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UCL MD-13: The Final Player Picks

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It’s finally here! It’s an all EPL final on Saturday in Portugal to claim the most coveted trophy in the world of club football!

Pep Guardiola greets Thomas Tuchel - Manchester City v Chelsea - Champions League Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

This year’s UEFA Champions League hasn’t failed to deliver exciting and nail-biting action over the course of the season. As always, we’ve seen some unforgettable matches and individual performances with some shocking results as well. After a roller-coaster of a ride, we’re left with two teams who’ll fight it out in Portugal to claim the title of Europe’s best. How the final will turn out is anyone’s guess at the moment with both teams in great shape going into the biggest game of their seasons.

We can’t wait for the action to begin, but before that let’s take a look at the best options for your fantasy squads for the final match-day of the tournament. It has been quite a fantasy football season, and regardless of how you did, there’s still a chance to shine in the final and take a good feeling into the summer.

The pool of players to choose from has become ever so small, which might make things a little bit less tricky. So, without further ado, let’s jump straight to the player picks for the final.


GOALKEEPER

Manchester City v Everton - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Ederson (€6.0m, Chelsea vs Man City)

This season’s Premier League golden glove winner makes it to our picks between the posts for the final. It’s been a memorable season for the Brazilian shot-stopper in UCL this season, an impressive 52 points so far bettered only by his rival for the final, Edouard Mendy. Now, Ederson is the lesser-owned goalkeeper, so for those of you who want to do something a little different and climb up some places in your mini-leagues, he’s the best option to go for. Even though Chelsea are doing great and are genuine contenders for the trophy, I still think City will prove to be too much for them. Pep’s men should come out as victors in their first ever Champions League final, so I fully expect Ederson to do well and reward his owners with good points.


DEFENDERS

Newcastle United v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Joao Cancelo (€6.0m, Chelsea vs Man City)

The Portuguese full-back has been highly consistent this season in the Champions League. Ever since he was signed, he seems to have solved their defensive issues to some extent while also proving to be an attacking asset at the same time. However, his starting spot is far from guaranteed since he missed two of City’s last three matches in Europe. But if he does start, I’d pick him ahead of Kyle Walker for his attacking prowess such as crosses into the box. If he doesn’t start, Kyle Walker becomes your go-to City fullback.

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Cesar Azpilicueta (€5.4m, Chelsea FC vs Man City)

The club captain has been one of the most reliable defenders in this season’s competition. He essentially plays in the wing-back role which makes him a good option given he’ll create plenty of chances for the forwards to convert. He has kept three clean sheets in the last six match-days while also recovering a whopping 30 balls. He’s the best defender option in the lower price range.

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Ruben Dias (€5.8m, Chelsea vs Man City)

The Portuguese center-back has been rock solid for Pep this season, and he’s pretty much guaranteed to start the match. He has earned 57 points this year, placing him second among the final’s defenders. I expect Pep’s men to emerge victorious and their defense to rack up decent points for the owners who put their trust in them. I am a proponent of not spending too much in defense, and Dias’ price allows me to do that exactly.


MIDFIELDERS

Chelsea v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Mason Mount (€6.9m, Chelsea vs Man City)

He’s highly trusted by Tuchel as he has been given plenty of freedom to venture forward to show what he’s truly capable of. There’s no doubt about him achieving great things in the future given the talent he has. I fully expect him to start the game, so if Chelsea are to give City a run for their money, Mount will need to be in the best form. He must create scoring opportunities for his teammates and getting on the scoresheet himself. He’s a great enabler for your midfield so you can bring in someone expensive.

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Kevin De Bruyne (€11.4m, Chelsea vs Man City)

I don’t think I need to get into anymore detail for this pick other than you should just go ahead and pick him. He’s the best midfielder in the world currently, and you can’t possibly go without him for the biggest match of the season. Not picking him might prove disastrous for your overall rank given his high ownership, so a sensible thing to do would be to build your team around him.

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Riyad Mahrez (€9.1m, Chelsea vs Man City)

The Algerian was on form against PSG, scoring both goals in their 2-0 win in the semi-finals. He has earned 41 points in his last five appearances, so he’s very hard to ignore going into possibly the biggest game of his life. With a lack of good alternatives, Mahrez is pretty much a must-have for your fantasy squads going into the final.

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FORWARDS

Manchester City v Everton - Premier League Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Gabriel Jesus (€9.2m, Chelsea vs Man City)

Firstly, as in so many earlier games, Pep might not even start any of his strikers. But if he does, it’s probably going to Jesus over Aguero. He’s been well rested ahead of the final, so if he starts, he might well prove lethal at converting chances coming his way. Waiting for the team news would be the best approach in picking any Man CIty striker given the uncertainty regarding their starting chances.

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Timo Werner (€10.4m, Chelsea vs Man City)

The German striker has been performing well in this season’s Champions League, especially since the arrival of Tuchel, tallying 46 points so far, the most among finalist forwards. If Chelsea can create chances for him, he’s more than capable of putting them away. Given the paucity of starting forwards, he’s the best pick (perhaps the only starter).

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The cheapest non-starter you can find

Since we get to see the starting lineups, we need only eleven starters; bench slots can be “burned” by leaving eliminated and/or ghost players there. And since there might be only one or two fantasy forwards starting in the final, at least one of those benchers will likely be a forward. If you already own an eliminated enabler forward, stash him on your bench and use the spare funds to upgrade elsewhere. If you don’t, and if you can use the funds, then you might consider buying Olivier Giroud purely to raise cash (especially if you have nothing left to lose). Editor Jeff even went so far as to burn his first transfer back on semifinal day, downgrading Mbappe (€12.1) to Hugo Duro (€4.6, Real Madrid) to liberate €7.5 before the fantasy game could sweep the eliminated players from the list. This tactic will almost always cost a -4 hit, so YMMV.


That’s it for my player picks for the final. I hope it was a bit helpful for you in trying to build your squad for the ultimate battle of this season. Also, this is my last article at Never Manage Alone so I would like to thank all the readers and the staff members for the support and the opportunity to be able to write for such an amazing platform working with a great group of people. It’s been such a pleasure and I hope to see you guys in the future again at some point. Hope you all stay safe and healthy and may you all score massive points on the final match-day of the season.

Cheers,

Prakhar

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For more fantasy European-tournament fun after the UCL is over, be sure to join NMA’s fantasy Euros mini-league!

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Poll

Who is the best captain choice for the UCL Final?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Riyad Mahrez
    (27 votes)
  • 56%
    Kevin De Bruyne
    (49 votes)
  • 3%
    Mason Mount
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Gabriel Jesus
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Timo Werner
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    Other, specify in Comments
    (4 votes)
86 votes total Vote Now

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So how many of your fantasy players are out of the tournament? Whom do want to buy? Is your budget balancing? Please answer the captain poll and then share your thoughts in the comments!

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