Champions League

The best goalkeepers and defenders for UCL Fantasy knockout stages

UEFA Champions League Fantasy managers have just a few days left to finalise their squads for the knockout stages of the tournament.

As the upcoming deadline approaches, we have taken a look at some of the best goalkeepers and defenders to consider.

As we all know from Fantasy Premier League, very few of us like using transfers between the sticks, or overspending on our goalkeepers.

However, in a competition like this, when only the best players in Europe remain, most of the available options are all pretty expensive. 

GOALKEEPERS

Although we are given a generous number of transfers (three after first legs, five after the second), you don’t want to be wasting those on goalkeepers who tend to not have a great variation in scoring. Therefore, selection a shot-stoppers who look as though they’ll go far in the competition is undoubtedly a sound strategy.

The highest scoring goalkeepers in the competition so far have been Edouard Mendy (€5.2m) and Agustin Marchesin (€5.3m), with 29 and 28 points respectively. 

They are both from reasonably defensively sound teams who had nice groups, but their ties look a lot less favourable from here on in. 

Marchesin’s Porto are likely to get taken out of the competition by Juventus and I make a habit of not buying goalkeepers who I know are going to face Cristiano Ronaldo (€12.0m two games in a row. 

Chelsea steamrollered an easy group but now face runaway La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid. Given Diego Simeone’s prestige in this competition, I don’t give Thomas Tuchel’s side much of a chance, certainly not in the long-term. So, although they’re the top scorers so far, Marchesin and Mendy may well by past their sell-by date as UCL Fantasy picks. 

Ederson (€6.0m) and Keylor Navas (€5.5m) are my top picks in the goalkeeper position for the rest of the competition. They both operate behind defences who have been on top domestic form and either could go far in the Champions League knockout stages. 

Manchester City have been keeping clean sheets for fun and are about to face a Borussia Monchengladbach side who, while they have a strong attacking record this season, are probably lacking the individual quality to really challenge Pep Guardiola’s side. 

With Pep Roulette likely to return with the Champions League fixtures, Ederson will be the most nailed-on member of this Manchester City defence and he could even be on penalties. Defence wins championships, and this City side are playing like they can really challenge for a European title this season.

Since drawing to Saint-Etienne on the day he was appointed, Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG have won all but one of their games, keeping six clean sheets in eight games. They face an inconsistent and largely inexperienced Barcelona side who they should make light work of. Navas is a top-class goalkeeper and PSG should go deep into the competition.

Looking at the best teams left in the competition, you have to mention Bayern Munich. Manuel Neuer (€6.0m) has 24 points so far and Bayern finally look as though they may be tightening up their defence after their 3-2 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach. 

They have three clean sheets from their last four games and face a Lazio side who aren’t prolific going forward. I think he’s in the weakest defence of Ederson and Navas, but Bayern could well go all the way once again. 

For the last sixteen alone, Wojciech Szczesny (€5.5m) may well be the best pick. Porto haven’t exactly been in scintillating attacking form and Juventus have now only conceded once in their last six competitive games. Andrea Pirlo appears to have found some consistency by building from the back and may well be able to carry this through the competition. He’s likely lacking the managerial experience to make a real push for the Champions League, but could well still be a good pick for at least the next four games.

Jan Oblak (€5.9m) will always be a solid pick in defence and faces a Chelsea side struggling to find real attacking form under a new manager so far. While Atletico have uncharacteristically not kept a clean sheet in their last four league games, Simeone knows how to do well in the Champions League and can marshall one of Europe’s toughest defences when needed. 

They are currently five points clear in La Liga with two games in hand, conceding just 12 goals in 20 games. The biggest question mark here is how far can this side really go in a competition that also includes PSG, Manchester City and Bayern Munich. 

The cheapest of my suggested goalkeepers may come as a bit of a surprise. Pierluigi Gollini (€4.8m) is the cheapest starting goalkeeper of any team left in the competition and Gian Piero Gasparini’s Atalanta side always have the ability to spring a surprise. 

Gollini has kept a clean sheet in both of his games in the competition so far and Atalanta play a Real Madrid side who have struggled for goals and been overly reliant on Karim Benzema (€10.4m), who may well be neutered by the three at the back system. I fancy Atalanta to make a run in this competition after they’ve performed below expectations in the league. 

DEFENDERS

With five defenders allowed in our squads, there is slightly more room to take risks here. Having had the Atalanta keeper at the bottom of the last list, their defenders now stand at the top of this one. 

Cristian Romero (€5.1m) is the highest-scoring player in the game, with his 72 balls recovered the most in the game by 18.  Playing the poorest Real Madrid side for at least a decade, Romero will likely continue to hoover up balls recovered and could add to the goal and assist he also already has in the competition. At his budget price, he’s a must have in any side. 

The Atalanta wing-backs Hans Hateboer (€5.0m) and Robin Gosens (€5.7m) still have high attacking threat, with the latter in particular loving a shot at goal. However, Romero is clearly the better pick and doubling up on their defence may be a step too far.

Angelino (€5.4m) is Leipzig’s highest scorer and assister in all competitions, picking up three of each in the group stages. The Manchester City loanee is part of the best defence in the Bundesliga, which faces an incredibly out-of-sorts Liverpool side who are struggling to find any real form or consistency. For his price, this looks like a classic low-risk, high-potential pick.

However, if Liverpool were to turn their fortunes around, Andrew Robertson (€6.5m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (€6.7m) will be at the heart of that effort. For their prices, it’s probably not a risk worth taking, but with the league slipping quickly away, Jurgen Klopp may turn all his attention to this competition.

Sevilla are on a run of six clean sheets in a row, with their last game being a 2-0 win over Barcelona. Jules Kounde (€3.9m) is the cheapest sure starter left in the game, scoring in that win over Barcelona. 

Sevilla face a Dortmund side in absolute disarray. New manager Edin Terzic cannot seem to organise a defence or really get the best out of his players. Their poor defensive form seems to make Mats Hummels (€5.2m), currently second highest for balls recovered, an afterthought rather than a real option. However, Kounde is a must at his price. 

Marquinhos (€5.8m) has 45 balls recovered so far in the competition, nailed on in a top defence and facing a poor Barcelona side. He’s the sort of player you can rely on for points and to hold a space in your squad for the foreseeable future. Neither of the PSG full-backs hold enough attacking threat to be worth looking at over the Brazilian. 

One of Europe’s top defences for nearing a decade, Simeone’s Atletico Madrid have a great defensive fixture against Tuchel’s solid but unspectacular Chelsea side, who laboured to score against Barnsley. 

Stefan Savic (€4.6m) is cheap, had 43 balls recovered in the group stages and is nailed-on at the back. Savic has been playing on the right hand side of a back-three, with Jose Gimenez (€5.2m) at the centre. 

This may well help Gimenez when it comes to balls recovered, as we’ve seen the central defender pick up the most balls recovered across the board in the group stages, with Romero as a prime example, and Savic had been playing in a back-two. Although €0.6m more than Savic, but with more goal threat, Gimenez may be a shrewd pick.

Manchester City currently have the strongest defence in Europe. Given we can afford a spot of Pep roulette, with substitutions as an option, their defenders definitely warrant a look. 

João Cancelo (€5.8m) has huge attacking potential but hasn’t quite lived up to it yet. John Stones (€5.1m) and Ruben Dias (€5.6m) have been the key defensive duo in City’s run. 

Of the two, Stones seems the stronger pick. He’s cheaper, with a higher goal threat, including a recent brace against Crystal Palace.

As with Szczesny, Juventus’ defenders have the benefit of a great defensive fixture. Since the group stages, Pirlo has moved to a four at the back. Danilo (€5.0m) is now a full-time full-back, which has brought with it added attacking threat. A goal and an assist against Sassuolo, combined with his price, may well make him the best asset in this defence. The other good option is Leonardo Bonucci (€5.5m), who will be nailed-on when he returns from injury before the game. 

Last, but certainly not least, on this list, is Joshua Kimmich (€6.6m). He’s a central midfielder in the best attacking side in world football. He’s known for contributing goals and assists at key moments and already has three assists in his three appearances in the competition. 

Although Kimmich is expensive, you’re basically getting a nailed-on Bayern attacker for under €7.0m who also gets any clean sheet points and points for balls recovered. Accordingly, he’s an absolute UCL Fantasy goldmine. 

A cheaper option in Munich’s defence is David Alaba (€5.5m). He’s nailed-on in the team and has been known to play in central midfield alongside Kimmich. Alaba has picked up 38 balls recovered in the competition and should continue to do well.

Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships are now available for the price of £19.99. Monthly subscriptions also cost just £2.99. A FREE trial is now available during December.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

NEW TO SCOUT? CLICK HERE TO START A MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT

179 Comments Post a Comment
  1. RamaJama
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 12 hours ago

    Which chip strategy for the upcoming DGWs do you recommend with this team?

    No WC, but have FH, BB and TC.

    DDG (steer)
    Stones, Dias, Coufal Digne, Holding
    Salah, Bruno Rashford, Grealish Gundo
    Watkins, Antonio dcl

    2 FTs
    1.6 in the bank

    1. boombaba
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 12 hours ago

      TC Kane GW26

      1. RamaJama
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 12 hours ago

        Cheers! No FH or BB GW 26?

  2. boombaba
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 12 hours ago

    Bottomed
    Is WC now based on Ben Crellin very likely DGW suggestions to risky ?

    1. Benteke Fried Chicken
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 12 hours ago

      I would like to know this

    2. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 12 hours ago

      Yes I would say, ve’s just assuming, we still don’t know which teams/how many. And covid could also hit your players from now until the 2 matches in GW 26

  3. Flynny
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 12 hours ago

    Hi....Who is better dcl replacement?

    A...Bamford

    B....ings...extra dgw but need a hit to get Bamford next week

    Thanks

    1. Rinseboy
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 12 hours ago

      A

    2. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 12 hours ago

      A

      1. Flynny
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        Thanks

  4. Rinseboy
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 12 hours ago

    I assume a -4 to take Stones out and get Gundo is not worth it?

    Will probably captain Sterling regardless but not sure if I should cover Gundo with such high ownership in my leagues

    1. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 12 hours ago

      Not worth it

    2. HMC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 12 hours ago

      yeh this was my plan going into the week but too much doubt now for other players, seems like such a luxury move
      probably just stick with what you got for city

      1. Rinseboy
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 12 hours ago

        thinking the same. Hoping its another fail for the top captsincy poll pick!

        1. HMC
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          lets go sterling c!

          (appreciate any advice on previous page, ta)

          1. Rinseboy
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 11 hours ago

            yes mate think Im gonna TC. replied to you on previous page

  5. Pchids
      2 months, 12 hours ago

      Morning all.
      Advice for someone without WC please.

      Robertson out for:
      a) Mee
      b) Shaw
      ?

      Robbo out to free up funds. Shaw seems like a better long term option, makes the most of the FT...what do you guys reckon?

      1. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 12 hours ago

        B

      2. HMC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 12 hours ago

        I went AWB last week. Shaw over Mee personally, long term saves a transfer later especially with no wc

      3. Pukki Party
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        A

    • LanMi
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 12 hours ago

      Shaw or AWB and why?

      1. Rinseboy
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        Shaw cheaper and looks more dangerous

    • McSauce
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 12 hours ago

      If DCL out?

      A) Bench him and play Bamford
      B) Richarlison for (-4) will play both games.
      C) Cavani (-4)

      1. Rinseboy
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        S

      2. Rinseboy
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        A!

      3. Stimps
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        B

    • Pukki Party
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 11 hours ago

      Price predictions?

      MCI-TOT
      EVE-MCI

      WBA-MUN

      1. Pukki Party
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        Not price lol, score*

      2. McSauce
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        2-0
        1-3

        1. McSauce
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          0-3 united

          1. Rinseboy
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 11 hours ago

            agree with these actually

      3. OLEgend
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        2-0
        0-2
        1-3

    • SuperDan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 hours ago

      Yay or nay?

      Antonio > Barnes (-4) I'm WC next week

      1. Rinseboy
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        is Antonio confirmed out?

      2. Rinseboy
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        Cavani if WC next week

    • Weeb Kakashi
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 hours ago

      Have all chips intact. My strategy is to make the best use of DGW24 and possibly BB in 25. WC in 26 to get a strong XI with an eye on FH for 29 or later.

      Thoughts?

      1. My heart goes Salalalalah
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        BB25? I guess it depends on your team. Initial feeling that there surely must be beter weeks for BB

      2. thegaffer82
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        No doubles in 25 though is there?

        Obviously I know that you don’t have to BB in a DGW, but with all chips intact and so many DGW’s to come, it seems a waste to me...

    • g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 11 hours ago

      I can see it now, Salah most sold player, goes mental against Leicester 🙂

    • aapoman
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 11 hours ago

      When do we expect the gw26 fixtures to be confirmed? Could it be already today?

      1. wulfrunian
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        yes

    • Iceball
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 11 hours ago

      Mendy Meslier
      Dias Stones Mee Robbo Coufal
      Gundo Salah Bruno Son Grealish
      Bamford Antonio Brewster
      2ft 2.0 itb.
      Probably will WC next week and load up on Spurs,Aston Villa, some Leeds, 1 Southampton, ManCity, ManU and so on. Dont have BB left so thats not to worry about. What punt sounds best for this week?
      A) Robbo&Mendy to Tarkowski and Pope
      B) Robbo&Brewster to Tarkowski and Richarlison/Barnes
      C) Other idea

    • wulfrunian
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 11 hours ago

      What's your plan on Son/Kane for dgw26?

      1. aapoman
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        Bring both in on a gw 25 or 26 wc

      2. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        Have Son, will get Kane.

      3. Rinseboy
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        WC in 26

        1. wulfrunian
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          If Tottenham has a double gw26 it would be a great opportunity for the TC chip.

      4. wulfrunian
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        I guess the best thing is to have them both but with no use of the wc it's difficult to get them both.

    • SuperDan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 hours ago

      If you had to play one who would it be?

      A) Cavani
      B) Lowton

      1. HMC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        A - if he hauled on your bench you'd be more annoyed

        1. SuperDan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          It’s more so of who should I buy

          1. HMC
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 11 hours ago

            I’m leaning towards DCL to Cavani myself especially since one likely won’t play the next two games.
            Lowton low ceiling and probably don’t want long term

            1. SuperDan
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 11 hours ago

              Im WCing next week so it’d be for one week only

    • JP\'s
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        Captain Fernandes or Gundogan?

        1. aapoman
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          Gundo imo

        2. SuperDan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          Gundo

      • aapoman
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        Chasing so does it make sense Son and Antonio -> Hamez and DCL/Richa? Obviously waiting until the press conferences before making any moves. Would then wc in 25 or 26 to get Son back in with Kane.

        1. Holmes
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          sounds good

      • veedub1989
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        Right strategy GW24?

        Areola
        Shaw | Cancelo (VC) | Dias
        Son | Salah | Gundo (C) | Bruno
        Antonio | Bamford | DCL

        Pope | Coufal | Raphinha | Rudiger

        Not sure when to use WC (only remaining chip).

        I have £3.8m ITB, TV £102.5. OR about 900K.

        1. HMC
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          Bruno VC
          Would move out DCL for Cavani or future dgw player, as you're chasing no point having injured players
          Surely you gotta start Pope over Areola if you own both!

      • thegaffer82
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        Oh dear. Had a few days break from footy & thinking about FPL... come back to flags galore.

        Have Antonio, DCL & Justin in my side.

        Any of these players worth selling on my FT or do we think there’s a chance they may play?
        I can hold Justin as he was benched anyway, plus I bought him in GW1 @ 4.5mil.
        But Antonio & DCL are both in my starting XI (with Bamford benched). I may start Bam & sell one of Antonio or DCL. Good idea?

        1. Holmes
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          Looks like Dominic probably wont be able to play, Antonio has a chance.

        2. Nimby
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          Apparently Antonio is ok for this weekend, according to itk exwhuemployee so maybe sell DCL.

        3. MYTWOCENTS
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          In exactly the same situation on all fronts. Just keeping an eye on information at the moment. Most likely at the moment is dcl to ings as I have 2 free transfers and don’t want any of the strikers with a double this week. Hopefully Justin is fine if our for a while I shall do him to Dallas or a 1 week mee or tarkowski

        4. baggs
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          its the not knowing that gets me

        5. Gizzachance
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 10 hours ago

          antonio plays monday, couple days hopefully see him ok, dcl is one looking likely to miss out

      • My heart goes Salalalalah
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        New article. Let's go

      • PocketZola
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 11 hours ago

        Salah to sterling(c) for -4?

      • Wicked Weapon
          2 months, 11 hours ago

          Took a break from all footy action, logged in to FPL just now, fully expecting flags galore, must say I wasn't disappointed lol

        • Yuhz89
            2 months, 11 hours ago

            worth DCL>Ings?

          • BobB
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 11 hours ago

            Wait for news on DCL

          • baggs
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 11 hours ago

            WC from this...

            Button, McCarthy
            Mitchell, Alexander-Arnold, Stones, Dias, Coufal
            Grealish, Salah, Gündogan, Fernandes, Son
            Calvert-Lewin, Antonio, Watkins

            to this...
            Martínez, Areola
            Cancelo, Lowton, Dunk, Wan-Bissaka, Kilman
            Grealish, Sterling, Gündogan, Fernandes, Raphinha
            Calvert-Lewin, Kane, Bamford

            1. baggs
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 11 hours ago

              pending dcl news

          • Gizzachance
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 11 hours ago

            thoughts? 0 ft, 0 itb
            pope*
            cancelo* lowton* rudiger
            ster* (C) gundo* salah bruno grealish
            bam antonio? (antonio plays monday)
            dcl more likely to miss out

            bench: martinez dcl*? coufal dallas
            was gonna b/b, thats in doubt now
            dcl worth a hit for a dgw/sgw player an play b/b ? or save and rely on bench?

            cheers

          • fpl_tp95
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            2 months, 10 hours ago

            Thoughts on Salah? I want rid to make funds for Kane in a couple weeks.

            Salah to Raphina and Johnstone to Pope this week. Followed by Antonio to Kane/maybe ings for 1 week.

            Good move? Silly to sell Salah?

          • LanMi
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 10 hours ago

            On WC, no BB, no FH, no TC

            GKP: Martínez (Sánchez)

            DEF: Stones, Mee, Shaw (Holding) (Dallas)

            MID: Grealish, Gündogan, Fernandes, Son (Maddison)

            FWD: Bamford, Watkins, Antonio

            Plan is to get rid of Antonio for Kane next GW and then switch Mee to Justin/Soyuncu the GW afterwards.

            After DGW26 I'll navigate BGW29 with 3 FT in order to have at least 7 players.

            Thoughts?

          • LanMi
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 10 hours ago

            Am I mental for captaining Mee?