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UCL MD-9 Quarterfinal Player Picks (Leg 1)

The Champions League is back. Are you ready?

Karim Benzema - Real Madrid CF - Champions League Photo by Flor Tan Jun/Getty Images

It’s time for UCL’s quarterfinals to take center stage. With just eight teams left, our decisions now become much more interesting. With fewer teams to pick from, and no soft competition, and half the field crashing out after leg 2, we must get our picks right.

Below you’ll find the players we think could be great additions to (filling the gaping holes in) your UCL fantasy team for MD-9.


Odysseas Vlachodimos (€5.0m, Benfica vs Inter)

Vlachodimos is one of the best goalkeepers left in the tournament, and he plays an Inter side that scored just one goal across both legs of the R16. Indeed, Inter has netted just three times in its last six games across all competitions, and just eleven times in its entire 2022-23 UCL campaign. Inter’s tame attack makes the Benfica shot-stopper a really great pick this week.


Ederson Moraes (€6.0m, Man City vs Bayern)

Although it will be difficult to keep clean sheets against Bayern, Ederson could accumulate a decent amount of save points, and I back City to advance. For that reason, I’m tipping the Brazilian shot-stopper.


Giovanni Di Lorenzo (€5.2m, Napoli vs AC Milan)

When looking at defenders in any fantasy game, it is a good strategy to target defenders who can get you clean sheets, assists and goals - and that’s exactly what you get with Lorenzo.

In his last two games, Lorenzo returned a total of 23 points, scoring a goal, assisting one, and keeping two clean sheets. Based on form, there aren’t many better than the Napoli’s fullback — he’s the #1 defender left in the game, actually.


Alejandro Grimaldo (€5.3m, Benfica vs Inter)

Another really solid defensive option is Alejandro Grimaldo of Benfica. He can get you a goal, an assist and/or a clean sheet. So far this season, Grimaldo has scored two, assisted three, and kept two clean sheets.

I expect him to carry on his impressive form against an Inter side that tends to lack end-product.


Eder Militao (€5.5m, Real Madrid vs Chelsea)

Militao is another good buy because he plays against a Chelsea side that is struggling to score goals. In the Premier League this season, Chelsea has scored a total of just 29 goals in 30 games and was beaten to-nil by Wolves over the weekend. Given Chelsea’s relatively toothless attack, I think Militao has a good shot at clean sheet points.


Nathan Ake (€4.4m, Man City vs Bayern)

When picking defenders, it’s always important to have budget options who are assured of starts, and according to Pep, Ake is currently “undroppable”. And although he drops into a back three to allow the right back to invert into midfield when City attack, he’s still a threat to score from set-pieces. When it comes to budget players, there aren’t many better still left in the game.


Vinicius Jr (€10.1m, Real Madrid vs Chelsea)

Viní has been in exceptional form for Real Madrid this season, so I expect him to be a key player, and perhaps even PotM, against Chelsea in MD-9. With his pace and dribbling skills, Viní can create opportunities for himself and his teammates. In the R16, Vinícius Júnior was crucial to defeating Liverpool, scoring a brace and providing two assists over the two legs.

Chelsea, on the other hand, has been struggling in the UCL and Premier League lately, so this could be an excellent opportunity for Vini Jr and Real Madrid to take advantage of Chelsea’s vulnerability.


Kevin De Bruyne (€10.5m, Man City vs Bayern)

Man City has been on a roll in the Premier League, scoring an impressive 21 goals in their last four games. De Bruyne has been instrumental in their success, providing crucial assists and scoring goals himself. In fact, he recently became a member of the Premier League’s 100-Assist Club, shining a light on his fantastic playmaking ability.

Bayern will be a tough opponent, but De Bruyne will look to continue his impressive performances in the UCL. With both teams boasting impressive arsenals of attacking assets, the match promises to be a high-scoring affair, and KDB will continue to be the funnel through which most of Man City’s creativity flows.


Joao Mario (€6.4m, Benfica vs Inter Mila)

João Mário could be an excellent MD-9 pick because he has one of the better fixtures this week, facing Inter. As a cheap midfield option, he provides an opportunity to free up funds for more expensive players, while also offering the potential for good returns. He has already delivered an impressive 39 fantasy points in his last four games, scoring four times and assisting twice.

And as a bonus, he takes pens.


Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (5.9m, Napoli vs AC Milan)

Kvaratskhelia could be an excellent buy at a relatively low price, offering excellent value while freeing up funds for more expensive players. He has been key to Napoli’s success this season, scoring 12 goals and providing 10 assists in Serie A.

Playing against AC Milan, Kvaratskhelia will aim to continue his impressive form and make an impact on the game. His ability to create chances and score goals could prove vital for Napoli, and he will be eager to make a contribution.


Erling Haaland (11m, Man City vs Bayern Munich)

Haaland is undoubtedly one of the most in-form players in world football at the moment and is almost a “must have” for MD-9. To put things in perspective, fantasy EPL managers moaned this weekend because Haaland was removed at 68 minutes after scoring “only” two goals. With a mind-bending ten goals in his last three games and a total of 44 goals across all competitions this season, Haaland (supplied by KDB) is simply unstoppable right now.

Caveat: Recovering from recent a groin injury soreness, he may see his minutes managed, being removed again at ~70 minutes after scoring “only” another brace. You’ve been warned! :)


Karim Benzema (10.6m, Real Madrid vs Chelsea)

Karim Benzema has certainly found his form at the right time. UCL fantasy managers should consider him for MD-9. His ability to score goals and provide assists, particularly in big games (he just notched a hat trick against Barcelona in Wednesday’s El Classico) makes him a valuable asset to any UCL fantasy team. He’s Real’s #1 PK taker too.


Victor Osimhen (7.9m, Napoli vs AC Milan)

Osimhen’s price of 7.9 million makes him an affordable option for UCL fantasy managers looking to bolster attacking options on a tight budget. He has scored an impressive 25 goals in 29 appearances across all competitions for the Partenopei this campaign, including three over the two legs of the R16.

Unfortunately the Nigerian sustained a muscle injury over the international break and has missed Napoli’s last two matches. Nevertheless, Luciano Spalletti is hopeful that his star striker could be in line to feature against Milan on Wednesday. Follow team news, because if he is fit he’ll be one you’ll want to have in your squad.

Please log in to share your thoughts & questions in the comments below!


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