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Champions League Fantasy Preview: UCL Group-E

Group of the underdogs: Atletico Madrid, Feyenoord, Lazio & Celtic

Antoine Griezman - Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League
Antoine Griezman |
Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images


Which club will win group E?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 83%
    Atletico Madrid
    (30 votes)
  • 8%
    (3 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now


Generally tagged as “The Group of Underdogs”, Group-E represents an open group with every team standing a good chance of making it to the round of 16. The highest rated team in the group, Atletico Madrid, endured a disappointing 2022-23 campaign so will be eager to make amends this season. Like Atletico, Celtic also failed the group stage last season. Feyenoord and Lazio participated in the Europa League.

Atletico Madrid

UEFA ranking: 16th

Manager: Diego Simeone

In 2022-23, Atletico Madrid suffered one of its most disastrous Champions league campaigns, finishing last in a group that also had F.C Porto, Club Brugge and Bayern Leverkusen. Despite that disappointment, Los Colchoneros are still the odds-on favorites to top the group this time around.

Giovanni Simeone’s trio of Antoine Griezmann, Alvaro Morata and Memphis Depay will be crucial to his side’s hope to advance. The three have scored six goals between them in three La Liga fixtures this season, so they should be exciting additions for fantasy managers in the group stage.


Predicted starting 11

Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak

Defenders: M. Hermoso, A. Witsel, S. Savic, C. Azpilicueta

Midfielders: R. De Paul, M. Llorente, Saul, P. Barrios

Forwards: A. Griezmann, M. Depay

Penalty taker: Griezmann

Freekick taker: Depay, Griezmann

Corner kicks: Depay, Griezmann

Fantasy picks: Depay, Griezmann, Morata, Oblak


UEFA ranking: 27th

Manager: Arend Martijn Slot

2022-23 Eredivise champion Feyenoord has started the new season in mediocre form, winning two and drawing two of the first four games. The “Club on the Meuse” stormed to last season’s league title seven points ahead of second-placed PSV. Adjudged as the second-best defense in the Eredivisie last season based on goals conceded, Feyenoord will need its water-tight defense to be at its best to survive this tricky group E.

Last season’s top scorer, Santiago Gimenez, is carrying on into the new season impressively, scoring five goals in the club’s first four Eredivisie fixtures. His goals will be crucial for the club to reach the round of 16. However, Feyenoord must overcome the absence of last season’s Eredivisie player of the year, Orkun Kokcu. The midfielder moved to Benfica during the summer transfer window.


Predicted starting 11

Goalkeeper: T. Wellenreuther

Defenders: L. Geertruida, G. Trauner, D. Hancko, Q. Hartman

Midfielders: M. Wieffer, Q. Timber, Y. Minteh, C. Stengs, I. Paixao

Forward: S. Gimenez

Penalty Taker: Santiago Gimenez

Fantasy picks: Santiago Gimenez, Calvin Stengs


UEFA ranking: 54th

Manager: Brendan Rodgers

Will fans enjoy any magical Champions League nights at Celtic Park this season? Brendan Rodgers will be eager to erase the memories of Celtic’s miserable 2022-23 campaign that saw the club finish last in its group with just two points.

Celtic won its eleventh league title in the last twelve years to move just two behind rivals Rangers on 55 Scottish Premier League titles, and The Bhoys have begun the new season in impressive fashion, winning three and drawing one of the first four league games.

Celtic lost its biggest talent Jota to Saudi club Al-Ittihad over the summer but have made some smart additions in a bid to cover his loss. Japanese striker Furuhashi looks like the most exciting option. He has scored three goals in four games for the Bhoys this season and looks like the real deal.


Predicted starting 11

Goalkeeper: Joe Hart

Defenders: G. Taylor, L. Scales, G. Lagerbielke, A. Johnston

Midfielders: D. Turnbull, M. McGregor, M. O’Riley

Forwards: M. Maeda, L. Abada, K. Furuhashi

Penalty taker: Turnbull

Freekick taker: Turnbull

Cornerkick taker: Turnbull

Fantasy picks: Furuhashi, Turnbull


UEFA ranking: 42nd

Manager: Maurizio Sarri

Lazio returns to the Champions League after two-years out, e eager to go a step better than the round of 16 elimination suffered in the 2020-21 campaign. The Italian side has never made it past the quarterfinal stage, a high-water mark achieved in the 1999-2000 campaign.

Sergej Milinkovic Savic’s transfer to Al-Hilal in the summer was a big blow to the team. The management has tried to plug the leak by adding the likes of Daichi Kamada from Eintracht Frankfurt and Matteo Guendouzi on loan from Olympic Marseille.

Club legend Ciro Immobile still will be crucial for the Italians. At 33, the Italian international is still the club’s first-choice striker, and he will be ably supported by Felipe Anderson and Zaccagni on the flanks.

New signing Daichi Kamada is another interesting prospect on whom fantasy managers should be keeping an eye. The Japan international is known for his finishing and creative ability. With one goal already for Lazio this season, the midfielder produced 16 goals plus 6 assists for Eintracht Frankfurt last season.


Predicted starting 11

Goalkeeper: I. Provedal

Defenders: E. Hysaj, A. Romagnoli, N. Casale, A. Marusic

Midfielders: L. Alberto, D. Cataldi, D. Kamada

Forwards: F. Anderson, M. Zaccagni, C. Immobile

Penalty taker: Ciro Immobile

Freekick taker: Luis Alberto, Cataldi

Cornerkick taker: Luis Alberto, Cataldi

Fantasy picks: Ciro Immobile, Daichi Kamada


Who’s on your watch list from Group-E? Please log in and tell us about your initial impressions in the comments.