the season in fine form, winning all three league matches, and – aside from clashes with Man City – could profit from Group F encounters with Feyenoord and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Defenders

Dan-Axel Zagadou – Borussia Dortmund – 4.0
The teenager is expected to benefit from an injury sustained by left-back Marcel Schmelzer last weekend. Zagadou started the first two Bundesliga matches before dropping to the bench, but with Schmelzer now looking at six weeks out, the summer signing from PSG could be a viable short-term solution.

Jorge – Monaco – 4.0
Cemented the role at left-back and has been an ever-present in the league as a result of Benjamin Mendy’s move to Man City. Having supplied an assist already for the French champions, Jorge offers an alternative to pricier defensive team-mates Kamil Glik (6.0) and Jamerson (5.5), who have both scored twice in the league this season.

Jonathan Silva – Sporting Lisbon – 4.0
Started at the weekend after Fabio Coentrao was ruled out with a muscle injury. Silva looks a short-term option for the trip to Olympiakos, though Coentrao is very injury-prone and the former may yet prove more than a stop-gap option.

Kevin Diks –Feyenoord – 4.5
The right-back has already served up two assists in four league appearances for the Eredivisie league leaders. Six key passes and five shots inside the box over those matches underline Diks’ attacking potential.

Alex Telles – Porto – 5.5
He only has a single assist to his name, but the left-back is ranked second overall in the Portuguese top-flight for key passes, supplying 16 in his first five appearances. Team-mate Felipe (5.0) has registered more shots (seven) than any defender in Liga NOS and offers a cheaper route into a rearguard that’s yet to concede this season.

Victor Lindelof – Manchester United – 5.5
With Phil Jones and Eric Bailly both suspended for United’s first group match, the summer signing looks set to be handed a chance to impress in central defence. Jose Mourinho has overlooked Lindelof on the domestic stage thus far and may well look to ease him into contention via European matches instead.

Mario Fernandez – CSKA Moscow – 5.5
Utilised as a wing-back on the right of a 3-4-3, Fernandez has provided a total of 15 key passes – no defender has more in the Russian league – and has been unlucky only to earn a single assist.

Danielle Rugani – Juventus – 5.5
The centre-half scored two goals in 11 appearances in Serie A last season and has started all three league matches this time around. Rugani offers the cheap option in a defence that’s conceded just two goals to date.

Midfielders

Kevin Bua – Basel – 5.0
A versatile asset who offers the Swiss side an option out wide or even through the middle. Limited to just three appearances last season due to injury, Bua has been quick to atone for lost time, scoring twice in six league outings this term.

Bruno Fernandes – Sporting – 5.5
Flourishing in a central support role, Fernandes is Sporting’s joint-top scorer, along with frontman Bas Dost, on four goals over the first five fixtures. He also offers a share of set-pieces.

Salvio – Benfica – 5.5
The right winger has fired two goals over the opening four league fixtures, with a total of 14 attempts on goal ranked third behind strikers Haris Seferovic and Jonas.

Ganso – Sevilla – 5.5
The Brazilian seems to have finally cemented his role as a regular for the La Liga outfit after struggling for pitch-time last term. Ganso has notched twice in three league appearances and was among the goals against Eibar last weekend.

Aleksandr Golovin – CSKA – 5.5
Stationed on the left of a front three, Golovin has registered two goals and an assist from nine league appearances. But he’s fired a total of 19 shots on goal and is cheaper than Alan Dzagoev (6.5) on the opposite flank.

Marlos – Shakhtar – 6.0
The Brazilian has netted four goals in seven league appearances and is also his side’s first-choice spot-kick taker. Marlos’ penchant for earning cautions may be a deterrent, though, with four yellow cards already over that period.

Kostas Fortounis – Olympiakos – 6.0
Stationed in a central support role, Fortounis has netted three times in as many league matches this season. He also registered a goal and an assist during Champions League qualifying and is expected to be handed spot-kicks and a share of set-pieces.

Quincy Promes – Spartak Moscow – 7.0
A former target of Liverpool, Promes has racked up six goals and three assists from nine appearances. He’s produced more shots on goal than any other player in the Russian league this season.

Heung-min Son – Tottenham Hotspur – 8.0
Used sparingly on the domestic stage by Mauricio Pochettino, the South Korean looks likely to benefit from Dele Alli’s three-match European ban. In terms of minutes per goal among midfielders in last season’s Premier League, only Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez surpassed Son’s average of 147.7.

Forwards

Rickie Van Wolfswinkel – Basel – 7.0
A name known to us, the Dutchman has shrugged off his previous struggles at Norwich to flourish in the Swiss top-flight. Van Wolfswinkel has seven goals in as many league outings in 2017/18 and is also Basel’s first-choice for penalties.

Jonas – Benfica – 7.5
Top scorer in the Portuguese first division, the striker has fired 22 shots on goal in just five league appearances, netting six times and supplying two assists.

Michy Batshuayi – Chelsea – 7.5
With Antonio Conte hinting at rotation, we reckon there’s a chance that the Belgian could be unleashed at home to Qarabag, with Alvaro Morata perhaps moving to the bench with one eye on the weekend visit from Arsenal. Indeed, Batshuayi could even prove a short-term armband punt tonight for those willing to roll the dice.

Anthony Martial – Manchester United – 7.5
Identically priced to team-mate Marcus Rashford, the Frenchman trails the United youngster by one league start to three thus far. Yet Martial has mirrored Rashford’s output of two goals and an assist and should see more pitch-time in the Champions League as Jose Mourinho freshens up his options in attack.

Gabriel Jesus – Manchester City – 8.0
With Sergio Aguero priced at 10.5, the in-form Brazilian – who has notched three times in his last two league appearances – looks an absolute snip at a mere 8.0 as the choice route into Man City’s attack.

Kylian Mbappe – Paris Saint Germain – 9.0
The big-money signing offers an obvious alternative to new team-mates Neymar and Edinson Cavani, who both set you back a whopping 11.0. Mbappe has already hit the ground running since arriving from Monaco, bagging a goal and an assist in Friday’s debut win over Metz.

Paulo Dybala – Juventus – 9.5
Another forward who has been afforded a relatively kind price tag, with team-mate Gonzalo Higuain costing 10.5 by comparison. Despite being stationed behind Higuain in a central support berth, Dybala has outscored him by five goals to two and has registered 17 shots in the first three rounds of fixtures in Serie A.

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1,501 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Atimis
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    9 days, 7 hours ago

    Ok last one Pogba Rugani or James Carvajal?

    1. Atimis
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      9 days, 7 hours ago

      Long term ofc

      1. Atimis
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        9 days, 7 hours ago

        Thanks mates, I'm off for the game

    2. IM_AWESOME
        9 days, 7 hours ago

        pogba

      • Dr. King Schultz
          9 days, 7 hours ago

          Rugani not starting. James/Carvajal.

          1. Atimis
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            9 days, 7 hours ago

            Thx

        • PKW - Mbokani Faso
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          9 days, 7 hours ago

          The pogba one

        • Sidharth
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          9 days, 7 hours ago

          Pogba Rugani

        • EdenoftheEast
            9 days, 7 hours ago

            Pogba and Rugani

        • Henning
            9 days, 7 hours ago

            hello all

            What to do with my 2 ft transfer
            have 0 in the bank
            Thinking of getting Kane in for Lukaku ?

            Foster Elliot

            Jones Davies Alonso Zanka Hegazi

            Eriksen Silva Mkhitaryan Jese Richarlison

            Lukaku Firmino Chicharito

          • diesel001
              9 days, 7 hours ago

              Roy Hodgson appointed Palace manager. Basically he had been lined up 2 weeks ago.

            • Whats the Mata?
                9 days, 7 hours ago

                Price aside,
                Ribery or Robben?

                1. Dr. King Schultz
                    9 days, 7 hours ago

                    Robben.

                  • La Roja
                      9 days, 7 hours ago

                      Robben

                    • EdenoftheEast
                        9 days, 7 hours ago

                        Robben

                    • 420king
                        9 days, 7 hours ago

                        What keeper are you guys playing today, Areola or Varela?

                        1. EdenoftheEast
                            9 days, 7 hours ago

                            I have just Varela and a 4m. Happy with that.

                          • Dr. King Schultz
                              9 days, 7 hours ago

                              Got Areola/Fabri so Areola.

                            • Doosra - ☭Bolivia Giroud…
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              9 days, 7 hours ago

                              Areola for me. My other is Casilla?

                              1. Dr. King Schultz
                                  9 days, 7 hours ago

                                  Casilla won't play. If you're not going the 2 playing GK's route then choose a 4.0 instead of him.

                              2. EdenoftheEast
                                  9 days, 7 hours ago

                                  Chose Varela because I like Benfica's CS chances better.

                                • PKW - Mbokani Faso
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  9 days, 7 hours ago

                                  Varela, got rid of areola as won't play over Varela next 2 and will wc before gw2 or 3

                                • Sidharth
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  9 days, 7 hours ago

                                  Areola

                                • 420king
                                    9 days, 7 hours ago

                                    I'm on Varela and 4.0m myself. WC after this round.

                                • Sidharth
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  9 days, 7 hours ago

                                  Bottomed GTG?

                                  Areola Varela
                                  Zappacosta Marcelo Sule Zagadou Jorge
                                  Isco Mkhi Salvio Ribery Ganso
                                  CR7 Lewan(c) Jesus

                                  Any Better Rotation with Areola?

                                  1. EdenoftheEast
                                      9 days, 7 hours ago

                                      Fabri possibly.

                                  2. ⚒Jay⚒
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    9 days, 7 hours ago

                                    Areola
                                    Smalling Lindelof Alonso Grimaldo
                                    Golovin Fernandes Fortounis Pedro
                                    Lewandoski (C1) Ronaldo (C2)
                                    ------------------------------------------------
                                    Handanovic Jesus Isco Jorge

                                    1.0 ITB. Invest it or keep it ITB?

                                  3. Whats the Mata?
                                      9 days, 7 hours ago

                                      A quick one please.

                                      A. Marcelo Ribery Pogba
                                      OR
                                      B. Carvajal Robben Mkhi

                                      1. Dr. King Schultz
                                          9 days, 7 hours ago

                                          B

                                        • EdenoftheEast
                                            9 days, 7 hours ago

                                            B

                                        • New Post
                                        • KingNidge
                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                          9 days, 7 hours ago

                                          Areola
                                          Mendy Alonso Marcelo Jorge
                                          KDB Martins Mkhitaryan
                                          Lukaku(C) Ronnie Mbappe

                                          4.0 Salvio TAA 4.0

                                          Go clean on

                                        • I Member
                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                          9 days, 7 hours ago

                                          Blind or someone else?

                                        • pundit of punts
                                            9 days, 7 hours ago

                                            UCL team done.

                                            Areola - 4m
                                            Alonso - Azpilicueta - Felipe - Jorge - Elabdellaoui
                                            James rodriguez - Son - Promes - Brahimi - Ganso
                                            Ronaldo - Lewandowski - Jonas

                                            Good luck all. 🙂

                                          • PepSala
                                              9 days, 7 hours ago

                                              I just submitted my team. Points are already updated. Did i make it in time?

                                            • KAPTAIN KANE
                                                9 days, 7 hours ago

                                                Not a Pogba owner. But an easy swap to Miki to those that do, annoying to use a forced FT I suppose

                                              • FPLFreddie
                                                  9 days, 7 hours ago

                                                  Quick, someone get Pogba flagged before they have a chance to speak to Jose later.

                                                • Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
                                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                  9 days, 7 hours ago

                                                  What the F happened Pogba

                                                • Paddington Bear
                                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                  9 days, 7 hours ago

                                                  Pogba 78,000 transfers in already this week lol

                                                • Gudjohnsen
                                                    8 days, 9 hours ago

                                                    Pogba not injured anymore or just a Glitch on the fantasy site?