This week brings us another slate of Champions League fixtures, and I’ve got a little work to do to get ready. Let me walk you through my plans, and then tell me what you think of them.
Since MD-3 and MD-4 were mirror fixtures, I activated my Wildcard in MD-3, thinking that would stand me in good stead for both matchdays. It mostly worked for MD-3. I finished on 73 points, with Kevin De Bruynes’ no-show and Antonio Adán’s red card the only blemishes on my squads’ returns.
Adán’s sending-off meant he was suspended for MD-4, of course, and Haaland was benched. So in the countdown hour I used my two free transfers to dump them for Sven Ulreich and Robert Lewandowski. The result was 58 points, my second-lowest return of the campaign.
And that squad is now my starting point for MD-5.
I’m a bit torn on whether to use my Limitless chip now or in MD-6. Arguments can be made either way, but I fear we will see wholesale rotation in MD-6 from the many clubs that will have nothing left to play for, so the ability to exercise unlimited transfers in that round may be extremely useful (although the chip’s unlimited budget feature might be squandered, since many of the expensive marquee players will be rested).
If I play the Limitless chip now I’d be able to stack a dream-team squad with the biggest names in European football. But Real Madrid, Manchester City, Napoli, Bayern Munich, and Club Brugge are all already through to the Round of 16 with two games to spare, so for them the possibility for rotation exists even in MD-5 (especially with that infamous bald fraudster, Pep Guardiola). Further, Tuesday’s early games, for which we will have confirmed lineups before the transfer deadline, include Sevilla vs Copenhagen and Salzburg vs Chelsea. For the most part these are clubs whose SXI’s I’m not very interested in plundering.
So for now I’m inclined to make do with free transfers for MD-5. This is what I think that squad could look like.
The first item of business is to ship out Leroy Sane. The German winger has a hamstring injury that will sideline him until at least MD-6, so out he must go. The other drop is likely to be Richarlison. Ever since his two-goal extravaganza is MD-1, he’s done exactly nothing.
Chelsea and Tottenham both lead their groups by a single point, and each plays its group’s second-place team in MD-5. We can therefore expect Graham Potter and Antonio Conte to field their strongest lineups this week, and to press for wins. The upgrade for Richarlison is therefore simple. Harry Kane is 100% nailed-on when fit, and he scored, assisted, and earned a penalty in the MD-4 victory over Frankfurt. And while he ended up missing the PK he drew, don’t bet on that happening again anytime soon — he’s one of the best spot-kick takers in the business (indeed, he slotted one home in Tottenham’s very next game).
The other shiny object that catches my eye at forward is Kylian Mbappe. Paris Saint-Germain need a MD-5 win, and the the bookies are giving the Frenchman the best odds among all players to score this week. But I already own Neymar, and the funds I save by purchasing Kane instead of Mbappe allow me to reach Mason Mount as my Sane replacement. Mount is thriving in an advanced role under new management, and has started every match since Potter took the helm.
But in the unlikely event Mount doesn’t start this week, I’ll know in time to react since Chelsea plays one of Tuesday’s early games. If he finds himself on the bench, then I’ll probably go with Jude Bellingham instead. He’s not my first pick this week because he faces a City side that has conceded only one goal throughout the entire tournament and doesn’t need to expose itself by chasing a win. But the English middie has scored in every round, including the MD-2 reverse fixture against Manchester City.
So that’s my current plan. Let me know what you think.
Should I play my Limitless chip this week instead of saving it for MD-6? Am I dropping the right players? Am I drafting the right ones? What are your plans for MD-5? Please login to rate my team, share your own, and take our poll.
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use his Limitless chip this week
save his Limitless chip for MD-6