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UCL MD8 Player Picks

It’s do or die time for the final sixteen.

Liverpool FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Can Mo Salah do the seemingly impossible and fire Liverpool into the quarterfinals?
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The first leg of the UCL round of 16 brought us some entertaining football and interesting results, so the expectations for this round are high. As always, picking the right players is crucial for fantasy UCL managers.

Below you’ll find the list of players that we think could be great additions to your UCL fantasy team for MD-8.


SSC Napoli v SS Lazio - Serie A TIM Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Alex Meret (€5.0m, Napoli vs Frankfurt)

If you’re in the market for a goalkeeper, look no further than Napoli’s Meret. He has kept clean sheets in three of his last four games and has an excellent MD-8 matchup. Napoli held Frankfurt scoreless in the first leg.


Odysseas Vlachodimos (€5.0m, Benfica vs Club Brugge)

Vlachodimos is another great goalkeeper pick for your MD-8 team in MD8. Like Meret he has one of the easiest fixtures and kept a clean sheet in his first leg. Plus, this time around he’s playing at home.


SSC Napoli v Udinese Calcio - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Giovanni Di Lorenzo (€5.1m, Napoli vs Frankfurt)

Di Lorenzo was spectacular in the first leg of the Napoli vs Frankfurt tie. The full-back got himself a goal, a clean sheet, and thirteen points. It would be a stretch to expect that kind of production again in Leg 2, but we still back him to be value-for-money in front of his home fans.


Alejandro Grimaldo (€5.3m, Napoli vs Frankfurt)

Grimaldo has been on of the tournament’s best defenders, piling up a total of 54 fantasy points so far — 24 of them in just his last three games.

He is a defender that can deliver returns through clean sheets, assists, goals, and ball recoveries, making him an ideal fantasy defender.


Ruben Dias (5.6m, Man City vs RB Leipzig)

Although Man City conceded when they faced Leipzig in the first leg, we’re confident that they can keep a clean sheet this time, so we’ve got Ruben Dias on this list.

City’s back line always seems to be better when he’s in it, so we’re hoping to see clean sheet points and ball recoveries from him in MD-8. Pep roulette is always a concern when considering City assets, but with the form he is in, we’re confident that he’ll start.


Recce James (6.2m, Chelsea vs Dortmund)

Chelsea need a result against Dortmund, so they’ll have to be at their very best. Every aspect of the team has to perform; they’ll have to keep it tight at the back and attack with purpose.

James is a player that could play a vital role in this one and we think that if Chelsea are to succeed, then they’d need James’ to be at his best. And when James is at his best, then that means UCL fantasy points for us.

A note of caution though: James missed the league game against Leeds over the weekend due to hamstring tightness, so be sure to check Chelsea’s confirmed lineup before transferring him into your UCL team.


Brandon Mechele (4.6m, Benfica vs Club Brugge)

Mechele is the best budget defender in the game — he has picked up a total of 48 points, ranking him third amongst all defenders.

He has been impressive all season, and in his last game he returned four points even without a clean sheet.


Liverpool FC v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Mo Salah (11.3m, Real Madrid vs Liverpool)

Mo exploded against Manchester United yesterday, scoring twice and assisting once in Liverpool’s 7-0 demolition of the Red Devils. His second goal in that game made him Liverpool’s all-time leading scorer in the Premier League.

‘Pool will need a similar performance from the Egyptian Magician if they are to overturn their 2-5 capitulation to Real Madrid in the first leg, and if he can pull off that miracle you won’t want to miss out.


Vini Junior (10m, Real Madrid vs Liverpool)

Vini Junior is a player that is quite similar to Mo Salah, able to score and create against anyone. We’ve seen him do a lot of damage to Liverpool in the first leg and there’s no reason not to expect more of the same this time around.

Liverpool have a three-goal deficit to overcome, so they’ll be attacking from the opening whistle. That could leave them vulnerable at the back and play right into Vini’s hands.


Riyad Mahrez (9.8m, Man City vs Leipzig)

Mr. Champions League, as Man City fans call him, makes our list of MD8 midfielder picks on the strength of his first-leg performance. The Algerian scored City’s only goal in that match, and we’ll be hoping for something similar in the second leg.

And while Pep’s S-XI is notoriously difficult to predict, we think the gaffer will place his trust in him for a game like this.


Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (5.9m, Napoli vs Frankfurt)

Kvaratskhelia’s price borders on the ridiculous considering how good he has been. Napoli’s talisman is in great form, he’s cheap, and he has a great matchup. He’s a no-brainer for this one.


Jude Bellingham (7.5m, Chelsea vs Dortmund)

Bellingham is another player who can score, assist and get you ball-recovery points. He’s been quiet in the Bundesliga since the first leg of the R16, and was held scoreless in that match as well. But he netted in each of the first four matchdays, and we back him to get back on the scoresheet in MD-8.

But even if he doesn’t, he still offers return potential through ball recoveries and a clean sheet against Chelsea’s toothless attack.


Real Betis v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Karim Benzema (10.6m, Real Madrid vs Liverpool)

Benzema had a field day against Liverpool in Leg 1, notching two goals plus an assist. With Leg 2 set to take place at the Bernabeu, he’ll be extra-motivated to produce another fine performance.

Benzema is on penalties too, which is always attractive for fantasy managers.


Erling Haaland (11m, Man City vs Leipzig)

Haaland is another forward that we’re expecting to do well this matchday. City must win Leg 2 in order to survive, and Haaland has been his team’s best source of goals this season, notching an amazing 33 times in 34 appearances.


Kylian Mbappe (11.4m, PSG vs Bayern Munchen)

The UCL is a competition where big-game players step up and make a difference. That’s why we’ve got a man who loves a clutch moment, Kylian Mbappe. Only fit enough to feature from the bench in the first leg, his introduction into the match energized the PSG attack. It wasn’t enough, however, and the Parisians must now overcome a 0-1 deficit to avoid crashing out.

Mbappe is a player that thrives in such moments, and relishes the chance to prove that he is currently the world’s best football player. When a player like Mbappe plays with that kind of hunger and desire, it can only mean points for fantasy UCL managers.


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How many of these men will be in your squad? Which others do you have your eye one? What is your captain strategy? Please log in and let us know your plans in the Comments.