UEFA Champions League Fantasy managers come into the next round of action with the same problem as their Fantasy Premier League counterparts: a vast array of injury flags.
Matchday Four of the compacted European schedule is upon us and, with a few weeks out of action, we are here to get you back into the UCL Fantasy mood in time for Tuesday and Wednesday’s matches.
All things being equal, there could be some big scores this Matchday. Plenty of top teams are at home to minnows, leaving us with a wealth of captaincy options to choose from.
Tuesday November 24
It is not often there are two picks which are this good on a single Matchday and I really could not choose a winner. Cristiano Ronaldo (€12.0m), of course, needs no introduction. He scored twice in Juventus‘ 2-0 win over Cagliari on Saturday and is perfectly placed to do the same against Hungarian outfit Ferencvaros. Although Ronaldo only came away with an assist in the 4-1 win in Hungary, he will be ready to make sure he is not kept off the scoresheet again.
Newly-crowned Golden Boy Erling Haaland (€11.0m) has scored four goals in his first three Champions League games this season, netted four goals on at Berlin on Saturday, and faces the weakest team in Borussia Dortmund’s group at home tonight. One goal in Matchday Two, two goals in Matchday Three – will Haaland finally be taking a Champions League matchball to bed in Matchday Four?
Ciro Immobile (€10.5m) is finally back fit and firing for Lazio. Last season’s Serie A Golden Boot winner scored at the weekend, takes penalties and looks ready to help Lazio secure their place in the second round. They host Zenit, who have only kept one European clean sheet this season and have been thoroughly lacklustre throughout.
Wednesday November 25
Again, there is an array of strong captaincy options on Wednesday, but following my tried and tested FPL mantra of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I’ll stick with Robert Lewandowski (€12.0m). Do I really need to explain more than it’s the home fixture in a game where they won 6-2 three weeks ago and the Bayern Munich man scored a brace?
João, João, João (I’ll see myself out), this guy has looked great recently. João Félix (€9m) has become the lynchpin in Atletico’s great recent form, and has scored braces in three of his last five games. He seems to be on penalties and Atletico will know that they need to win here to put themselves in a strong position to qualify.
Who to bring in?
With three games against different teams remaining, this is an interesting time for transfers. As odd as it sounds, this is not the time to bring in players from the teams running away with their groups.
Wins this week will see Barcelona, Juventus, Chelsea, Sevilla, Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern confirm their places in the next round and allow the resting and rotation of players in the final two Matchdays to cope with compacted festive schedules.
I would look at good teams with lots to play for still. Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and PSG all spring to mind as teams which need some big wins and big performances to see them through to the knockout stages.
Who to avoid?
Unfortunately, this is an easier section than normal to write. I will just keep it to players that are likely to be in some reader’s squads.
Barcelona have travelled to Kiev without Lionel Messi (€12.1m), Fati (€8.3m), Sergi Roberto (€5.6m) and Gerard Pique (€5.4m).
Juventus have just one recognised centre-back fit after injuries to Merih Demiral (€5.0m), Leonardo Bonucci (€5.5m) and Giorgio Chiellini (€5.4m).
Sevilla have Jesús Navas (€5.6m) suspended, Bono (€5.1m) out injured and Marcos Acuna (€5.1m) a doubt after he was hauled off injured at the weekend.
Bayern Munich have Joshua Kimmich (€6.6m) out for the group stages and Lucas Hernandez (€5.0m) is also a doubt.
Any FPL fans will be fully aware of Liverpool’s injury woes across the board, but they’re hopeful that Mohamed Salah (€11.5m) will be ready to play Atalanta.
Last Matchday’s top scorer Alassane Plea (€8.0m) is out, and Ramy Bensebaini (€5.5m) has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Sergio Ramos (€6.5m) and Karim Benzema (€10.5m) have also been confirmed out of Real’s trip to Inter, although Casemiro (€6.2m) is fit. Antony (€5.9m) is a doubt for Ajax.
As always, good luck to everyone in the next round of UEFA Champions League Fantasy.
Head over to the latest UCL Fantasy Community Article to check out our Panel’s thoughts and for the dedicated Champions League Fantasy comments section.
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 9
- Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea
- Aston Villa 1-2 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Manchester City
- Manchester United 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
- Fulham 2-3 Everton
- Sheffield United 0-1 West Ham United
- Leeds United 0-0 Arsenal
- Liverpool 3-0 Leicester City
- Burnley 1-0 Crystal Palace
- Wolves 1-1 Southampton
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