clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UEFA Champions League Matchday 4 Player Picks

New, comments

Champion’s League Matchday 4 is here, and we’re officially past the group stage halfway point. It’s now or never for some teams (and key players) to deliver.

Atletico Madrid v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League
Antoine Griezmann will lead the line as Atletico Madrid look for maximum points against Qarabag.
Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

It’s Champions League time again, and as always we peruse the fixtures to see where the points may lie for our UCL Fantasy League Teams:

Tuesday 31st October

Atletico Madrid vs Qarabag FK

Basel vs CSKA Moscow

Celtic vs Bayern Munich

Manchester United vs Benfica

Olympiakos FC vs Barcelona

Paris Saint-Germain vs Anderlecht

Roma vs Chelsea

Sporting Lisbon vs Juventus

Wednesday 1st November

Besiktas vs Monaco

Borussia Dortmund vs Apoel Nicosia

FC Porto vs RB Leipzig

Liverpool vs Maribor

Napoli vs Manchester City

Sevilla vs Spartak Moscow

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Feyenoord

Tottenham vs Real Madrid

Each of these teams will be squaring off against the same opponent for the second time in 2 weeks as the group stage rolls over. As such, the results in the pseudo “first leg” games in Matchday 3 can inform our thinking. We’re going to marry this with form and fixtures to try to find the best sources for points at this critical phase.

GOALKEEPER PICKS

Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid - 6m)

With just 2 points on the board from their opening 3 matches, Atletico Madrid will need to win here or else they can wave their waning Champions League hopes goodbye. An away draw against plucky Qarabag in matchday 3 means that nothing less than 3 points will do here — which makes the Atletico defense a strong shout for clean sheet returns.

Alfonse Areola (PSG - 4.7m)

An absolute bargain of a goalkeeper in the UCL fantasy game, the Parisian shot-stopper is a great shout for a clean sheet at home to group minnows Anderlect. PSG will need to do the needful here to stave off a resurgent Bayern Munich in their CL Group B.

Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk - 5.0m)

A trip to Ukraine is always a daunting challenge, and surely one that Feyenoord will not be looking forward to against a team in strong form. Shakhtar have placed themselves in a strong position with 6 points in UCL Group F, but will need to bag these points at home before rounding out their schedule against stalwarts Napoli and Manchester City.

Loris Karius (Liverpool - 5.0m )

Liverpool’s “Champions League keeper” could have finished a novel in UCL matchday 3 away against a woeful Maribor side, and can probably look forward to another pedestrian afternoon as the Slovenian minnows offer themselves up in front of the baying Klop.

DEFENDER PICKS

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool - 4.0m)

The young Liverpool wing back is a huge goal threat with free kicks in his locker and has been preferred for Champions League games. Look for him to back up his goal and clean sheet showing with another solid performance here.

Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid - 6.0m)

Qarabag have recorded a competition-low of four shots on target this term. As mentioned above, a must win fixture for Atletico Madrid screams out clean sheet for the miserly defense at their lovely Wanda Metropolitano home base. With the added huge set piece threat, Godin is the pick of the lot.

Thomas Meunier (PSG - 5.5m)

His frequent marauding runs into the opposition box always present the potential for goals and assists. The Belgian wing back represents the best route into the PSG back line. Up against Belgian champions Anderlect, he also has the added motivation of playing against familiar foes from his homeland.

Alex Telles (Porto - 5.5m)

With Besiktas storming through UCL Group G, it looks like a dogfight between Porto, RB Leipzig and Monaco for the second qualification spot. Porto will need to build on their solitary win here at home to a Leipzig outfit that has just emerged from two scathing back to back games against Bayern Munich -- making wing back Telles a strong shout for defensive points.

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United - 6.4m)

The Manchester United captain will marshal a team bubbling following their massive win against Spurs in the Premier League. A win here could wrap up qualification for United atop UCL Group A, so expect a powerful performance from the Red Devils.

MIDFIELDER PICKS

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Premier League
Delli Alli finally makes his long awaited debut against Real Madrid in the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League.
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich - 8.5m)

With Robert Lewandowski sidelined through injury, and with a dearth of alternative striking options, much of Bayern’s offensive responsibilities will fall to their midfielders. Look for Spanish talisman Thiago to be at the center of Bayern’s best moves as they take on a porous Celtic outfit.

Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas - 7.1m)

The Portuguese wizard has been instrumental for surprise frontrunners Besiktas as they waltzed through their group so far with 3 wins in 3. A win against Monaco in front of their raucous home support could seal qualification for them, so look for Quaresma to put on a show for the Turkish giants.

Dele Alli (Tottenham - 9.0m)

The long suffering Tottenham midfielder will finally make his UCL bow as he returns from a prolonged suspension. Real Madrid roll up to White Hart Lane suffering from a slew of injuries, especially in defense. What better way to introduce himself than by scoring against the holders?

Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk - 6.6m)

The diminutive Brazilian will be key to Shakhtar’s offense as they take on visiting Dutch champs Feyenoord. If Shakhtar can do the needful here, expect Bernard to have a say in the proceedings.

Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid - 7.5m)

The Spanish wunderkind is expected to feature prominently as Atletico aim to make a statement against the Azerbaijan minnows.

FORWARD PICKS

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Can Romelu Lukaku get back to scoring ways as Manchester United welcome Benfica to Old Trafford?
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Wisam Ben Yedder (Sevilla - 7.7m)

A shocking hiding at Spartak Moscow should illicit a response from Sevilla as they return to home comforts. This is a tight group, which means three points is critical here. Goal machine Ben Yedder offers strong prospects at a reasonable price and will need to be at his best for the Spanish outfit.

Vincent Aboubakar (Porto - 6.6m)

The Cameroonian striker is simply on fire, registering on the score sheet in nearly all of Porto’s games. He will need to deliver the goods at home to Leipzig if Porto are to put themselves in a position to qualify from their group.

Andriy Yarmolenko (Borussia Dortmund - 8.5m)

With point man Aubameyang seemingly off form, we’re backing Ukrainian sensation Yarmolenko to deliver the goods here against the visiting Cypriot champions. This game is an absolute must-win for Dortmund if they are to stand any chance of progressing to the next round.

Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United - 10.0m)

Two blank games is his longest stretch without scoring for the season, such is the form of Manchester United striker Lukaku. With group qualification within reach, expect the Belgian powerhouse to get back to business against the visiting Benfica.

Mo Salah (Liverpool - 9.6m)

Free food will be on offer at Anfield with lowly Maribor in town. Expect Liverpool’s current best attacking player, Salah to feast - especially if injury doubt Coutinho is ruled out of this one.

Edinson Cavani (PSG - 11.1m)

PSG’s frontman comes into this game as the third player to score in seven consecutive Champions League appearances after Ruud van Nistelrooy (nine) and Cristiano Ronaldo (eight). Cavani should be backed here to continue his find UCL scoring run.