The second leg of the UCL Quarterfinals is just over 2 days away. The return of Champions League football also marks the return of the UCL fantasy. With limited options available, it’s important to bring in the right players. Here are some player picks ahead of UCL fantasy MD 10.
Ederson (€6.1m,Atletico Madrid vs Man City)
Having kept three back to back clean sheets in the knockout stages, Man City’s defense is currently the most in-form in the UCL, making Ederson the best goalkeeping option left in the game. Although Thibaut Courtois (€6.7m, Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (€6.4m, FC Bayern), Edouard Mendy (€6.4m, Chelsea), and Alisson Becker (6.4m, Liverpool) are decent alternatives, switching to Ederson could pay off well as the Man City #1 is cheaper and likely to earn more points.
Gerónimo Rulli (€5.1m, Bayern vs Villareal)
Rulli is the cheapest starting keeper left in the game. Although it is recommended to go with a dud second-GK to use budget elsewhere, if you like the safety of having two starting keepers, Rulli is the best second available (playing a different day and being cheapest of all starters). Although facing a fierce Bayern attack is no easy task, Rulli kept a clean sheet and earned seven points in MD-9. Can he beat the odds again?
Trent Alexander Arnold (€6.8m, Liverpool vs Benfica)
Despite missing three UCL games through injury, TAA is joint third for assists and is the most creative defender in this season’s UCL. With Liverpool 3-1 up against Benfica after the first leg, Trent and Co are expected to find more attacking opportunities as Benfica has to go all out in search of goals to survive the tie.
Andrew Robertson (€6.5m, Liverpool vs Benfica)
Robertson is joint #2 among defenders in assists. Owned by just 6% of managers, coupling Robertson plus Trent could be a nice differential combination as the Liverpool fullbacks have a high potential for attacking returns and a clean sheet for MD-10.
Reece James (€5.6m, Real Madrid vs Chelsea)
When fully fit, Reece James is one of the best attacking wing-backs in the world. James has amassed five goals plus six assists in his 20 Premier League appearances this season and has already scored in the UCL from his four starts. The Blues must fire on all cylinders from the get-go if they are to have any chance of overturning their 3-1 deficit. A well-rested Reece James could do some serious damage going forward.
João Cancelo (€6.6m, Atletico Madrid vs Man City)
Cancelo is the best point-earning defender in UCL fantasy this season. Man City dominated Atletico in the 1st leg, having 71% ball possession and restricting the Colchoneros to zero shots on goal. All stats point towards an easy Man City clean sheet. With the Citizens already up 1-0 in the first leg, the onus will be on the Atletico players to attack which could open up some space at the back for Cancelo and Co to exploit.
Aymeric Laporte (€5.5m, Atletico Madrid vs Man City)
Transferring in Man City players is the running theme of this article. Laporte is the cheapest starting Man City defender available in the game and has decent goal threat & ball recovery potential. Even if you already own the likes of Cancelo and Ederson, adding Laporte and going into MD-10 with a Man City treble in defense could pay off very well, especially if you have the safety net of a wildcard for the next round.
Mason Mount (€7.4m, Real Madrid vs Chelsea FC)
Mason Mount is Chelsea’s top goal-scorer of the season so far. Chelsea has to go all guns blazing to have any chance of advancing to the next round, and Mason Mount could play a key role in Chelsea’s comeback. Although Kai Havertz plays in a more advanced position and offers more goal threat, Mount is cheaper and is in red hot form coming into MD-10, fresh off a Premier League hattrick. Mount and Co could exploit the weaknesses in Real Madrid’s defense, which hasn’t been the hardest to breach in recent times. Los Blancos are yet to keep a clean sheet in the knockout stages of this season’s UCL.
Leroy Sane (€9.7m, FC Bayern vs Villareal)
Leroy Sane is #1 among midfielders and #2 overall for points in UCL fantasy. Sane has been the main creative threat from the wider areas for the Bavarian giants, their second-best player this season behind Lewandowski. Benching Sane in the 1st leg against Villareal didn’t go to plan for Julian Nagelsmann as Bayern’s attack lacked its expected cutting edge without the German winger. Although Sane is going through a lean patch in the Bundesliga, the Bayern #10 has always turned up in the UCL. Don’t be surprised if Sane and Co maul Villareal in the 2nd leg.
Mo Salah (€11.2m, Liverpool vs Benfica)
Salah is #2 among midfielders and #4 overall for points in UCL fantasy. Salah has been one of the best players in the world this season, topping the goal-scoring chart in the Premier League. Although goals have dried up recently, Salah could easily have had a goal or two in the 1st leg if not for Odysseas Vlachodimos’ heroics in the Benfica goal. Underlying stats suggest the Egyptian King is due a goal. Don’t leave him out.
Riyadh Mahrez (€9.7m, Atletico Madrid vs Man City)
Riyadh Mahrez is #4 among midfielders for points in the UCL fantasy. Mahrez is Man City’s talisman in the Champions League, topping the Man City scoring charts in the UCL 2021/22 season. Although De Bruyne has the better assist potential, Mahrez is the better overall pick as the Algerian is cheaper and is Man City’s main penalty taker.
Arnaut Danjuma (€7.4m, Bayern vs Villareal)
Danjuma is #5 overall and #3 among midfielders for points. Danjuma has scored six UCL goals and provided two assists in nine appearances and is proving to be the bargain of the season so far. Priced at just €7.4m, Danjuma’s point returns are comparable to the likes of Salah who is priced much higher than the Dutch striker. Although Bayern is the favorite to overturn the 1st leg result and go through to the semifinals, Danjuma is still a great pick at his price as he is likely to be involved in any goals Villareal scores.
Karim Benzema (€10.5m, Real Madrid vs Chelsea)
Benzema is in the form of his life right now. Having scored back-to-back Champions League hattricks, the Real Madrid #9 is the player to own at the moment. With Real Madrid already leading 3-1 after the first leg, the onus is on Chelsea to attack, leaving gaps at the back for Benzema and Co to exploit. Benzema’s sizzling form means the Frenchman shouldn’t need many chances to punish the Blues.
Robert Lewandowski (€12.3m, Bayern vs Villareal)
Lewandowski is #1 in the UCL fantasy points chart. Picking Lewandowski doesn’t need much convincing — The Bayern #9 tops the goal-scoring charts both in the Champions League and in the Bundesliga. With Bayern 1-0 down after the first leg, Lewandowski will be raring to go in order to reverse the deficit. Transferring in Lewandowski should be your top priority if you don’t own him yet.
Darwin Núñez (€7.9m, Liverpool vs Benfica)
Darwin Núñez was a handful for the Liverpool defense in the 1st leg. The Uruguayan was one of the best players on the pitch, scoring Benfica’s lone goal. Owned by just 3%, Núñez is an exciting differential as the Benfica #9. He’s fresh off a Primeira Liga hattrick; could he score a goal or two against a tired Liverpool side that toiled hard against Man City on Sunday?
MATCHDAY 10 BUILD-UP
My fellow UCL expert Miq has posted a handy MD-10 fantasy preview to help shape your thinking. UCL expert Chris has published an insightful MD-10 Rate My Team article talking about his chip strategy and transfer plans.
You are welcome to post tactics chat and questions in the comments section of this article as well. And of course, MiQ will be posting the UCL Live Chat article on Tuesday. Injuries and suspensions lists will be covered there, 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