Matchday 3 of 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 excellent wins for Liverpool and Manchester City – and what to expect from tonight’s matches.
You can read our suggestions for Wednesday captaincy, differentials and teams to target/avoid in our first UCL Fantasy piece of the week.
Five things we learned last night
- Ajax are serious
Ajax were superb from start to finish in their 4-0 win over Borussia Dortmund. It was a performance that announced to the world that Eric ten Haag’s side can play with the big boys once again. Antony, Sebastian Haller, Dusan Tadic and co looked unstoppable, with Antony and Haller both proving their worth as excellent Fantasy options. Noussair Mazrouai also picked up eight points for the second game running. Ajax were clinical going forward, solid at the back and deserve all the plaudits they’ll receive for a stunning performance.
- Messi is still Messi, but PSG’s defence needs serious work
Lionel Messi’s second-half brace secured a perhaps undeserved three points for PSG. RB Leipzig repeatedly took advantage of their high line and susceptibility to deep crosses, and could’ve had a few more if Andre Silva had come into the game in better form. Messi’s classy Panenka to win the game will steal the headlines, but this was not the performance of a well-organised side.
- Jesse Marsch really doesn’t know how to organise a defence
On the other side, this was a performance in a similar vein to the rest of Jesse Marsch’s era at Leipzig – they created great chances going forward but looked pretty clueless at the back for large parts of the game. His Salzburg team were all-out attacking and he could still walk the Austrian Bundesliga, but the American’s lack of defensive nous is clear for all to see. They’ve now conceded 11 goals in three UCL games.
- Liverpool look like the side who won the competition in 2019
It wasn’t a vintage Liverpool performance, but Liverpool showed hints of brilliance against a very strong Atletico Madrid side. The link-up play between Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah is better than we’ve seen since the UCL-winning campaign, and Salah is the most in-form player in world football. Salah is essential across all forms of Fantasy Football and the UCL is proving to be no different, with five goals from his first three games.
- Vinicius Jr is finally starting to live up to the hype
Two goals, an assist, and a wholly impressive performance from the young Brazilian. He’s come under a lot of criticism for not meeting expectations since his move to Europe, but he seems to finally be coming good under Carlo Ancelotti. At 8.1m and 6% ownership in UCL Fantasy, Vini is a great, cheap, differential option up front if he keeps developing at his current rate.
Five things to expect in UCL Fantasy tonight
- Barcelona finally start to redeem themselves
Barcelona impressed against Valencia in the league this weekend and seem to be rejuvenated by the return of Ansu Fati and the emergence of Gavi. Barcelona face Dynamo Kyiv, a side they beat 2-1 and 4-0 in last season’s group stage, which presents a great opportunity for them to continue to build form and for Memphis Depay and Fati to run riot and start to save Ronald Koeman’s career. Watch out for Sergino Dest, who may well start on the right wing again.
- Chelsea to brush aside Malmo
Malmo have conceded seven goals and scored none so far in the UCL and visit the reigning champions this evening. Although Thomas Tuchel may field something of a second-string side, with rumours of a benching for Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea will still undoubtedly have too much for Malmo. Whoever starts at wing-back for Tuchel’s men will be a great option, most likely Marcos Alonso and Reece James.
- United to struggle against Atalanta
Manchester United were very poor against Leicester at the weekend, being outclassed by the Foxes’ high-pressing and organisation. Atalanta are famed for similar attributes, and this should bode well for the Bergamo side. Both the stats and eye test suggest that Cristiano Ronaldo’s return has negatively affected the Red Devils and this could be a second embarrassing night in Europe for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer this season.
- Karim Adeyemi to increase his value once again
Wolfsburg have lost six games in a row and Karim Adeyemi is looking brilliant, both domestically and in Europe. Salzburg have been impressive against Sevilla and Lille so far and should be able to take advantage of the Wolves’ poor form. Adeyemi has earned four penalties and scored twice in this season’s competition. At just 7.3m, he presents an incredibly good value differential option up front.
- Well-organised Benfica will give Bayern a good game, but it won’t be enough
Benfica are a good side, as demonstrated by their 3-0 win over Barcelona, but Bayern’s 5-1 win over Leverkusen showed that they’re simply a class above at the moment. Although Benfica have kept back-to-back clean sheets, a team with Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane will always find a way to score. Once Bayern inevitably grab a goal, the floodgates may well open.
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