The first leg of the UCL semifinals gave us two results that haven’t irreversibly sunk any teams just yet, but one matchup is now a lot closer than the other.
In the Milan derby, Inter came out on top in the ‘away’ game. The two teams play in the same stadium, so the only difference is in the ticket allocation, with AC Milan fans heavily favored for leg one, and Inter’s for leg two. So with a ‘home’ game to come, Inter is certainly the favorite, but an early AC Milan goal could make things a bit nervy.
In the other game, it was honors even between Real Madrid and Manchester City, although with a home game to come City probably have a slight edge. This one could be a thriller.
Leg 1 Results
My team for Leg 1 comprised 5 players from Real Madrid, 4 from Inter, 3 from Manchester City and 2 from AC Milan. I also carried over one eliminated player that I couldn’t get rid of with free transfers:
Unlike some, I didn’t bet too heavily on Inter over AC Milan, something I regret now. Not having Bastoni (and then not being able to captain him either) meant I scored a disappointing 54 points, suffering a small fall in the table. I’m now ranked #5251 overall and #86 in the Never Manage Alone league.
Still, it wasn’t absolutely terrible. And although the two AC Milan players I brought in combined for only three points between them, I don’t regret the thinking, which was to have a little AC Milan coverage in case it is they who progress.
Leg 2 Plans
For the final, we will get 5 free transfers and only need to field 11 starters since there is only one match. So if 6 players make it through, it should be possible to field a full team without having to take a hit. At present, if the final were between Manchester City and AC Milan, I’d only have 5 players through, so I will need to make sure that won’t be a problem.
I’m thinking of bringing in Bastoni (a little late) in place of deadwood A Silva, although with only €1 in the bank that puts me €0.3 over budget. If I replace Valverde with Rodri, that gives me an extra City player and means my team is safe for the final regardless of who qualifies. I still have one more transfer after that but can’t see any change that I’m desperate to make. I’ll wait until Tuesday to make the changes in any case since weekend games can lead to injuries (and also so that I can have a peek at the confirmed lineups for Inter and Milan ahead of the fantasy transfer deadline).
I’ll probably go with Martinez as my Day 1 captain, with Haaland or De Bruyne as second-day options. Going for an Inter defender paid off in Leg 1, so that’s an option too.
How’s your team looking? Who are your captain choices? Which teams do you favor to progress and will you be loading up on them? How should I be improving my team - do you agree with my transfer options?
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