UEFA Champions League Matchday 5 (MD5) gives us the reverse fixtures from Matchday 2 (MD2). Here’s a run-through of what you need to know for your UCL Fantasy captains and the player picks ahead of MD4. There are some incredible prizes on offer in this free-to-play Fantasy game even for late entrants, from Champions League final tickets to Playstation 5s and replica shirts.
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TEAMS TO BACK
Atalanta are unbeaten in their last six competitive games and Gian Piero Gasperini’s side visit Young Boys knowing that a win should put them in a good position to secure qualification to the knockout stages on Matchday 6 (MD6). Despite injuries to first choice wing-backs Hans Hateboer (5.0m) and Robin Gosens (5.5m), Atalanta are fresh from a 5-2 win over Spezia and should have too much for David Wagner’s side.
ZENIT ST. PETERSBURG
Zenit are top of the Russian Premier League and beat Malmo 4-0 on MD2. They’ll be keen to secure a spot in the Europa League knockouts and should have every chance of doing so. Veteran striker Artem Dzyuba (8.0m) got a hat-trick and an assist in a 5-1 win over Nizhny Novgorod on Friday and has scored in seven of his last eight league appearances. Zenit have been particularly free scoring of late, netting 16 times in their last four league games, including a 7-1 win over Spartak Moscow.
Liverpool have been steamrolling their UCL group, winning all four games and scoring 13. They’re also the highest scorers in the Premier League, averaging nearly three goals per game. Mohamed Salah (10.7m) and Sadio Mane (10.2m) have been in brilliant form and Liverpool beat Porto 5-1 in the reverse fixture of MD2.
The third highest-scoring team in this season’s UCL with the joint-best defence, Eric ten Haag’s Ajax are setting Europe alight. Sebastian Haller (9.1m) has seven goals from his four UCL games and Besiktas have been terrible in Group C, conceding 12 goals and not picking up any points. This could be another rout for an Ajax side playing brilliant football.
Top of La Liga and the highest scoring team by nine goals, Real are in top form under Carlo Ancelotti. They’ll be keen to avenge Sheriff’s shock win at the Bernabeu, with Karim Benzema (10.2) and Vinicius Junior (8.3m) coming into this game as the two highest scorers in La Liga, with ten and eight goals respectively.
TUESDAY 23 NOVEMBER
Captain Sensible: Robert Lewandowski (11.8m)
Lewandowski is averaging two goals per game in this season’s UCL, with eight from four appearances. He visits a Dynamo Kyiv side who Bayern beat 5-0 in the reverse leg and who sit bottom of their group – goalless and with just one point. The Polish striker has scored 14 times from 12 Bundesliga games, including one – which should’ve been two – against Augsburg on Friday. Although Bayern are missing some key players like Joshua Kimmich, Lewandowski is still the best captaincy option tonight.
Captain Differential (less than 10% owned): Reece James (5.4m)
James has three goals and two assists in his last four league games from right wing-back, alongside Chelsea’s three clean sheets in that period. Thomas Tuchel will see this game as a must-win following Juventus’ win in the reverse fixture and will likely play his full-strength side. James has been in unbelievable domestic form and will look to carry this into Europe.
WEDNESDAY 24 NOVEMBER
Captain Sensible: Mohamed Salah (10.7m)
Salah’s goalscoring has slowed down slightly since the start of the season but he’s still Mo Salah and Liverpool are in great goalscoring form. They have four wins from four in this season’s UCL and beat this Porto side 5-1 on MD2.
Captain Differential (less than 10% owned): Dusan Tadic (8.9m)
Ajax have been a revelation this season and Tadic, along with Haller, has been at the heart of that. He’s got five goals and ten assists in the league and free-scoring Ajax face a Besiktas side with the joint-second worst defensive record in the competition. Whilst Haller is the best pick from Ajax, Tadic is an explosive option who is always involved for ten Haag’s side.
SPOT THE DIFFERENTIAL
A selection of five players with less than 5% ownership to give your team a boost up the rankings.
- Duvan Zapata (9.7m, 1%): Eight goals and four assists from 11 Serie A appearances, plus a goal and an assist as he bullied United’s defence on Matchday 4 (MD4) shows exactly what Zapata is capable of. It’s staggering that the Colombian is only 1% owned ahead of a visit to Young Boys.
- Bas Dost (6.4m, 0%): Club Brugge haven’t been in great form domestically but Leipzig’s have been particularly dire on the road. Dost has four goals in his last three league starts for the Belgians, whilst this Leipzig defence have conceded the most goals in this season’s competition. With 0% ownership, Dost is a great one-week punt.
- Sadio Mane (10.2m, 1%): Mane scored against Porto on MD2 and registered a goal and an assist in the 4-0 thrashing of Arsenal on Saturday. He’s now got seven league goals and two from three UCL starts, despite only playing a combined 202 minutes. Although expensive, this is a prime fixture for Mane and he’s a great differential option to Salah.
- Lukas Nmecha (5.1m, 1%): The cheapest starting forward in the game, Nmecha has now scored in every league game of Florian Kohfeldt’s short time in charge of Wolfsburg. Sevilla have been poor in this season’s UCL so far and sit bottom of Group G, so Nmecha provides a great budget differential as Wolfsburg look to fire their way into the last 16.
- Yaroslav Rakits’kyy (4.9m, 1%): An imposing, ball-playing defender, Rakits’kyy assisted twice in the reverse fixture against Malmo on MD2 as Zenit won 4-0. They will fancy their chances at another clean sheet and Rakits’kyy should get plenty of chances to repeat his 13 point haul from before.