The deadline for UCL fantasy MD-8 is less than 48 hours away. Following the weekend’s domestic league action (and with intervening domestic league action in mind for late-week teams), here are the player picks.
Philipp Köhn (€4.7m, Bayern vs RB Salzburg)
As budget keepers go, the options are slim. Köhn is the best starting budget goalkeeper left in the game. The Salzburg goal is likely to be ground-zero with Lewandowski and Co taking aim on full-auto. This could spell loads of save points... Or not. If Salzburg manages to pull off an upset, Kohn could be a great second-choice keeper going into the next round.
Edouard Mendy (€6.4m, Lille vs Chelsea)
With Chelsea back to defensive best, Mendy seems a great pick both short and long term. Chelsea is expected to have a deep run in the competition, keeping several clean sheets along the way. Spending transfers on goalkeepers isn’t ideal, but if you don’t have other fires to put out, Mendy is a great long-term buy.
Niklas Süle (€5.6m, Bayern vs RB Salzburg)
Due to several key absentees in the Bayern defense, the Bavarian giants’ back line has been shaky in the recent past. With Manuel Neuer tipped to return to the Bayern starting 11 for UCL MD-8, Bayern’s defenders become good prospects again. Niklas Süle is the most nailed-on defender to start for the Bundesliga champions. He also offers goal threat from set-pieces. Although Joshua Kimmich (€6.5m, DEF) is the best fantasy defender to pick from Bayern, Sule could be your best budget alternative, if you are looking to save some funds.
Trent Alexander Arnold is arguably the best-attacking fullback in the world at the moment. He has scored two goals and provided 14 assists in 30 EPL and UCL appearances so far. The Scouser is the most creative player in the Premier League, pipping Mo Salah in the assists chart.
Reece James (€5.6m, LOSC Lille vs Chelsea)
Reece James came back to the EPL with a bang by scoring, providing an assist, and keeping a clean sheet in Chelsea’s 4-0 win against Burnley. He is the highest goal-scoring defender in the EPL and is the best Chelsea defender to own in UCL Fantasy. With Chelsea’s defense looking good again, don’t be surprised by a clean sheet along with some attacking returns from Reece James.
João Cancelo(€6.5m, Man City vs Sporting CP)
Owning Cancelo is close to essential in UCL fantasy. With Man City’s swashbuckling 5-0 win over Sporting, some rotation is expected. But Cancelo is the least likely — as his competitor for the right-back spot, Kyle Walker (5.7m, DEF) still has to sit out for two more games suspended. Cancelo tops the fantasy charts among defenders, earning 49 points in six UCL appearances. Going by City’s performance in the 1st leg, clean sheet and attacking returns look likely for the Portuguese fullback.
Alberto Moreno (€4.2m, Juventus vs Villareal)
Among budget defenders, Moreno is the standout. The Spaniard is not only a regular starter but also a midfielder despite being listed at defender in the fantasy game. Although Juventus is favored to qualify, Moreno could be a great long-term pick if Villareal manages to pull off an upset.
Arnaut Danjuma (€7m, Juventus vs Villareal)
Danjuma is Villareal’s talisman, playing as a striker despite being listed as a midfielder. He is having a breakthrough season with the Yellow Submarines, having already scored 12 goals in 24 appearances this season. If Villareal scores, expect the Dutchman to be involved. Danjuma faces a tough opponent in Juventus, with every chance that Juventus breezes by... but Danjuma is still a great differential pick for this MD.
Serge Gnabry (€10.4m, Bayern vs RB Salzburg )
After a couple of disappointing 1-1 draws in UCL and Bundesliga, Bayern looks to get back to winning ways in the second leg. A play-making midfielder like Gnabry could play a major role in Bayern’s resurgence. Because of Lewandowski’s brilliance, other key Bayern players like Gnabry often go under the radar. Gnabry is quietly having a decent season for Bayern. The German winger has netted 12 goals and provided six assists in his 30 UCL + Bundesliga appearances. According to underlying numbers, Gnabry is second amongst Bayern’s regular starters for xG per game, outperforming the likes of Sane, Coman, and Muller. Although Sane and Coman are cheaper, Gnabry could be worth the extra money as underlying numbers suggest the Bayern #7 offers the better goal threat.
Kai Havertz (€9.1m, Lille vs Chelsea)
Havertz is Chelsea’s most in-form attacker at the moment. In his last five appearances, the German has netted four goals as the center forward ahead of the physical but dull out-of-favor Romelu Lukaku. Although Lukaku could be back in contention to start at center forward, Havertz has done well enough to keep his spot in Chelsea’s 3-pronged attack. Expect Havertz to be in among the goals.
Leroy Sane (€9.5m, Bayern vs RB Salzburg)
Sane is having an excellent season for Bayern so far. The German winger has tallied twelve goals plus eleven assists in 31 UCL + League games. Despite his paltry two points in MD-7, he is still the overall joint top point-earner (with Haller) in UCL fantasy and is statistically Bayern’s most creative attacker. Although underlying stats suggest Gnabry is the better goal scorer, Sane makes up for this with his greater assist potential, making the former Man City winger worth his high price.
Mo Salah (€11m, Liverpool vs Inter Milan )
Salah is the best player in the world at the moment. The Egyptian has scored 27 goals and provided 10 assists in 32 UCL + EPL appearances this season. Salah is 3rd in the 2021-22 UCL goal scoring charts, and all stats point to his improving on his tally of eight goals in seven UCL appearances. Leave him out at your peril.
Robert Lewandowski (€12.1m, Bayern vs RB Salzburg)
Picking Lewandowski doesn’t take much convincing. The Pole has the 2nd most goals scored in this season’s UCL (9). If the Bayern #9 isn’t part of your team, your top priority should be to transfer him in.
Sébastien Haller (€9.4m, Ajax vs Benfica)
Owning Haller is close to essential (granted, I’ve said the equivalent about a few others). The former West Ham striker has made a stunning start to his UCL career, scoring eleven goals in just seven appearances to top both the goal-scoring and fantasy-points charts. Although Haller netted a rare own-goal in the 1st leg, the Ivorian made up for his mistake by scoring in the right end to keep Ajax’s hopes alive going into the second leg.
Gonçalo Ramos (€4.8m, Ajax vs Benfica)
Among budget enablers, this Ramos is one of the best options available. Ever since appointing Nélson Veríssimo, Benfica has switched from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2, enabling two strikers to lead the attack. This has opened doors for Ramos, who has cemented his spot in the starting-XI with impressive displays. Priced at a measly €4.8m, Ramos is Benfica’s mainstay upfront. Roman Yaremchuk (€7.1m, FWD) and Darwin Núñez(7.7m, FWD) are both costlier and more susceptible to rotation. Despite the decent 2-2 result in the first leg, the in-form Ajax side could easily blow away Benfica in the 2nd, making Ramos a risky pick long term. YMMV.
MATCHDAY 8 BUILD-UP
Sraxan will post an RMT article tomorrow, and you may keep coming back here for tactics chat and questions. And of course, Miq will be posting the UCL Live Chat article in two parts over the next two Tuesdays. Injuries and suspensions lists will be covered, so be sure to check-in.
NMA UCL Fantasy Mini-League
If you played our UCL mini-league last season, or if you played our Euros mini-league over the summer, you should automatically be entered into NMA’s 2021-22 mini-league as soon as you create a team. Head to gaming.uefa.com and get to work!
If you are new to us, then once you create a team you can join our mini-league manually with the following info. Come join us, we’d love to have you!
- Code: 71MQALVG07
What holes do you have to fill after MD-7 and injury/suspension news? What rebalancing are you doing after MD-7 results? Whom do you plan to captain on each calendar day of MD-8? Have you sorted your players after the Tuesday-Wednesday schedule flips? What questions and comments do you have? Please login and share in the section below!