Previously on the UEFA Europa League Tipster ...
"Lo, all our pomp of yesterday / Is one with Nineveh and Tyre." The more I look at it, the more it seems Rudyard Kipling wrote his poem Recessional in tribute to my fantasy team. I have now fallen to 227th overall due to a poor choice of captain in Hulk, while my other two forwards, Juan Mata and Óscar Cardozo, both had nine points. I also suffered a miss from the spot, and a seven-fantasy point swing, from Hulk's FC Zenit St Petersburg team-mate Roman Shirokov.
Remember you can select five players from the same club and are allowed six free transfers before the next deadline, which is at 20.50CET on Thursday. As it stands, here's my side:
Petr Čech (Chelsea FC) €5.5m: The Blues are nine games undefeated at home in all competitions and the Czech international has kept three clean sheets in his last four matches at Stamford Bridge.
Sergei Ryzhikov (FC Rubin Kazan) €5m: With 55 points in total, the 32-year-old has been the best fantasy goalkeeper this season. He should be helpful in the return game.
David Luiz (Chelsea FC) €5.5m: With Gary Cahill out, the Brazil centre-back seems even more certain to make his 50th appearance in UEFA competition.
Luisão (SL Benfica) €5.5m: It's not just that the Eagles are an astonishing 33 games unbeaten in all competitions; they have also recorded seven shutouts in their last ten matches.
Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur FC) 6.5m: A defender who can score is always a major asset in this game and the Belgian international has already struck eight times this term, including four in his last five outings for Spurs.
Iván Marcano (FC Rubin Kazan) €4.5m: Like Ryzhikov, he is likely to make an appearance in my starting XI back in Russia, where Rubin have not conceded in three matches.
Ezequiel Garay (SL Benfica) €4.5m: Newcastle United FC have some offensive weapons to potentially make me pay for my trust in Benfica defenders, but the truth is they have not scored in three of their last four away games.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC) €9m: The creative midfielder is in fine form, scoring in successive fixtures for Belgium last month. Just make sure he does start on Thursday, otherwise his team-mate Oscar or Fenerbahçe SK's Cristian could prove good alternatives.
Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur FC) €10m: Back from suspension, back in my team. Eleven goals in his last 11 games for Tottenham.
Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United FC) €8.5m: Will remain on the bench until next week and the home match against Benfica.
Stefano Mauri (S.S. Lazio) €7m: The 33-year-old was a late addition to my side on the last matchday and did not perform as I'd hoped. He is battling a lingering injury and I may consider team-mate Hernanes or Ederson as I reckon Lazio will score more than once – if not in Istanbul then in Rome.
Nicolás Gaitán (SL Benfica) €8m: His statistics are disappointing (three goals all campaign) but I believe in his revival. Benfica have scored 18 goals in their last four outings.
Óscar Cardozo (SL Benfica) €9m: His two goals in the round of 16 second leg not only saved me from a much gloomier score, but also took his UEFA Europa League total to 16 – making him the competition's second-highest all-time scorer (group stage to final) behind Falcao (31).
Moussa Sow (Fenerbahçe SK) €8m: The Senegal striker has netted six times in his last seven club appearances, while Lazio have shipped ten away goals in their last five.
Juan Mata (Chelsea FC) €8m: Rubin's defence is one of the best in the UEFA Europa League and they have not conceded in five straight matches on all fronts. But sticking with Mata is tempting as he has delivered an assist in each of his last four games for Chelsea.
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