International breaks are cute...
Our favorite fantasy league assets depart to all corners of the world to play in tournament qualifiers or meaningless friendlies, leaving us twiddling our thumbs back home waiting.
We then spend the couple days before the weekend league fixtures sweating over whether our players and targets have returned fit and in any condition to play on the weekend. Throw in the specter of rotation around impending European fixtures and it is a virtual minefield for us fantasy league managers.
Champions League football gives us a welcome respite from these shenanigans however.
As the premier tournament on offer, we can be assured that all teams will play their strongest teams available until maybe the final round of group stage. Less headache for us as we go about the process of revamping our teams ahead of the coming match day.
There are some tasty fixtures on offer this week as Europe’s best jostle for position in their respective groups.
Ajax welcome Chelsea to the Johan Cruijff Arena in a tie that pits two of Europe’s most fascinating young teams against each other. Frank Lampard’s men are on a solid run of form and will face one of the biggest tests of their season so far. Last year’s semifinalists Ajax should enter the tie as slight favorites, but the game promises open attacking football.
Inter Milan are in dire need of a result against visiting Borussia Dortmund to get their campaign back on track. Antonio Conte’s men could not hold onto their lead against Barcelona in match-day 2, so they find themselves with just one point to show so far. Anything but a win against the effervescent Germans will send the alarm bells ringing at the San Siro.
Elsewhere, I’ve got my eyes on this year’s surprise package, Red Bull Salzburg as they welcome Napoli to the Red Bull Arena. The Austrian champions are a fearless attacking force and will look to enhance their reputation against Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
With two wins from two, PSG win over Club Brugge can achieve a Champions League record by qualifying for the Group Phase after just three games. Manchester City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich can also put a foot in the Round of 16 door.
Here is the full list of fixtures for UCL Matchday 3:
Tuesday 22nd October
- Atletico Madrid vs Bayer Leverkusen
- Shakhtar Donetsk vs Dinamo Zagreb
- Club Brugge vs Paris Saint-Germain
- Galatasaray vs Real Madrid
- Juventus vs Lokomotiv Moscow
- Manchester City vs Atalanta
- Olympiakos FC vs Bayern Munich
- Tottenham vs Crvena Zvezda
Wednesday 23rd October
- Ajax vs Chelsea
- RB Leipzig vs Zenit St. Petersburg
- Benfica vs Lyon
- Genk vs Liverpool
- Inter Milan vs Borussia Dortmund
- Lille vs Valencia
- Red Bull Salzburg vs Napoli
- Slavia Prague vs Barcelona
Which match(es) will you watch? Have you made changes to your team? Who’s your captain? Used any chips? Please join us in the comments as all of the exciting action unfolds!