Three weeks in a row of Champions League football and UCL Fantasy in a row? UEFA are spoiling us.
After two rounds of action, I am back to have a look at the captaincy options and potential transfers to make ahead of Matchday Three.
Tuesday, November 3
Call me boring, but the two sensible options for captaincy this Matchday really pick themselves. Up first, again, is Robert Lewandowski (€12.0m), who was rested at the weekend, ready to finally get himself on the Champions League scoresheet.
Although he hasn’t scored in his last three continental games, Lewandowski’s domestic record of ten goals in four league outings speaks for itself (and almost belies belief). RB Salzburg have conceded six times in their first two Champions League matches this season, and with penalties as well, Lewandowski should be set up to have a field day.
This was definitely a harder one to pick. With potential options Joao Felix (€9.0m) and Raheem Sterling (€10.5m) in need of a rest, I’ve gone very left-field in recommending Shakhtar Donetsk’s Tete (€5.2m).
Still only 8% owned after his Matchday One haul against Real Madrid, Shakhtar have the advantage of a baying crowd behind them and were able to rest almost their entire starting XI at the weekend.
Tete has taken 70% of Shakhtar’s shots across the first two Matchdays and Borussia Mönchengladbach will likely be tired after tough games against Real Madrid and RB Leipzig in the space of a week.
Wednesday, November 4
Subbed on in the 56th minute, scores in the 59th and then again in the 76th. Cristiano Ronaldo (€12.0m) is back and ready for a visit to Budapest.
Ferencvaros have conceded seven goals across the first two Matchdays, including being turned over by a thoroughly unimpressive Barcelona side.
Say what you like about who the GOAT is, CR7 is unmatched in the Champions League and will be looking to make up for two hard weeks wasted on a superyacht somewhere in the Atlantic.
Marcus Rashford (€9.0m) has arguably been the star of the Champions League season so far. He scored a scintillating hat-trick off the bench in Leipzig last week and having had the misfortune of sitting through the entire Basaksehir-PSG game last week, I can confirm that the Istanbul side really aren’t very good.
Martin Skrtel (€4.5m) and Rafael (€4.0m) were considered distinctly average Premier League players in their prime and they really are no longer in their primes. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be riled up after their loss to Arsenal at the weekend and Rashford should have the perfect combination of pace and determination to take advantage on Wednesday evening.
Who to bring in?
The Matchday Three fixtures have the benefit of being simply the reverse of the Matchday Four fixtures, and so if a side has a good game this week you know you’ll be able to rely on them after the international break too.
A few gems have come to light at the back. Shakhtar’s Valeriy Bondar (€4.0m) has 15 balls recovered (BR) over his first two games and should build on that with the double header against Gladbach.
Jules Kounde (€4.0m) is back after his COVID diagnosis and should line up alongside BR beast Diego Carlos (€5.0m) at the back for Sevilla in their games against a COVID stricken Krasnodar side. The Spanish side are yet to concede in the competition so far and I back them to continue their great defensive form.
Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro (€6.0m) has been lining up at left-midfield in their easier games this season and their games against Club Brugge should fit that bill and you can expect points at both ends for him. Further forward for Dortmund, Gio Reyna (€6.5m) has been on top form in the league and was rested ready for tomorrow’s game. He appears to have solidified his place as a first choice pick for Lucien Favre’s side.
Juventus’ games against Ferencvaros make some of their players great options. Aside from the obvious Ronaldo (only owned by 12% currently), Danilo (€5.0m) and Bonucci (€5.5m) should start at the back. Dejan Kulusevski (€8.0m) has been in strong attacking form for the Old Lady so far and having been rested at the weekend, should be a key piece for them this week.
Consider we never truly know what we’re going to get, I am loath to recommend Manchester United players, but as discussed with Rashford, Bruno Fernandes (€9.5m) will be involved if United show up in Istanbul like they have for the first two Matchdays. After their recent clean sheets against Chelsea and RB Leipzig, even Harry Maguire (€5.0m) may now be an option, especially after Basaksehir proved to be terrible at defending corners against PSG.
Who to avoid?
Ajax have been heavily hyped up after their recent 13-0 win in the league, but they’ve just been hit for 11, as 11 of their squad have tested positive for COVID-19.
Losing key players such as Dusan Tadic (€9.0m), Davy Klaassen (€6.5m) and Ryan Gravenberch (£6.0m) will massively affect the Dutch side and Midtjylland proved against Liverpool that they are not in the competition just to get rolled over.
PSG have confirmed that Kylian Mbappe (€11.0m), Neymar (€11.5m) and Mauro Icardi (€9.5m) will all have to sit out this week’s game against RB Leipzig which makes the rest of their players a lot less attractive as options. Dynamo Kiev and Krasnodar have also announced that their squads have been struck by COVID-19.
Any Atalanta options such as Alejandro Gomez (€8.5m) and Duvan Zapata (€9.6m) are likely to have a lot less joy against Liverpool over the next two Matchdays, alongside popular picks such as Olympiacos’ José Sá (€4.5m) in goal and Brugge’s Charles de Ketelaere (€4.5m) in midfield as they both have tough games coming up.
Players possibly in line for rotation this week include Alvaro Morata (€9.0m), Marco Reus (€8.5m), Joao Felix (€9.0m) and Sterling after they have all played a lot of games consistently without a break.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM FPL GAMEWEEK 7
- Wolves 2-0 Crystal Palace
- Sheffield United 0-1 Manchester City
- Burnley 0-3 Chelsea
- Liverpool 2-1 West Ham United
- Aston Villa 3-4 Southampton
- Newcastle United 2-1 Everton
- Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal
- Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Fulham 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
- Leeds United 1-4 Leicester City
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