After an exciting first round of matches, the Champions League is back again. An epic match-day 1 brought us a classic encounter between Liverpool and PSG, a Lionel Messi hattrick, exciting comeback victories for Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid, and a shock loss for Manchester City.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for UCL fantasy managers who selected him and maybe even trusted him with the armband. On the bright side however, UEFA announced that he will only be suspended for one game meaning that he will be eligible to face former club Manchester United in match-days 3 and 4.
The suspension however means that for perhaps the first time ever, Ronaldo won’t be in our list of picks. Here are the best prospects for UCL Matchday 2:
Wojciech Szcesney (5.5m, Juventus vs Young Boys)
Kept a clean sheet for Juventus in match-day 1 despite his team being reduced to 10 men in the first half. Should be backed to do the same at home to Young Boys.
Robin Olsen (4.0m, Roma vs Plzen)
The cheap-as-chips Swedish #1 should fancy his chances of keeping it clean against an underdog Plzen outfit.
Alfonse Areola (4.5m, PSG vs Crvena Zvedza)
PSG are heavy favorites to trounce visiting Crvena Zvezda, so a clean sheet should be on the cards for PSG’s French shot stopper standing in for the still-suspended Gigi Buffon.
Jan Oblak (6.0m, Atlético Madrid vs Club Brugge)
Their fearsome defense shouting clean sheet potential, Atletico Madrid welcome goal-shy Club Brugge to town.
Anthony Lopes (4.5m, Lyon vs Shakhtar Donetsk)
An impressive Lyon outfit welcome plucky Shakhtar Donetsk. Goalkeeper Lopes can be backed for save points if not a clean sheet.
Guilherme (4.5m, Lokomotiv Moscow vs Schalke)
Lokomotiv Moscow will represent difficult host for German contenders Schalke and could squeeze a clean sheet and save points in this one.
Thomas Meunier (5.5m, PSG vs Crvena zvedza)
PSG’s marauding full back will aim to build on his goal-scoring performance in Match-day 1 against his accommodating visitors.
Diego Godin (6.0m, Atletico Madrid vs Club Brugge
Strong clean sheet potential and set piece prowess make the Atletico Madrid captain a great option for this round.
Alex Telles (5.5m, Porto vs Galatasaray)
He may have cost his owners with a missed penalty in Match-day 1, but he’s still the best defensive option for Porto as they welcome Galatasary SK.
Alex Grimaldo (4.5m, AEK Athens vs Benfica)
Benfica tackle Greek champions AEK Athens needing an away win to gain a footing in Group E. Grimaldo brings strong attacking intent to the table along with the chance of clean sheet points.
Joshua Kimmich (6.0m, Bayern Munich vs Ajax)
Bayern Munich will be looking to rebound from a tough first domestic loss of the season to Hertha Berlin when they welcome Ajax to the Allianz Arena. The gung-ho German full back should be backed for clean sheet and attacking points.
Aleksander Kolarov (5.5m, Roma vs Plzen)
A goal in the Rome derby was a preview of the potential for points from the Serbian fullback as Plzen comes to town.
James Rodriguez (9.0m, Bayern Munich vs Ajax)
Remember “Hammess” from the World Cup? The silky smooth Colombian should be at the center of everything positive for Bayern against a youthful Ajax outfit in Group E.
Raheem Sterling (9.5m, Hoffenheim vs Manchester City)
A goal and assist against Brighton & Hove Albion was a great warm up for Manchester City’s crucial game versus Hoffenheim in Group F.
Paul Pogba (9.0m, Manchester United vs Valencia)
The embattled French midfielder is in the midst of turmoil for a Manchester United team that seems to have already lost its way. Yet still, I’m backing him to rise to the occasion to silence his doubters in this Group H match-up.
Marco Reus (9.0m, Borussia Dortmund vs Monaco)
Another goal for the German wizard on the weekend augurs well for a free-scoring Dortmund team who host Monaco in Group A.
Saul (7.5m, Atletico Madrid vs Club Brugge)
The diminutive Spanish wizard will be key to unlocking the Club Brugge defense when they turn up at the Wanda Metropolitano to take on Atletico Madrid.
Miralem Pjanic (8.5m, Juventus vs Young Boys)
Juventus has an easy game on paper, so I’m backing the Bosnian midfielder to follow up his 2 goal first leg showing with some more points. With Ronaldo suspended, he should be on penalty kick duties as well.
Diego Costa (10.0m, Atletico Madrid vs Club Brugge)
The fearsome Spanish frontman could put Club Brugge to the sword in a lopsided Group A encounter.
Mario Mandzukic (8.0m, Juventus vs Young Boys)
Cristiano Ronaldo’s aforementioned suspension means that the scoring burden should fall to the Croatian striker. A goal against Napoli on the weekend was proof positive.
Robert Lewandowski (11.0m, Bayern Munich vs Ajax)
He just can’t stop scoring goals for Bayern Munich. A domestic league loss should be even more motivation, so he should be an armband option as well.
Edin Dzeko (10.0m, Roma vs Plzen)
Roma’s Bosnian target man should have a slew of chances against unfancied Plzen. Another armband option to consider.
Joelinton (6.0m, Hoffenheim vs Manchester City)
Julian Nagelsmann’s men seem to always score but always concede no matter the opposition. A home encounter with Manchester City promises goals aplenty, and the Brazilian striker has been in red hot form this season.
Neymar (11.0m, PSG vs Crven zvedza)
The Brazilian genius will be feasting his eyes on visiting Crvena Zvedza and can be backed for goals in a seemingly lopsided Group C encounter.
How did your team fare in Match-day 1? What changes are you making? Which players do you think are the ones to watch for this round of matches? Let us know in the comments below.