We’re just under a day away from the biggest game of the season — the UEFA Champions League final, set to kick off in the picturesque Stade de France. This match brings down the curtain on an enthralling season of real and fantasy football. With just one game to go, making the right moves is paramount for green arrows. That’s where I’ll need your help. Before looking at my plans for MD-13, here’s how my MD-12 went:
The goal-filled 2nd leg of the UCL 2021-22 semifinal offered great entertainment on the field. But it was a different story for my fantasy team. The first game of MD-12, Villareal vs Liverpool, was thrilling to watch. The yellow submarines were on the cusp of Champions League history, going into halftime level with Liverpool, courtesy of goals from Francis Coquelin and Boulaye Dia, who was already on my radar. On a 50-50 call between Dia and Jota, I picked Jota who was relatively quiet throughout the 1st half. In the second half, Klopp relied on firepower from the bench to win yet again. Luis Diaz came on and turned the game around for the visitors with a player of the match performance. The only positive for my fantasy team as a Diaz non-owner was Mane returning 7 points to steer my team to a total of 24 on day-1.
Day-2: Real Madrid vs Manchester City will go down as an unforgettable UCL classic. City was in the driver’s seat going into the 2nd leg with a 4-3 lead. Much like the 1st leg, The Citizens dominated possession in the 1st half, but they didn’t display the same cutting edge as in the 1st leg. The 2nd half was a Carlo Ancelotti masterstroke. After Riyadh Mahrez’s goal in the 73rd minute, most teams would’ve let their heads drop, but Madrid isn’t most teams. The perennial UCL contenders clawed their way back to victory from the jaws of defeat courtesy of super-sub Rodrygo’s quickfire injury-time brace and a cool spot-kick from Benzema to seal the deal for the Los Blancos. As a Rodrygo nonowner, I was pleased to avoid a massive red arrow, thanks to my captain Mahrez whose goal didn’t quite help Man City get to the finals, but certainly helped my fantasy team’s rank.
MD-13 transfer plan
With seven of my players eliminated, this is how my team currently looks ahead of MD-13:
Karim Benzema(€10.8m, Real Madrid), Vinicus Jr(€9.2m, Real Madrid), Luis Diaz(€8.5m, Liverpool), Diogo Jota(€8.5m, Liverpool), and Rodrygo(€8.1m, Real Madrid) are the only five forwards likely to feature in the final. Although Rodrygo scored a phenomenal brace in MD-12, the Brazilian’s minutes always seem to get managed. Jota falls into the same bracket as Rodrygo, so a Diogo Jota -> Luis Díaz switch is a safe option.
Real Madrid is yet to keep a clean sheet in the knockout stages, making an Ederson (6.4m, Man City) to Alisson (€6.4m, Liverpool ) switch likely. Going with the theme of picking Liverpool defensive assets, Virgil Van Dijk (€6.4m, Liverpool) offers some goal threat from set-pieces, good ball recovery potential, and a decent clean sheet potential, making the Cancelo (€6.7m, Man City) to Van Dijk switch an enticing move. Luka Modric (€8.6m, Real Madrid) is #2 among midfielders left in the game for points and is the best midfield pick from Real Madrid.
It’s slim pickings in midfield as Sadio Mane (€10.6m, Liverpool) and Mo Salah (€11.2m, Liverpool) are the only serious goal-scoring midfielders left in the game. But Modric could rise to the occasion, as he usually does, and have a field day in front of goal. I’ll not be the one to miss out on that. It’s a straight swap between Modric and Riyadh Mahrez(€9.8m, Man City).
For my 5th free transfer, I’m considering switching Aymeric Laporte (€5.8m, Man City) to Ferland Mendy (€5.8m, Real Madrid) or David Alaba (€6.1m, Real Madrid). But if all the players in my 11 start, Mendy/Alaba is likely to stay on my bench.
Here is where I’ll need your help. Is it worth subbing in either of the Madrid defenders for any of the players in my starting 11? If yes, who would you likely sub out? Please help me out by answering the poll. In summary, these are the moves I plan to make ahead of MD-13:
- Diogo Jota (€8.5m, Liverpool) -> Luis Diaz (€8.5m, Liverpool)
- Ederson (6.4m,Man City) -> Alisson (€6.4m, Liverpool )
- João Cancelo (6.7m, Man City) -> Virgil Van Dijk (€6.4m, Liverpool )
- Riyadh Mahrez (€9.8m, Man City) -> Luka Modric (€8.6m, Real Madrid)
- Aymeric Laporte(€5.8m, Man City)->Ferland Mendy (€5.8m, Real Madrid) /David Alaba (€6.1m, Real Madrid)
MATCHDAY 13 BUILD-UP
You are welcome to post tactics chat and questions in the comments section of this article as well. MiQ will be posting the UCL Live Chat article tomorrow, where 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
How is your team shaping up? What ranks are you aiming to reach? Who is your captain? Have questions of your own? Please share them in the comments section.
Is it worth subbing in either David Alaba/Ferland Mendy for any of the players in my starting 11?
This poll is closed
Others- In the comments section