Fantasy Premier League managers frustrated from a weekend of disappointing domestic action might find the perfect remedy in the second round of UEFA Champions League Fantasy.
Matchday One produced some huge scores and it looks like there are some great match-ups to deliver a repeat performance in Matchday Two, which begins tonight.
In this article I will discuss the captaincy options for the upcoming round, as well as players to bring into, and ship out of, your team.
Last week I recommended Lionel Messi (€12.0m), Romelu Lukaku (€11.0m) and Duván Zapata (€9.5m), who all scored double digits in opening week, so I am for a 100% success rate this time around.
Tuesday, October 27
When I picked out Robert Lewandowski (€12.0m) as obvious candidate for Matchday One, he managed to disappoint, despite Bayern Munich putting four past Atlético Madrid. But I still think he’s a good option for Matchday Two, especially after netting a perfect hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday took him to ten goals in just four Bundesliga games this season.
Bayern are visiting Lokomotiv Moscow, who lost 2-1 to Rotor Volgograd at the weekend. Having watched their 2-2 draw with RB Salzburg last week, the Russian side could have conceded five if the Austrian champions had their shooting boots on. Lewandowski definitely has his shooting boots on at the moment and I have absolute faith he’ll have them packed for the trip to Moscow.
With giants Liverpool and Bayern both boasting appealing fixtures this week, I had a plethora of choices for Tuesday night’s differential pick. Avoiding both sides, I have gone for Atlético Madrid’s new star man Luis Suarez (€10.0m).
Owned by just 5% of UCL Fantasy managers, the former Barcelona forward has scored four goals in his first five league games for Atleti. With Diego Costa (€8.5m) still out injured, Suarez is guaranteed to start as the main striker for Madrid’s noisy neighbours. They host RB Salzburg tonight, whose defence looked ropey at best in their opening match against Lokomotiv.
Wednesday, October 28
Although Erling Haaland (€11.0m) is another great pick for Wednesday’s games, I’ve plumped for PSG’s Kylian Mbappe (€11.0m). The Frenchman came off the bench to score twice late on at the weekend, meaning he’s got the deadly combination rest and form.
All of Mbappe’s UCL Fantasy goals last season came away from home and PSG will be angry and in need of a big win after their fairly dire defeat to Manchester United last Tuesday. Istanbul Basaksehir looked pretty toothless in their loss to RB Leipzig and should be the perfect opposition for PSG to re-announce themselves as a source of Fantasy gold.
Despite being a Chelsea fan, I have not placed much faith in Frank Lampard’s side in Fantasy Football games over the last two seasons. Timo Werner (€10.5m) finally got himself on the scoresheet against Southampton with a spectacular brace and after consecutive goalless draws have stopped Super Frank’s Kepa-related night terrors, he might finally focus on trying to score a goal.
Krasnodar are the perfect opposition to aid in this quest, a side already low in genuine quality which have been hit hard by injuries and absences recently. Their distinctly uninspiring 1-1 draw with Rennes marked them out as, well, distinctly uninspiring, and their 3-1 loss to Spartak Moscow at the weekend won’t have helped confidence. I fancy Werner to do some damage in Russia.
Who should I sign?
With the next few rounds building up to Matchday Five proving the most popular time to deploy the Wildcard, I have picked five teams to target over that period.
Now they cannot play each other for three Matchdays, Bayern Munich and Atlético Madrid both have three favourable fixtures against Lokomotiv Moscow and RB Salzburg coming up, which could provide some big points hauls.
For the reigning champions, in-game defender Joshua Kimmich (€6.5m) continues to play out of position as a defensive midfielder. He got a 10-point haul last time out, another assist at the weekend and will continue to be nailed on and involved at both ends. As close to an essential player as you can find in this game. If you’re looking to save some cash, Lucas Hernandez (€5.0m) is now first-choice at left-back for the foreseeable future after Alphonso Davies’ (€6.0m) injury.
Moving forward, Bayern’s attack look prime targets to bring in, depending on who’s going to start. Although Serge Gnabry (€10.0m) is confirmed to be back after a false positive COVID test, I prefer Thomas Müller (€10.0m) starting behind Lewandowski.
Gnabry has tended to start on the right wing for Bayern so far this season, with his three league goals all coming against Schalke, when he started on his preferred left-hand side. We have the benefit of seeing the Bayern line-up before the deadline this week, so I’d watch out for whoever starts on the left for them. If it’s Gnabry, expect big things, but in the more likely event it’s the returning Leroy Sane (€9.5m) or the in-form Kingsley Coman (€8.0m), they could do well too.
Staying in Group A, Atlético play two of their next three at home and are now on a 21-game unbeaten streak in the league. Their defence remains as mean as ever, and I’d look to bring in the kindly-priced Renan Lodi (€5.0m). The left-back is nailed-on to start and can provide at both ends, also bringing in three points for balls recovered last week. Felipe (€4.5m) is slightly cheaper and recovered eight balls last week, but with Jose Giminez (€5.0m) returning from injury his place in the team may be under threat.
Moving to Group E, Chelsea and Sevilla both have games against Krasnodar and Rennes coming up. I’ve already mentioned Werner as my favourite pick for Chelsea, but Jorginho (€6.0m) seems to have solidified his place in the starting XI, is on penalties and recovered six balls against Sevilla.
For the Spanish outfit, Diego Carlos (€5.0m) brought in nine ball-recoveries last week. Their defence has been particularly strong so far this season and with Jules Koundé (€4.0m) still out with COVID-19, Carlos is the best source of points for Sevilla.
The final team to target is Borussia Dortmund. Their Matchday Two opponents Zenit St Petersburg looked poorer than expected against Club Brugge and lost their most recent domestic fixture at home to Rubin Kazan over the weekend.
Jadon Sancho (€10.0m) is yet to hit form, but expect it to come soon, quite possibly on Wednesday evening. In defence, Thomas Meunier (€5.0m) and Mats Hummels (€5.0m) delivered 11 ball recoveries in their loss to Lazio and Dortmund will be looking to get points on the board in their group. Expect big points for players across all five of these teams.
Who has to go?
There were several key injuries around Europe’s top leagues over the weekend which impact the upcoming round of Champions League matches.
Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho (€9.0m) picked up a knock in El Clasico, which will keep him out until at least after the international break. Sergio Aguero (€10.0m) can expect to be out for a similar length of time for Manchester City, leaving them without a recognised striker yet again.
Although he was benched for the game against Atlético last week, Davies was expected to return to the line-up for Bayern this week until he was injured just three minutes into their domestic match on Saturday.
All three are out for at least the next two Champions League Matchdays and should be looking to leave your squad.
Having played their easiest games of the group stages, RB Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow, Rennes and Krasnodar now have a tough run of fixtures.
Any players owned from those squads, such as Sehrou Guirassy (€6.5m) and Patson Daka (€7.5m), will likely have a fairly barren few Matchdays coming up.
Atalanta and RB Leipzig also have three challenging fixtures on the horizon and, although I wouldn’t take them out just yet, be aware that they have tough games through Matchday Three and Four. Therefore, try not to pile-up on high-scoring Matchday One assets like Zapata and Angelino (€5.0m).
The same goes with Club Brugge players like Charles de Ketelaere (€4.5m), another Matchday One hero, who now faces an in-form Lazio side and Borussia Dortmund home and away.
With that, good luck all. Here’s to hoping for another great UCL Fantasy Matchday.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM FPL GAMEWEEK 6
- Aston Villa 0-3 Leeds United
- West Ham United 1-1 Manchester City
- Fulham 1-2 Crystal Palace
- Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea
- Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United
- Southampton 2-0 Everton
- Wolves 1-1 Newcastle United
- Arsenal 0-1 Leicester City
- Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
- Burnley 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur