The 2021/22 UEFA Champions League group stage starts on Tuesday and the UCL Fantasy game returns with it. Today we are going to talk about the best midfielders for UCL Fantasy, and why you should pick them!
There are some incredible prizes on offer in this free-to-play Fantasy game, from Champions League final tickets to Playstation 5s and replica shirts.
Our series of preview articles previously got underway with a look at the best goalkeepers and defenders on offer, so now we turn our attention to the pick of the best midfielders for the Champions League Fantasy.
If you’re new to the game or just need a reminder of the rules, check out our ‘how to play’ guide below.
And don’t forget to join the official FFScout UCL League (pin code: 33TKWHOD07), where there will be additional prizes on offer.
BEST UCL FANTASY MIDFIELDER STRATEGY
Midfielders score points similarly in UEFA Champions League Fantasy to Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
The main differences are that midfielders get a point for every three balls recovered and three points if they’re awarded ‘Player of the Match’ by UEFA’s committee.
The balls recovered points can make cheap defensive midfield players good options in the game, as I’ll discuss later on.
The ‘Player of the Match’ points are a new addition to the game, but could benefit players like Kevin De Bruyne (11.0m) and Mohamed Salah (10.5m), who tend to regularly star as their teams’ best performers.
As midfielders get an extra point for goals scored than forwards and can get one clean sheet point, they can also make great captaincy options in a game where a few points here and there can make a huge difference.
BEST UCL MIDFIELDERS
There might be a few surprise admissions from this list, but I’ve tried to stop it from getting too long.
Any players who’re currently injured, like Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro Goncalves (8.0m) and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale (8.5m) and Eden Hazard (9.5m), aren’t included.
With Leipzig and PSG in their first two games and Pep roulette on the horizon, I’ve left out most of the Manchester City wing picks like Raheem Sterling (10.0m) and Riyad Mahrez (9.0m) – with those fixtures, they’re just not worth the risk.
Options like Joaqiun Correa (7.0m), Leroy Sane (9.0m) and Alejandro Gomez (8.0m) are out on account of not being nailed.
BEST PREMIUM MIDFIELDERS FOR UCL
Kevin De Bruyne (11.0m) – Manchester City
When he’s fit, he’s one of the best creative players in the world and one of the only nailed players in Pep Guardiola’s City side. He’s back fit and could start against Leipzig, but it’ll be interesting to see how he works alongside Jack Grealish (8.0m) in midfield. With the fixtures City have, De Bruyne may not be worth the premium price as the most expensive player in the game.
Mohamed Salah (10.5m) – Liverpool
Salah was the second-highest scoring midfielder in last season’s competition and every FPL player knows what an incredible fantasy asset he is. Opening games against AC Milan and Porto give Salah a good opportunity to score points and the Egyptian has had a strong start to the Premier League season too.
Bruno Fernandes (10.5m) – Manchester United
As his goal against Newcastle United on Saturday proved, Fernandes is still a good Fantasy asset, even with Cristiano Ronaldo (11.0m) likely now on penalties. United start their campaign against Young Boys and Villarreal, which should give Fernandes opportunities to continue his incredible start to the season. United have struggled in Europe under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but with one of the kindest opening fixtures, Fernandes will have a great chance to start this campaign strong.
Serge Gnabry (10m) – Bayern Munich
After Julian Nagelsmann seemed to confirm that Kingsley Coman (8.5m) will start against Barcelona, Serge Gnabry (10.0m) looks set to start on the right-wing. A visit to a Barcelona side in disarray and hosting Dynamo Kyiv is a good start to the campaign for Bayern and Gnabry, who already has two Bundesliga goals this season, is an explosive player and a great option.
BEST MID-PRICE MIDFIELDERS FOR UCL
Paul Pogba (8.5m) – Manchester United
Picking up his seventh Premier League assist at the weekend shows that Paul Pogba (8.5m) has become a top-quality Fantasy asset. United have solid opening fixtures and Pogba’s form makes him a great option in Ole’s very high-scoring side.
Kingsley Coman (8.5m) – Bayern Munich
Set to make his first start of the season against Barcelona in Matchday 1, Kingsley Coman was one of the best players in last season’s group stages for Bayern and can build on that in a relatively easy group.
Hakan Calhanoglu (8.5m) – Inter Milan
The Turkish maestro has a goal and an assist in his first two Serie A starts since making the switch across Milan. Although Inter’s first two games against Real and Shakhtar aren’t the easiest, the set-piece specialist has plenty of avenues to score points and has already proven himself as a crucial part of the Inter attack.
Marco Reus (8.0m) – Borussia Dortmund
The Dortmund captain has had a new lease of life under Marco Rose, playing as either a number 10 or alongside Erling Haaland (11.0m) up front. He got a goal and an assist in the first game of the Bundesliga season and has looked sharp since. 8.0m seems like a great price for a key piece of one of the best attacking sides in the competition who have one of the easiest schedules.
Lucas Ocampos (8.0m) – Sevilla
A solid pick in a strong Sevilla side, Lucas Ocampos (8.0m) often takes penalties and is now back fit. His opening games against Salzburg and Wolfsburg should give him plenty of opportunities to score points in this Sevilla side, but Youssef En-Nesyri (8.5m) is probably the best option in this team, especially with players like Eric Lamela (6.0m) on the bench.
Leon Goretzka (7.5m) – Bayern Munich
Leon Goretzka (7.5m) has been putting up great attacking numbers under Julian Nagelsmann, although he’s yet to score for Bayern this season. A great goalscorer on his day, Barcelona and Kyiv are kind fixtures for Bayern to start their campaign with and Goretzka could be a great differential at a good price.
Christopher Nkunku (7.5m) – RB Leipzig
Christopher Nkunku (7.5m) is involved in everything RBL do going forward, but with Dani Olmo (7.5m) back he may have competition for his spot in the starting XI. As a result, an opening day game against Manchester City means that the Frenchman is unlikely to make it into your line-up from the get-go.
Ferran Torres (7.5m) – Manchester City
Will he start? Your guess is as good as mine. However, if he does, there’s no doubt that Pep’s new false nine is a great option. Despite City’s tough fixtures, if Ferran Torres (7.5m) looks like starting, then there aren’t many better options at this price point. I know I said I was avoiding not-nailed players, but Ferran might just be worth the risk.
Jude Bellingham (7.0m) – Borussia Dortmund
The English starlet keeps on improving at Dortmund and has started to add more and more attacking contributions to his game. He’s got a goal and an assist so far this Bundesliga season and had a goal disallowed yesterday against Bayer Leverkusen.
Casemiro (6.5m) – Real Madrid
The Real Madrid holding midfielder is a balls recovered machine who pops up with occasional goals. He managed 86 balls recovered last season in the UCL, the highest of all midfielders, giving him 25 points in just nine games. Although he’s slightly pricy, he’s a very safe option in midfield.
BEST BUDGET MIDFIELDERS FOR UCL
Brahim Diaz (6.0m) – AC Milan
A great, cheap pick, but unfortunately Brahim Diaz (6.0m) has difficult fixtures to start off his UCL campaign. AC Milan’s attacking midfielder has had a great start to the season, registering a goal and an assist in his first two Serie A games.
Jorginho (6.0m) – Chelsea
Another balls recovered machine, the Italian midfielder picked up 80 last season and is also on penalties for Chelsea (unless Romelu Lukaku (10.5m) takes over). A solid, safe pick who will likely average at least five points a game.
Manor Solomon (6.0m) – Shakhtar Donetsk
Shakhtar have the best opening fixture in the competition and Manor Solomon (6.0m) is probably the best option in their midfield at a budget price. Shakhtar always make a good showing in the UCL and this season should be no different.
Franck Kessie (5.5m) – AC Milan
As with Diaz, it’s a shame that AC Milan’s fixtures are so tough to start off with, because Franck Kessie will likely be a great option at 5.5m. He’s the sort of player who will do well in balls recovered and is on penalties for AC Milan, too. He scored 13 goals and got six assists in 37 Serie A games last season and is only let down by games against Atletico Madrid and Liverpool as an option.
Wilmar Barrios (5.0m) – Zenit
A cheap, balls recovered beast, Wilmar Barrios averaged four points a game last season and is only 5.0m this year. Another solid, cheap option, who will pick up points regardless of fixtures. Don’t expect attacking returns, but for 5.0m you don’t need them.
Joao Palhinha (5.0m) – Sporting CP
Joao Palhinha has scored in his last two games for Sporting as a defensive midfielder. Whilst you can’t expect that sort of attacking output every week, he’s got goals in him and should also pick up balls recovered points. The main downside with Palhinha is his opening fixtures against Dortmund and Ajax, although neither side have looked particularly defensively solid so far this season.
Nicolas Seiwald (4.5m) – Salzburg
A 4.5m starting CDM who will likely get balls recovered points at Salzburg. Him and Edson Alvarez are the two best options at 4.5m, as they should get a couple of points per game for balls recovered, alongside likely playing 90 minutes.
Edson Alvarez (4.5m) – Ajax
See Seiwald, but he plays for Ajax, so is probably a slightly better option. Averaged a ball recovered every ten minutes in the UCL last season. That’s all, we hope that our list of best midfielders for UCL will help you out in the long run. Now take a look at the best forwards for UCL!
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