UEFA Champions League Fantasy got underway on Tuesday but managers still have the opportunity to make changes to their teams, be it via the captaincy or by bringing in a substitute or two.
There are eight more games this evening, so it’s time to take a look at what we learned from last night’s fixtures – including shock results for Sevilla and Manchester United – and what to expect from tonight’s matches.
READ MORE: Beginners’ guide to UCL Fantasy
READ MORE: UCL Fantasy discussion
READ MORE: FanTeam’s €250k Champions League Group Stage tournament
What we learned from last night’s fixtures
Barcelona aren’t a top side
They were swept aside by Bayern, lacking in quality all over the pitch and incredibly poor defensively. A trip to the Camp Nou is just not a threatening prospect for good teams anymore.
Robert Lewandowski is an unstoppable goalscoring force
His brace takes him to eight goals in five games this season for Bayern and his UCL games only get easier from here.
There’s never a quiet game when Atalanta are involved
The Bergamo side were involved in a great battle with Unai Emery’s Villarreal. They score lots of goals but are still relatively unsteady at the back. Backing their attack is never a bad option, but there is less confidence in their centre-halves.
Zenit St Petersburg are a solid outfit
They came very close to a draw with a Chelsea side they harried and pressurised all night. Yaroslav Rakitskyi and Wilmar Barrios were great for balls recovered and Rakitskyi kept Romelu Lukaku quiet for everything but the goal. Their players are good options for their upcoming tie against Malmo.
Sevilla are inconsistent… and Red Bull Salzburg need to practise their penalties
Like at points last season, Sevilla promised a lot and delivered very little. Salzburg are an exciting attacking side and Karim Adeyemi was involved in almost everything they did going forward.
Manchester United aren’t the finished article
United’s defence still needs a lot of work and the Red Devils looked static going forward with Cristiano Ronaldo as a focal point. Young Boys didn’t deserve the win but United will now have to go all out for the rest of the competition to secure qualification.
What to expect from tonight’s games
Dortmund might not have as easy a game as expected
Besiktas will sit deep and aim to frustrate Dortmund, which is exactly what Freiburg did in the Black and Yellows’ only loss so far this season. The three Bundesliga games they’ve won (vs Eintracht Frankfurt, Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen) were all against attacking sides who gave them space to go forward and presented Erling Haaland with opportunities to counter and run at them. Haaland is still a great option this evening, but if you want to bet against him, you wouldn’t be completely irrational.
Paris St-Germain should score a lot of goals
This is set to be “MNM”‘s first appearance together. Club Brugge have been defensively poor of late, conceding six against Gent just two weeks ago. PSG have the shortest odds of scoring four goals or more this evening and one of their players looks likely to be the best captaincy option.
Whoever starts for Manchester City will be a great option
Red Bull Leipzig have been poor recently, can’t get a rhythm together under Jesse Marsch and lost 4-1 to Bayern at the weekend. However, predicting who will start for City is virtually impossible.
Sporting Lisbon vs Ajax looks too close to call
Both are solid sides in strong domestic form.
Shakhtar Donetsk should triumph
This is unlikely to be a rout for Shakhtar, however. Sheriff Tiraspol definitely have an upset in them, as they showed in qualification.
Liverpool v AC Milan could be tight
These are two defensively strong sides in good form. Liverpool should have too much quality for the Italians but it’s unlikely to be a high-scoring game.
Read Madrid should prosper v Inter Milan
Real won this tie home and away in last season’s group stages and Inter are a weaker side now without Romelu Lukaku or Antonio Conte, whereas Real are thriving under Carlo Ancelotti, especially going forward. Watch out for Karim Benzema, who’s had nine goal contributions in four games in La Liga this season.