Saturday 1 June
The ultimate match-day of the UEFA Champions League is here as Liverpool FC and Tottenham do battle in the UCL Final.
Both teams enjoyed the most astounding of 2nd leg semifinal comebacks to earn their places. If those games were anything to go by, then fans should be in for an entertaining showpiece matchup.
For UCL Fantasy managers, this game represents the very last chance to gain ground in your mini leagues, so let’s talk strategy!
(NOTE: The deadline is right at kick-off time, so if you can afford to wait, then you should be able to see confirmed XIs about an hour beforehand. Just make very sure that you know it in your own time zone so you don’t miss it!)
At this final stage, there is not much wiggle room left with just a small pool of players from the final two teams to choose from.
Constrained as they are, most fantasy teams will adopt a similar finish. If you’re looking to maintain your mini league position, a team comprising the best options from both teams is likely with the armband placed on one of the favorites.
However, if you’re looking to make up ground there are a couple creative last ditch moves that can be made:
The Royal Flush: Use your maximum allotment of 8 players on the team that you expect to win the match, thus gaining an advantage over mini league rivals with balanced squads.
The Defensive Banker: Fill your entire slate of goalkeeper and 4 defenders with players from one team and pray for the clean sheet.
The Differential Captain: An outside the box captain that hits can make all of the difference here — especially if the big names fail to produce in the final.
Armband Defender: With a host of defenders in this tie capable of producing strong attacking returns, a shrewd armband punt on a defender could provide a big haul.
Burn the Bench: There’s no time like the tournament final to reduce your bench to ashes (minimum-priced enablers), go all-in on your guesses (or deadline-hour lineup reading) of who’s starting, and put the theoretical maximum budget on the pitch.
Booster: If you have either of your boosters (wildcard or limitless wildcard) left, use it or lose it!
Without further ado, here are the player picks for the Champions League Final:
The Brazilian #1 has been imperious throughout Liverpool’s UCL campaign and will be hoping to round off his season in fine style.
The French goalkeeper will need to be on top form to repel the fearsome Liverpool attack.
The youthful England right back has delivered an avalanche of attacking returns during the season run-in to elevate himself as the best defensive option available.
Virgil van Dijk
The towering Dutch center back is not just a good shout for defensive returns, but also carries a huge set piece threat.
The England right back is on corners and free kicks, so carries a big attacking threat to add to clean sheet potential.
The versatile Belgian defender is another good prospect for attacking points coupled with possible defensive returns.
The live wire Brazilian attacker gets top billing on the back of his amazing match-winning hattrick against Ajax in the semifinal 2nd leg to seal Spurs’ place in the final.
The Senegalese speedster scored in last year’s Champions League final and will be aiming to repeat the feat here. He’s not shy of the big occasion, so he could be a great captaincy shout.
All eyes will be on the Egyptian to see whether he can exorcise the demons of last year’s UCL final to claim the elusive trophy with the big ears. Here’s hoping that none of Tottenham’s defenders know the jiu-jitsu move that Sergio Ramos used on Salah’s shoulder last year!
The Korean has been tormentor in chief of Spurs’ opponents for much of this season and will be a crucial outlet for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
Available again after his late season injury issues, the Brazilian striker will definitely spearhead the attack for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Is there any football fan that thought Kane would not be fit in time for the final? Surprise, surprise, the England striker is back in contention to take part in his club’s biggest game in history. Could he rise to the occasion?
Who is your pick to win the Champions League? Are you playing conservatively or going out on a limb? If the latter, then what differentials have you bought? Please share with us in the comments and also join us for live chat on match day.