The Champions League returned last week, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. A whopping 46 goals were scored in the first matchday with clean sheets few and far between. We saw surprising results and goal-packed action, which is exactly what makes this tournament so exciting.
If you didn’t have the greatest of weeks in the first matchday, don’t worry; there’s a lot of time to make up ground, and the cliché of fantasy being a marathon and not a sprint applies to UCL fantasy as well.
We have little time to ponder our fantasy squads as matchday 2 is upon us, so let’s dig deep to find out which players in each position you should be picking to make gains in those mini-leagues with your mates.
Edouard Mendy (Chelsea, €5m) - vs Krasnodar (A)
This is a keeper who has been overlooked by a lot of players as the Chelsea defense isn’t highly reliable, but what makes him a decent option for this week as well as the group stage is the fixtures. The strongest attack Chelsea were supposed to face was Sevilla, and they were resilient, keeping the back door shut. They also kept a clean sheet away from home at Old Trafford on Saturday, so they are showing promising signs, so Mendy might prove to be a great pick owned by just 3% of the players. He was instrumental at the Theatre Of Dreams, so I am expecting similar performances ahead from the French shot-stopper.
Manuel Neuer ( Bayern Munich, €6m) - vs Lokomotiv Moscow (A)
I am running out of superlatives to describe the way the German champions are playing right now. Their demolition of Atletico Madrid, putting four past that rigid defense says everything really. On matchday 2, Bayern faces Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia. It’s hard to see anything but a comfortable win here. Bayern have three great fixtures starting from matchday 2, so Neuer is a great shout if you prefer a premium keeper over the budget options for your fantasy squads.
Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich, €5m) - vs Lokomotiv Moscow (A)
He impressed in the opening fixture against Atletico as he came close to scoring on a couple of occasions. Now, if you don’t wanna spend on Kimmich, Pavard is a better option than Alphonso Davies in my opinion and is €0.5m cheaper as well compared to the Canadian full-back. He was rested for Bayern’s game against Frankfurt on Saturday, so he should be starting this one. I am backing him to deliver returns at both ends of the pitch against the runners-up in the Russian Premier League from last season. He is a solid pick to consider for your squad considering Bayern’s next three fixtures in UCL.
Alessandro Florenzi (PSG, €5m) - vs Istanbul Basaksehir (A)
He is one of the best €5m defenders in the game in my opinion. Florenzi is by far the most attacking defender for the French champions. PSG has an extremely easy fixture against Istanbul Basaksehir, so should win with ease. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if this ends up being a cricket score. Alessandro Florenzi could well return huge fantasy points in this fixture, so I recommend having him in your squad despite PSG’s tricky group.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool, €6.5m) - vs Midtjylland (H)
Liverpool earned a hard fought victory against Ajax away from home on the opening match day, keeping a clean sheet as well despite missing Van Dijk and Alisson. The Reds face a relatively comfortable fixture this time around as Midtjylland visit Anfield. Although TAA hasn’t been performing to his usual levels so far this season, I fully expect him to perform well in this particular fixture. It should be a comfortable victory, making him a great option for match day 2.
Mo Salah (Liverpool, €11.5m) - vs Midtjylland (H)
Liverpool defeated Sheffield United in a tricky game at Anfield on Saturday, Salah coming very close to scoring on multiple occasions, including a goal disallowed. The Reds take on Midtjylland at home in a fixture where they are expected to thrive, so there’s a points potential for the Egyptian talisman. Salah can definitely return good points in this fixture, and surprisingly he’s owned by just 13% of players , so he’s a decent differential. He’s also the standout captaincy option on Tuesday, so if you own him or are planning on owning him, you might as well put the armband on him.
Angel Di Maria (PSG, €9m) - vs Istanbul Basaksehir (A)
There is something about Di Maria and the Champions League. He always seems to perform and impress more in the UCL than in the domestic leagues. Alongside Coutinho, he is the best €9m option in the midfield. Although PSG is in a very tricky group, scoring goals is hardly an issue, and expect Di Maria to be involved in what the French Champions do in front of goal. They face Istanbul Basaksehir at the Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium, and this is expected to go only one way. I am backing the Argentine to score big in this fixture and reward owners who decided to do things a bit different than most fantasy players.
Kai Havertz (Chelsea, €9m) - vs Krasnodar (A)
Chelsea’s most expensive signing this season didn’t get off to a great start, but he’s slowly settling into life at Stamford Bridge. He has shown good signs lately and is starting to perform the way we expect from a £72m signing. Chelsea’s group stage fixtures are enticing, and the German is owned by only 3% of players, making him an amazing differential if he keeps on performing the way he has been recently (barring the Manchester United game). Chelsea as a whole is very intriguing in terms of fantasy investment given the group. There are still some question marks over defense, but attack is where the value lies.
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, €12m) - vs Lokomotiv Moscow (A)
Well, this guy picks himself and doesn’t need much justification. I started with Messi in attack as Bayern faced Atletico on the opening week, but Lew is coming into my squad straightaway for matchday 2. It was expected that Bayern would somewhat struggle to get in their stride against Simeone’s side, but they are just unstoppable at the moment. I can’t see any other side giving them any sort of trouble whatsoever. If you don’t already own him, get him as soon as you can because for every goal he scores and you don’t own him, expect your rank to plummet badly.
Luuk De Jong (Sevilla, €8m) - vs Rennes (H)
Sevilla is a force to be reckoned with under Julen Lopetegui. Being a Barca fan, I must admit they are the toughest team to beat in Spain right now. They secured a draw away to Chelsea on the opening day and now face Rennes at the Ramon Sanchez Pijuan. De Jong is largely involved in whatever Sevilla does in attack, so expect him to score goals in this fixture as well as in the ones to come against relatively easy opponents. He is a great option in the €8m price range alongside Papu Gomez of Atlanta, which will allow you to build a balanced squad overall.
Timo Werner (Chelsea, €10.5m) - vs Krasnodar (A)
For all the reasons mentioned above to own Kai Havertz, Werner is an equally good pick for your fantasy squad. Both are slowly adapting to the intensity of the Premier League and will eventually find their rhythm from Bundesliga. Now a potential chance to stay ahead of the curve in UCL Fantasy looks like investment in Chelsea assets, especially for the group stage. This could well backfire, but what’s the point in playing a boring conservative game anyway? Werner is a proven goal scorer and will have plenty of opportunities as he’s surrounded by an attack filled with mercurial talent facing favorable fixtures.
I will be listing the best captaincy options for each day in decreasing order of their reliability and expected points on a given matchday. It will be a mix of strong picks expected to be backed by a lot of fantasy managers as well as some cheeky differentials if you’re a thrill seeker. Here’s my picks for the second matchday:
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
- Mo Salah (Liverpool)
- Neymar (PSG)
- Di Maria (PSG)
- Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan)
- Luiz Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
- Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
- Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
- Luuk De Jong (Sevilla)
- Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
Good luck everyone and may your arrows be green!
Have you made your transfers yet? Whom do you have your eyes on who has been mentioned above? Is there anyone who has been left out of this article whom you would recommend? Which match do you most want to watch as a fan? Please let us know in the comments!