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Champions League MD-13 Fantasy Preview: The Final

An early look at the UCL Final

Champions League Final Build Up Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

The final day of the season will take place in Istanbul Turkey. After Man City, Barcelona, Napoli & Bayern Munich won their respective domestic league titles, the Ataturk Olympic Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final between Man City and Internazionale.

Both finalists won their domestic league cups: Inter defeated Fiorentina 2-1, and the Citizens defeated derby rival Man United by the same scoreline.

Manchester City v Manchester United: Emirates FA Cup Final Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

On the European stage, Sevilla FC put an end to Mourinho’s perfect final-winning record with a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes.

While reading this article, you might cheer for either West Ham or Fiorentina to salvage their seasons and ensure European football next season — They go head to head in the UEFA Europa Conference League Final, and the winner automatically qualifies for a step up to the UEFA Europa League next season.

Fiorentina v Inter - Coppa Italia Photo by Claudio Pasquazi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The UCL trophy has eluded Pep since he won it with Barcelona (for the second time) in 2011. The master tactician was not able to win it at the helm of German giant Bayern. At Man City, he reached the final in 2021 only to lose to Chelsea.

For Man City, 2021 against Chelsea was the first UCL Final in their history. The Citizens will be looking to win it all for the first time this season.

Inter has three prior UCL trophies on display, the most notable and latest was with Mourinho in 2010 when Inter won Serie-A, Coppa Italia, and UCL (something Pep is aspiring to emulate in England this season). It is worth noting that the 2010 UCL triumph is the last for Italy, so Inzaghi seeks to pull back the spotlight onto Serie-A.

AS Roma v Spezia Calcio - Serie A Photo by Silvia Lore/Getty Images

Stay tuned for Guy’s player-picks article, which will also be his last for NMA, so make sure to leave an appreciation comment for all of his effort and cleverness. One day before the final, I will post the pre-deadline chat article listing team news and injuries for our “final” fantasy preparations. On matchday (this Saturday!), David will post the Live Chat article for the first ever Inter vs Man City meeting in UCL.


Fantasy managers who have been following NMA should easily field a full starting XI by using their five free transfers. Remember — There’s no tomorrow, so you can’t make substitutions, so your bench is virtually worthless.

That means you don’t even need to replace all of the players eliminated in the semis — You just need to get eleven starters on Saturday, and we will see both confirmed lineups more than an hour before kickoff. If you have transfers to burn, maybe you would put another starter on your bench to shield against a last-minute warm-up injury-scratch, but that’s way down our list of fantasy priorities after maximizing the potential of our starting-XI.

Personally, I already have four Inter players and three Man City players, which means I will need four transfers to fill my lineup. The extra may prove useful depending on injuries, form, etc.

In MD-13, fantasy managers are allowed to pick eight players from one club. I implore all our readers to go with six and five to stay safe. Going all Man City may leave you with less than double digits at the end of the day if the match goes Inter’s way.


Inter Milan vs Manchester City

There is always something hidden in every mechanism that works well. Something that makes everything (or in this case everyone) else shine and deliver what is expected and more. On the defensive side for City, it has always been Rodri who plays as a defensive midfielder with the role of deep playmaker. But on the attack, it is central midfielder Ilkay Gundogan who is doing most of the hidden work to allow KDB, Grealish, Haaland, Bernardo and Alvarez to deliver. Both players are valuable to Guardiola’s press / possession style.

Manchester City v Manchester United: Emirates FA Cup Final Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Simeone Inzaghi has won three cups and three super cups (domestic) in his short career in the top flight since 2016. Four of those cups were won with Inter after winning two with Lazio, his playing career club.

Since his first Italian Cup defeat to Juventus in 2017, Inzaghi has won every final he has participated in (six in total). Inzaghi has been at the helm for two years now, a major force in winning matches tactically. Eden Dzeko will play his first ever UCL final against his former club at the age of 37. The main cogs in Inter’s gearbox are without a doubt Lautaro, Barella, Calhanuglo and Dimarco.

Lautaro Martinez of Fc Internazionale celebrates after... Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images

Unlike the Citizens, Inter’s players are in their first UCL final. Only Onana and Dzeko even reached the semifinals before.

There are five free transfers available ahead of the finals — Will that be enough for you to fill holes in your squad plus bring in the players you want? Are you playing a chip in MD-13? And how is your budget? Have the eliminations of top-drawer stars from fallen teams left you with plenty of cash for anyone you would consider buying now? Please log in and let us know your plans and questions!