MD-9 handed me my third-lowest result of the campaign, a respectable but not outstanding 65 points. Here’s how my squad ended up shaking out:
I nailed my armband decision, gambling that Mbappe would do better than Haaland’s five points. The Frenchman did not let me down, notching a brace in the 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich to finish as my top scorer. My bench management was successful too: None of my subs scored fewer points than the men who made way for them.
After Leg 1 of the quarterfinals, my rankings look like this:
Now it’s time for a tune-up before Leg 2 kicks off. Leg 2’s fixtures are the reverse of Leg 1’s, of course, so the match-ups haven’t changed, but last week’s Wednesday teams play (and can be confirmed) on Tuesday and vice-versa. Also, with the first round of the quarterfinals behind us, we now benefit from a clearer picture of who has the best chance to advance to the semis (the bookies now give the best odds to Manchester City and Chelsea, with the prospects for Liverpool and Bayern Munich sinking). And we have the past week’s worth of injury news to contemplate as well. Savvy managers will factor all of these considerations into their MD-10 transfer strategies. See MiQ’s MD-10 Preview for a more elaborate treatment of these issues.
Let’s begin with injuries: Keylor Navas was withdrawn from Saturday’s Ligue 1 match with a muscle issue, casting doubt on his fitness for Tuesday’s showdown with PSG. And Marquinhos suffered an adductor injury shortly after scoring a goal in the Leg 1 victory over Bayern. He has not played since, and his status for the return leg remains uncertain.
I don’t want to hang on to these men if they won’t feature. Fortunately we will have confirmed lineups ahead of tomorrow’s rematch with PSG, and I can ship either or both if they do not make the S-11. But frankly, I think I want to move Navas out anyway. While the Red and Blues have the upper hand over Liverpool after defeating them 3-1 in the opener, Chelsea’s chances of reaching the semis are even stronger after scoring two away goals to defeat Porto to 2-0. Given the fact that Edouard Mendy has kept three straight clean sheets in the UCL — more than Navas has kept in the entire competition — I think I’d now prefer to couple Ederson with Mendy instead of Navas.
The other player I’m keen to ditch is Curtis Jones. While he can be an effective fantasy asset when he plays, his status as a starter is anything but certain. And with Liverpool not playing until Wednesday, I will not know whether he is part of Jurgen Klopp’s plan for climbing the mountain the Reds must now overcome after losing the first tie 1-3.
So if I end up using my three free transfers to move out those three men, my squad could look like this:
Because I believe Chelsea has a very strong chance to make the semis, and because I currently own no Blues whatsoever, I’ve chosen three of them as my transfers for this week. I’ve already discussed Mendy. Antonio Rudiger will be my choice if he starts; he’s inexpensive and among Chelsea’s defenders he is second in fantasy production only to Cesar Azpilicueta (and only by one point). If he doesn’t make the S-11 tomorrow, I’ll instead choose someone from Tuchel’s back line who does. Jorginho is my likely replacement for Jones, primarily because he is on PKs. If he doesn’t make the starting lineup, my alternative could be the in-form Mason Mount.
To summarize then, I’ll wait to see starting lineups for PSG and Chelsea before executing my transfers this week. If Marquinhos and Navas are absent, I’ll look to replace them from among Chelsea’s lineup, since I favor Chelsea to advance to the semis. In fact, I’m likely to replace Navas with Mendy regardless. I’ll then use my third transfer to move out Curtis Jones for a confirmed starter from Chelsea’s midfield, most probably either Jorginho or Mount. (And after I finalize, of course, I will make sure my bench is fully-occupied with players with Wednesday matches).
Cheers, and fingers crossed for green arrows!
What do you think of my plans? Which players are you dropping, and which will take their places? Which clubs do you favor to go through, and are you overweighting them in your MD-10 transfer strategy? Go ahead and rate my team, and then share yours in the Comments!