Champions League Hot picks – Fantasy Sports

Midweek offers a big bunch of great Champions League matches, and there are of course several fantasy competitions with big prizes. How about Roma – Real Madrid in Late Tuesday or PSG vs Liverpool in Late Wednesday?

Motivation is a big factor in football, and especially so in the Champions League. As some teams already more or less have the advancement in the bag, one questions arise: Do they care if they win the group, or is it good enough to be in the top two that advances? The answer is: They do care. The reason is that winners of the groups will get to play the number twos from some other group. And vice versa, obviously. This clearly makes it more likely that the group winners will get a soft matchup in the knockout phase.

Where are the bargain players?

There are a lot of big favorites on Tuesday and Wednesday, and frankly it is hard to muster belief in any of the underdogs, which unfortunately are the ones you have to pick cheap players from. For the Tuesday Late competition, we would suggest taking a look at Lyon. Even though we very much doubt that Lyon can copy their win over Manchester City from the beginning of the group stage, it is quite possible that they will score some goals. NABIL FEKIR (7.3M) scored an impressive 18 goals in Ligue 1 last season, and he really is a class player that should thrive in the Champions League. Perhaps he is not quite in the same good form as last year, but he has scored two goals so far in the group stage; and one of them came against the very same Manchester City. Let us also mention HOUSSEM AOUAR (6.3M). He is a big talent, only 20 years old, and we are quite confident that he will start on the left wing for Lyon tonight. It is worth noting that he has scored in three of the four latest league games, and as a winger he should be an interesting candidate for assists. MEMPHIS DEPAY (6.5M) is normally the striker for Lyon. He has been a key player for Lyon since he arrived from an unsuccessful time in Manchester United. Initially, he played as left-winger, but I guess they found out that he really likes to shoot (and not so much to make passes), so it made sense to place him as a forward! In our opinion, he does not have the same class as Fekir, but the chance of Depay scoring is about the same as for Fekir (the bookmakers actually have the Dutch International as the favorite).

As for Wednesday Late, it is even harder to find good, low budget options. The best bet may perhaps be Inter’s MAURO ICARDI (8.2M). He is a forward that has really impressed us from time to time. Right now, he is in great form. It is unquestionable a very tough task for Inter to play Tottenham, as the London team played their best match of the season this weekend against Chelsea, winning 3-1. In large periods of that game, Tottenham were dominating like crazy. If that match did not take a toll on the Tottenham players, Inter will struggle to keep up. A goal for Icardi could still happen, though. He was rested at the weekend, playing only a few minutes in the match against Frosinone.  

Look out for Mahrez!

As usual, Manchester City are among the favorites when it comes to having players that are likely to score. We had high hopes for RIYAD MAHREZ (11.6M) this weekend, but Pep Guardiola threw us a curve ball and benched the winger. Instead, he fielded LEROY SANE (10.6M). In retrospect, it was not a bad decision, as Sane scored twice, and even made an additional assist! The German international did however play almost two full matches during the Premier League break, and now surely he must be in need of a rest! Which should mean Mahrez comes in on the right wing. SERGIO AGUERO (12.6M) will lead the attack for sure, as Gabriel Jesus has been ruled out for Tuesday match. DAVID SILVA (11.3M) is in great form. If he starts, he is definitely a good candidate for any fantasy team.

Three top teams, but only two spots

Nowhere is the tension bigger than in group C. With two rounds remaining, Napoli and Liverpool have 6 points each, while Paris Saint-Germain have 5. PSG welcomes Liverpool to Parc des Princes on Wednesday, in what is the biggest match of the season so far. Ordinarily, PSG would field the attacking trio NEYMAR (11.9M), EDINSON CAVANI (11.6M) and KYLIAN MBAPPE (11.3M) in such a big match, but both Neymar and Mbappe came off their respective International matches with what looked to be injuries. They both watched from the sidelines as PSG beat Toulouse 1-0 on Saturday. Neymar reportedly has trouble with the groin, and Mbappe with his shoulder, but manager Tuchel said on Monday that he was “optimistic about Mbappe and Neymar playing against Liverpool”. It is very possible that the matter was overblown and that the three stars will be aligned at the kick-off on Wednesday. Are they good candidates for fantasy managers then? Well, it is going to be a tough match. Liverpool are pretty solid in defense these days, but PSG can score against the best teams in the world. If the duo in doubt appears in the line-up, we think Neymar and Mbappe probably are better value than for example MOHAMED SALEH (10.2M) in Wednesday Late.

Napoli on the other hand have a much easier task, when the Czech team with the name perfect for a spelling bee final, Crvena Zvezda arrives in Napoli on Wednesday. Liverpool learned the hard way that even smaller teams can make big waves in the Champions League, when they surprisingly lost 0-2 to Crvena Zvezda, but it was some luck involved, and we still do not believe that the Zcech outfit is of the same caliber as the rest of the clubs in group C. Napoli however, have impressed us. They beat Liverpool 1-0 deservedly, and then played two strong draws against the French champions. Especially in their home match against PSG, Napoli looked very good. With the standings as they are, this is clearly a must-win match for Napoli. Both DRIES MERTENS (12.3M) and LORENZO INSIGNE (14.3M) are in great form, scoring a lot. If you have money to spend, consider picking both. We suspect that the duo will start up front, but some locals say Mertens could be benched from the start, as he played 90 minutes against Chievo on Sunday. ARKADIUSZ MILIK (13.8M) could replace him. In our view Milik has never been of the same quality as Mertens, so even if manager Carlo Ancelotti goes down this route, we do not endorse putting Milik on your team. Check the line-ups on Wednesday; they are public at least an hour before match start in the CL. A player like JOSE CALLEJON (12.8M) has scored 10 goals or more in serie A four out of the last five seasons for Napoli, but this season the 31-year old has not hit the back of net even once, so paying 12.8M for him is not something we recommend.