The UEFA Champions League and its Fantasy Football game have returned with a bang. If you had Angelino (€5.0m) in your team, Lionel Messi (€12.0m) as your captain or Charles de Ketelaere as a €4.5m option, then congratulations.
For those whose captains didn’t haul and are in need of some big-hitting substitutions, then that’s what this article is here for.
For the uninitiated, the UEFA Champions League Fantasy game allows managers to make manual substitutions and captaincy changes after the Tuesday round of games has taken place but before the Wednesday matches begin.
Last Night’s Review
The highest-scoring match of the night saw both Barcelona and Ferencvaros live up to expectations. This isn’t necessarily a signal that Barcelona look particularly strong going into this campaign – their easiest game is now behind them and next week’s visit to Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus will be a much sterner challenge.
Juve’s opponents from yesterday, Dynamo Kyiv, look to be stronger at the back than their Hungarian counterparts, so it’s probably worth avoiding the hype around Blaugrana until we’ve seen more.
PSG were uncharacteristically terrible to lose to an Axel ‘Maldini’ Tuanzebe-inspired (€4.0m) performance by Manchester United and should recover comfortably in next week’s visit to Istanbul Basaksehir.
As with Barcelona, those that will inevitably pile on Angelino after his four-minute brace yesterday evening will do well to consider that this was RB Leipzig’s easiest group game and he’s unlikely to have the attacking freedom or lack of defensive responsibility we saw yesterday evening.
Chelsea, Sevilla, Rennes and Krasnodar all looked fairly equally dull going forward in their Group E games, but it is good to note that Chelsea really are looking much more solid with Eduoard Mendy (€5.0m) between the posts.
Club Brugge lived up to expectations as a decent attacking force to beat a poor Zenit St Petersburg side in Russia, with the 4.5m pairing of de Ketelaere and Wilmar Barrios both putting in strong performances for different reasons.
In the other game in Group F, a surprisingly powerful Lazio side swept aside Borussia Dortmund in Rome, although it was good to see Erling Haaland (€11.0m) open his account for the season early.
This author tends to have a rule with changing captaincy in UCL Fantasy: six points or less is worth a change, seven or more probably too risky.
Who to change to is the tough question for today. There is no longer a safety net after Wednesday’s matches – you have to get this one right. Luckily, there are a plethora of options from this evening’s games.
Atalanta have the pick of the fixtures from an attacking point of view as they look to get back to the form that saw them score 13 goals in their first three games of the season. They are expected to start a front three of Alejandro Gomez (€8.5m), Luis Muriel (€8.5m) and Duvan Zapata (€9.5m) for their visit to Danish minnows Midtjylland and any of those should prove to be solid captaincy options.
Premier league darlings Raheem Sterling (€10.5m) and Mohamed Salah (€11.5m) also have two solid fixtures. Salah beats Sterling for form but with Liverpool’s growing injury list, Ajax may look to capitalise.
Finishing off the captaincy options are the two safest options of the week. Robert Lewandowski (€12m) and Romelu Lukaku (€11m) both bring top form into these fixtures, although Inter’s game at home to Gladbach should give him more of an opportunity to produce a score to match or outscore Messi’s 11 from last night.
Who to bring on and who to sub off is often a tough decision in UCL Fantasy and a decision that has to be made depending on the state of your squad.
Just a few notes on substitutions for this evening. After Serge Gnabry (€10.0m) was ruled out of tonight’s game for Bayern Munich with a positive COVID test, make sure he’s out of your lineup. Also, watch out for news this afternoon of any more positive tests within the German giants – they are reported to have all been tested and be expecting results back at about 2pm UK time. For those with the likes of Joshua Kimmich (€6.5m) and Lewandowski on the bench, watch out for this news before you bring them on.
Assuming Bayern don’t report back any more positive tests, perhaps think twice before subbing on any Atlético defenders if you have a strong line-up already – it’d be a surprise to see a clean sheet for Simeone’s side – but obviously the circumstances are different if you have a sea of one and two-pointers knocking about.
Luckily we will know if Sergio Ramos (€6.5m) starts for Real Madrid before the deadline as they play in the early kick-offs, so make sure you wait for that news if he’s sat on your bench.
Aside from the news, be sensible with your substitutions – four or five points is normally enough to keep a player on the field for and don’t try and shoehorn on subs just for the sake of making them.
Good luck for tonight’s games, all!
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