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Champions League

The best midfielders for UEFA Champions League Fantasy

The start of the UEFA Champions League group stage is less than a week away and the competition’s official, free-to-play Fantasy game is now live.

Champions League match tickets, Playstation 5 consoles and cash in the UEFA store are up for grabs, while Premium Memberships will also be dished out to the leaders in our Fantasy Football Scout mini-league (PIN: 65KAB8EHX307).

Having run down the stand-out goalkeepers and defenders in the first instalment of our position-by-position series, we now shine some light on the midfielders available in UEFA Champions League Fantasy this season.

Although the scoring system is strikingly similar to Fantasy Premier League, there is one important difference, as we saw with the defenders.

Every three balls a player recovers in a match gains them one point, which gives central and defensive midfielders a competitive edge that they’re missing in FPL. 

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Premium Midfielders (9-11.5m)

Heavy backing for Salah in emerging top 10k FPL managers

All seven of these premium midfielders need no introduction. One of the stand-out names is Bayern’s Serge Gnabry (10m), with his four-goal haul against Spurs the highlight of his 10-goal title-winning campaign last time out. With three goals and an assist already in his first three games this season, he looks set to keep up his blistering form. Bayern’s kind group games against Lokomotiv and RB Salzburg make him ever more appealing. 

Another Bundesliga gem is Jadon Sancho (10m), who is back fit ready for Matchday 1. He’s only getting better as he matures and after his 20 goals and 20 assists last season in all competitions, he’ll be in the points for Dortmund’s lightning attack sooner rather than later.

An FPL favourite and the joint-most expensive midfielder on the game, Mohamed Salah (11.5m) has five goals from four in the league so far and his permanent role as penalty taker should translate into even more points. None of the teams he faces has rock-solid defences and the home game against Danish minnows Midtjylland in Matchday 2 could be prime ground for a haul.

The other most expensive player is Kevin de Bruyne (11.5m), and although he only has one goal and an assist to his name so far after Manchester City’s shaky start, he’s expected to recover from an ankle injury to face Porto.

How De Bruyne and Sterling compare as FPL assets for 2020/21?

His class should produce points in City’s relatively easy group, while De Bruyne also has 25 ball recoveries in just three Premier League games so far, which could be another great source of points for the Belgian.

De Bruyne’s teammate and another man never far from the points, Raheem Sterling (10.5m) is one million cheaper and with six Champions League goals and three assists to his name last season, seems set to yet again score well for Pep Guardiola’s men.

Two former Premier League wingers make up the premium midfielders, with Philippe Coutinho and Angel di Maria both coming in at 9m.

Coutinho is firmly part of Ronald Koeman’s plans at Camp Nou, with flashes of brilliance already this season leading to one goal and two assists. The Matchday 1 fixture at home to Ferencvaros makes him particularly appealing.

Di Maria managed 12 goals and 23 assists last season in a PSG side that is only getting stronger. He’s always been a player who shines on the big stage and with a relatively kind group for a team of PSG’s calibre, he could be a shrewd premium pick.

Mid-priced Midfielders (6.5-8.5m)

The best midfielders for UEFA Champions League Fantasy

Fresh from winning La Liga’s Player of the Month, Barcelona’s next wunderkind Ansu Fati comes in at a kind 8m. Like Gnabry, he has three goals and an assist from his first three games this season and a team of Barcelona’s quality should have no issue in dispatching Ferencvaros and Dynamo Kiev with a few goals to spare. He’s arguably the pick at this price point. 

Alongside Fati are two players whose 2019/20 seasons were ravaged by injury. Marco Reus (8.5m) and Florian Thauvin (8.5m) could both prove to be bargains if they regain the form of yesteryear.

Reus has been a staple on the scoresheet in the Bundesliga and Champions League for eight seasons now in a Borussia Dortmund team stacked with quality and only getting better. Likely starting alongside Sancho and Erling Haaland, Reus will definitely be on the scoresheet this season.

Thauvin sat out the entirety of last season due to injury, but already has two goals and three assists in six league games as he returns to being Marseille’s talisman. Whenever the French side score, expect Thauvin to be near. 

Another returning from injury, this one being markedly shorter, is RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer (8.5m). Despite the German outfit’s wealth of attacking options, expect him to always occupy one of the spots. Constantly adding more goals and assists to his game as he’s moved to a more dominant central role, he also picked up 11 points for balls recovered last season.

Three hundred miles south on the other side of the Red Bull franchise, RB Salzburg’s Dominik Szoboszlai is nailed and has penalties as well as assists in his game, but with their fixtures, your money may be better spent elsewhere.

Club Brugge put in some great attacking performances last time out, and their league form suggests that they may be able to repeat this. Playing some less-than-reliable defences in Lazio and Dortmund may also help the case of Hans Vanaken (7m), who has three goals and five assists in eight Belgian Pro League games this season. Vanaken also has penalties in his locker and scored against Real Madrid last term. 

Finishing off the mid-priced options are Phil Foden (7m) and Lucas Ocampos (8.5m).

Foden is the cheapest way into Manchester City’s attack with their relatively easy group, but as any FPL fan will know, predicting Guardiola’s line-up week in week out is like trying to anticipate the weather with tea leaves – impossible, inefficient and a waste of everyone’s time and energy.

Ocampos is a key piece to Sevilla’s attack as they’ll be trying to top Group E, and also scored in the Super Cup against Bayern Munich. His propensity for a card has to be noted – he finished last domestic season with eight yellows and a red to his name. 

Budget Midfielders (4.5-6m)

Reliable 4.5m midfielders are hard to find in any Fantasy Football game but this season we could have two in the UCL Fantasy game: Zenit’s Wilmar Barrios (4.5m) and Lokomotiv Moscow’s Vladislav Ignatyev (4.5m).

Barrios is the better option through his positional security: he played every moment of Zenit’s Champions League campaign last season and recovered the ball 48 times, gaining 14 points in the process. This meant that as a 4.5m midfielder, he averaged just over four points a game in the group stages, something certainly not to be ignored.

Ignatyev has been in and out of the Lokomotiv team this season but has started their big games against Zenit and CSKA Moscow and is expected to be part of their first-team line-up for the Champions League. He also gained 13 points from balls recovered in 2019/20 and if he can repeat that this season, then Barrios and Ignatyev could be the core of some great UCL Fantasy seasons. 

The remaining seven budget midfielders that I’m going to discuss can be split into three categories.

First up, there are strong attacking assets from poor teams. Newcastle fans may remember Remy Cabella (6m), who’s now plying his trade for Krasnodar and has five goals and two assists in nine games so far this season, including two goals and an assist in their play-off matches against PAOK.

Cabella has the potential to be outshone by Club Brugge’s Krepin Diatta (5.5m), who has four goals from six starts so far this season and, as with Vanaken, faces some less than reliable defences in a very attacking side.

 

The best midfielders for UEFA Champions League Fantasy 1

Then there are the less exciting picks, the defensive midfielders from big teams who can be expected to hoover up the ball recovery points. Real Madrid’s Casemiro (6m) topped off his 16 points from balls recovered last season with a goal and an assist and is still a key piece for Zinedine Zidane’s side. Although not flashy, he could be a shrewd pick, averaging just short of five points a game last season.

Similarly, Liverpool’s Fabinho (6m) already has 30 balls recovered in four Premier League games this season and if he can bring that form into Europe, he could be a solid pick. 

Finally, there are the ‘watch this space‘ players.

The first of these is RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo (6m). He scored three Champions League goals last season and has started every game in 2020/21 so far but the return of Sabitzer and signings of Hwang Hee-chan and Alexander Sorloth leave his place in the side very much uncertain.

Atalanta’s latest signing, Aleksei Miranchuk (5m), has the potential to be the game’s biggest bargain if he can permanently replace Josip Ilicic in this Atalanta side, but having not yet played for the Italian club he can’t be trusted from Matchday 1.

Finally, there is Aleksandr Erokhin (5m). An attacking midfielder for Zenit who had a bit-part start to the season, Erokhin has played 90 minutes in their last two games and has three goals and two assists from just 249 league minutes – that’s an average of a goal contribution every 50 minutes or so. Zenit play first on Matchday 1 so we will know their line-up before the deadline and if he starts, he’ll have a place in this author’s team. 


Our guide to the best Champions League forwards will be published on Friday, while our Matchday 1 preview will follow early next week.

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173 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Kloptimus Prime
    • 1 Year
    12 days, 18 hours ago

    Would you do Foden to Grealish for FT or hold one more week?

    1. Agger
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      12 days, 18 hours ago

      I’d hold for this GW if it was me

      1. Kloptimus Prime
        • 1 Year
        12 days, 17 hours ago

        Cheers

    2. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
      • 5 Years
      12 days, 18 hours ago

      if KDB is out, which sounds likely, I would

      1. Kloptimus Prime
        • 1 Year
        12 days, 17 hours ago

        Good point. Could do Podence to Trossard as well?

      2. nico05
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        12 days, 17 hours ago

        I agree with this but Podence to Trossard is a good move, one I'm considering myself

        1. zman575
          12 days, 7 hours ago

          why is everyone goig grealish over zaha this week. zaha has 2 unreal fixtures

  2. merin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    12 days, 18 hours ago

    Cheers! Who can i switch Mitchell for to gain 0.2?

    Also bot sure who to ship to make room for Grealish.

    Ings vs Jimenez is a tough call though

  3. skodaole2
    • 8 Years
    12 days, 18 hours ago

    Just read the Dier news, is the general opinion that he will miss the game vs WHU? Dont really like taking hits for defenders what would you do?

    Martinez
    Dier* Justin Castagne
    Son Salah James R. Pereira
    Kane(c) Mitrovic Jimenez

    McCarthy Reece J.* Reed Targett
    0 FT 2.6 ITB

    A) Leave it as it is
    B) Take a hit to change Reece J.
    C) Take a hit to change Dier
    D) Anything else

    1. ChickenTikkaMoSalah
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      I'm in similar boat (see below), and if I had no FTs left then I would leave it personally. Reece has a decent chance of starting on Sat

  4. ChickenTikkaMoSalah
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    12 days, 18 hours ago

    (repost)
    Ramsdale (Fabri)
    TAA,Dier,Taylor,Mitchell (KWP)
    Salah,KDB,Hamez,H.Barnes (Bissouma)
    Mitrovic,Werner (Adams)

    2FT, £1.3 ITB

    What to do? After Dier's injury too I have no idea which moves to make

    1. skodaole2
      • 8 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      Thank you for your response, I think you could upgrade Adams to play 3-4-3 there are so many good strikers: Watkins, Maupay, Wilson, Wood. If you need some cash to get the one you want you may downgrade Dier to a 4.5 to get that cash.

      If you prefer to keep the 4-4-2 then Mitchell has to go, Mitchell -> Saiss is a very stable transfer with Wolves fixtures.

  5. Zrinkec
    12 days, 18 hours ago

    PVA or Semedo?

    1. Agger
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      PVA is always a fun player to own

    2. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      Pat

      1. nico05
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        12 days, 17 hours ago

        Agree with the above

  6. tissae
    • 5 Years
    12 days, 18 hours ago

    What would you go for on the wildcard?

    1) KdB + Maupay (have Son already)
    2) Kane + Rodriguez (have Son and DCL already) No City coverage scares me

    1. Zrinkec
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      uhh pretty close, would go 2 for next 4 weeks though cause of easy tot schedule

    2. skodaole2
      • 8 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      Having Son and DCL doesnt say much, if you see KDB + Maupay vs Kane + Rodriguez I think the latter looks more sensible even if KDB is fit to play. You could however get Maupay instead of DCL if you want to spread the risk.

  7. Agger
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    12 days, 18 hours ago

    What injury has Dier supposedly got? It’s not the first time a cluster of players drop from the internationals days before the league weekend

    1. Old Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      BBC says hamstring

    2. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      Hammy

  8. ludaslol
    • 3 Years
    12 days, 18 hours ago

    Martinez
    TAA robbo lamptey
    Foden KDB salah Podence
    Ings Jimenez DCL

    0.2 itb. 1 FT

    What do I do here? Move KDB to Son or save and hope he plays?

    1. FOMFF
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      I think I will be doing that

    2. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      If he’s out then I would

  9. Villa Velour
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    12 days, 18 hours ago

    After a little break, I'm back.

    Mahrez to Son as my free transfer this week? Or hold since I did the reverse transfer the week before?

    1. Villa Velour
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      (KdB owner too)

    2. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      Would do that move but wait on KDB news

      1. Villa Velour
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 13 hours ago

        Wouldn't mind KdB being out but I just know Pep won't make it clear.

    3. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      Yeah if KDB is fit

    4. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      Id hold until KDB news comes in

  10. Johnny too hotty
    • 8 Years
    12 days, 18 hours ago

    Which WC do you think is best and why?
    Please do tell me who I am missing and if you think there are mistakes

    A:
    Martinez 4.0
    Lamptey Mitchell Saiss KWP CHILWELL
    Salah KDB Son Hames Bisouma
    Kane DCL Brewster

    B:
    Martinez 4.0
    Lamptey Mitchell Saiss KWP ROBERTSON
    Salah KDB Son Hames Bisouma
    JIMINEZ DCL Brewster

    1. Rasping Drive
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      A short term, B long term.

      Overall, it looks good, most of the usual suspects are there; although:

      - I would be tempted to switch Bissouma to Pulisic or Grealish and downgrade Kane/Jimenez to a cheaper striker.
      - I would switch Mitchell to Ferguson, as Mitchell is probably about to lose his place.
      - Not convinced Saiss is nailed on, upgrade to Semedo if you can afford it.

      Do you plan to start Brewster most weeks?

      1. Johnny too hotty
        • 8 Years
        12 days, 17 hours ago

        Mitchell to Ferguson? Ferguson is injured right..... you sure he will take his spot?

        I like the idea of Bissouma to Grealish and then play a 3-5-2 most weeks... Brewster would be bench fodder.
        HOwever, now sure how I would get this done within bugdet?

        1. Rasping Drive
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          12 days, 17 hours ago

          Ferguson is injured, but expected to take Ward’s spot when he comes back. Mitchell is likely to be dropped when PVA comes back, which is imminent.

          I think you can afford Grealish by downgrading either Kane or Jimenez to a cheaper striker (Watkins, Maupay, Antonio etc)

    2. skodaole2
      • 8 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      A is better. However i dont agree with Mitchell, Brewster (since he is not the 8th attacker) and getting a WC to get Son, DCL, Hames, Salah, Kane, KDB, so all the players that are owned by every active team is a bit conservative and cant really help. Try to pick 3 of the 6 at most and change the rest would be my advice, so many good options available.

      1. Johnny too hotty
        • 8 Years
        12 days, 17 hours ago

        fair point. What are the other good options then? i need so help and inspiration

        1. skodaole2
          • 8 Years
          12 days, 17 hours ago

          I think you can go with your gut. Go to transfers page and try to categorise with %ownership. Then check all the players below 15% or even below 10%. Do it for defence, midfield, attack separately. You will be surprised by the options, and you can make a team with at least 3-4 differentials that can help you go higher. Plus when your differential scores, its like three times more exciting than a Salah goal who is owned by more than 40% of the teams.

          For me now a WC team can have some of: Sterling, Mane, Rashford, Pereira, Maupay, Watkins, Wood, Lacazette (even Auba now has less than half ownership since the first GW so he could be considered a differential in a way), but also in defence Reguilon, Webster, Bertrand, Azpi for example. Good luck with your choices!

  11. RAFA THE GAFFA
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    12 days, 17 hours ago

    Tempted by KDB >> Pulisic it ruled out. Would be a -4. What you think?

    McCarthy
    TAA, Justin, Saiss, Davies
    KDB, Salah, Rodríguez, Son
    DCL, Ings
    (Nyland, Mitchell, Bissouma, Davis)

    1. FOMFF
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      Pulisic could be a great differential. Not sure on a -4 though

    2. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      I was just thinking of this move... with a cheeky captaincy but it is probably a bit too wild at this stage

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        12 days, 17 hours ago

        I think I might if he’s fully ruled out. Can’t see a better replacement unless I went Sterling

        1. Miguel Sanchez
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          12 days, 17 hours ago

          Problem is I don't think Pep will be transparent with KDB's injury status. Can massively backfire selling him for a hit.

          1. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            12 days, 17 hours ago

            Yeah. That’s what I’m saying. It’ll have to be a KDB is out for 2-3weeks

            1. Miguel Sanchez
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              12 days, 17 hours ago

              Yeah - think I need to sell KDB for Salah for captaincy next GW but am building towards this midfield 5:

              Salah Son Pulisic Rodriguez Grealish

    3. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      Pulisic is a great shout, one that I had completely forgotten about with him being injured could be a great differential to Son etc

  12. TopMarx
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 7 Years
    12 days, 17 hours ago

    New Community Article

    A novel approach for rating teams and looking at fixtures:

    "Rather than targeting fixtures based on perceived opponent strength, it could be that embracing chaos by looking for Predator v Perfectionist match ups for your attacking assets could be the right approach for this season."

    https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2020/10/14/making-sense-of-the-chaos/

  13. nico05
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    12 days, 17 hours ago

    Could I get anyone's thought please? I'm completely at a loss of hat to address
    McCarthy
    TAA Doherty Justin Mitchell (Lascelles)
    Salah Kdb Fernandes Podence (Oriol Romeu)
    Mitrovic Jiminez (Davies )
    1 FT & 1.8 available
    A. Podence-Trossard
    B.Mitro-DCL (Mitro decent fixtures though)
    C. Fernandes-Son
    D. Hold this week and address better next week
    E. Somehting else

    1. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      Sorry about the long messy format

    2. Zrinkec
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      C

      1. nico05
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        12 days, 17 hours ago

        Thank you for your response I am nervous about losing Fernandes on pens but Son does seem much better value

    3. skodaole2
      • 8 Years
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      I think your first issue is Mitchell and the second Podence/ Davis. Since you can play 3-4-3 i d do Davis -> Watkins/ Maupay/ Wilson if you can afford. Or Mitchell -> Saiss. Podence has good fixtures ahead so i would monitor his status

      1. nico05
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        12 days, 17 hours ago

        Thanks for your response. Upgrading Davies never occurred to me actually I could afford Davies to Watkins will he be a good long term shout? I've not really seen much of him at Villa

        1. skodaole2
          • 8 Years
          12 days, 17 hours ago

          It will be definitely better than playing 4-4-2 with Lascelles and Mitchell there. Watkins should give attacking points and AVL started the season with 3 comfortable wins and very good football

          1. nico05
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            12 days, 17 hours ago

            Thank you SKODAOLE2 I appreciate your suggestion it seems the smartest way to go. I would wildcard but don't want to do it so early

    4. KDB4PREZ
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      12 days, 17 hours ago

      I’d upgrade Davis or Podence, Gl

      1. nico05
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        12 days, 17 hours ago

        Who is GI? Sorry

        1. KDB4PREZ
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          12 days, 16 hours ago

          Goodluck 🙂

          1. nico05
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            12 days, 16 hours ago

            Oh haha seems obvious now. Thank you 🙂

  14. ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
    • 4 Years
    12 days, 17 hours ago

    Update on #wba and Karlan Grant. Terms of a transfer worth around £15m have been agreed and Grant will have a medical on Thursday. Clubs have been in talks since late 1986 (feels like it anyway). Slaven Bilic’s No 1 striker target ✅ #htafc

  15. FPL_SMR
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    11 days, 31 mins ago

    Any reason why G. Reyna wasn't included among MFs for UCL?

    1. FFFrog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      7 days, 12 hours ago

      Yes! I don’t think he’s first choice for Dortmund with Sancho, Reus and Brandt fit - at his age they might not trust him for the big UCL games! Interesting to note that the only game he’s been benched for this season was the German Super Cup - Dortmund’s biggest game of the season.

      1. FPL_SMR
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        7 days, 8 hours ago

        Perfect, thanks!