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The Tipster: Matchday 3

Published: Monday 23 September 2002, 14.00CET
Check out the firepower available to UEFA Champions League Fantasy Football managers.
Published: Monday 23 September 2002, 14.00CET

The Tipster: Matchday 3

Check out the firepower available to UEFA Champions League Fantasy Football managers.

OK, so the Tipster's crystal ball failed to foresee hat-tricks for Roy Makaay and Predrag Djordjevic but it was a solid start in the UEFA Champions League Fantasy Football. Last week's matches saw a glut of goals and there is little to suggest that Matchday Two will be any different, so picking an in-form striker is paramount.

Inzaghi in form
There is no one sharper at the moment than Milan AC forward Filippo Inzaghi. SuperPippo has scored five in the past week and is now just two goals away from Alessandro Altobelli's Italian record of 39 goals in European club competition. That said, Inzaghi will have to be sharp to score away against RC Deportivo La Coruña on Tuesday night.

Alex the great
Inzaghi's former strike partner Alessandro Del Piero is also in fine form at present. He scored a double at the weekend for Juventus FC and will fancy his chances at home to FC Dynamo Kyiv. Juve were undone by a Pierre van Hooijdonk free-kick on Matchday One and the Dutch striker continued his coruscating form at the weekend by scoring in his fifth straight match and he looks a good bet to extend that run against Newcastle United FC's shaky defence.

Duo on song
Those who missed out on the aforementioned Makaay and Djordjevic last week may still be advised to get in on the act as both continued their excellent scoring runs at the weekend. The Dutch striker scored twice to make it seven goals in three matches, while Djordjevic scored to become the top foreign scorer in Greek football history.

Firing forwards
Other forwards bang in form are Liverpool FC's Milan Baroš (three goals in two matches), AFC Ajax's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (three goals in two), PSV Eindhoven's Mateja Kezman (two goals last weekend; seven for the season); Galatasaray SK's Arif Erdem (nine goals in six); and Real Madrid CF's Guti (three in two).

Banned list
Among the players out of action this week are the suspended Dietmar Hamann (Liverpool), Francesco Totti (AS Roma), Bernd Thjis (KRC Genk), Fabio Cannavaro (Internazionale FC) and Abubakari Yakubu (AFC Ajax).

Out injured
Those out through injury include Andriy Shevchenko (Milan), Juan Valerón (Deportivo), Roy Keane and Paul Scholes (Manchester United FC), Robert Pires (Arsenal FC), Bixente Lizarazu, Sebastian Deisler, Mehmet Scholl and Roque Santa Cruz (FC Bayern München), Igor Titov (FC Spartak Moskva), Olexandr Shovkovskiy and Olexandr Radchenko (Dynamo), Jens Nowotny, Zoltán Sebescen and Diego Placente (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Jorge Andrade (Deportivo), Alin Stoica (Club Brugge KV), Philippe Christanval, Patrik Andersson, Juan Riquelme, Marc Overmars and Dani (FC Barcelona).

Home comfort
One final caveat for Matchday Two: home sweet home is usually a good rule of thumb for the first group stage. There were only three away wins last week. Fewer fancied teams have home advantage this week, but buying up players from Madrid, Liverpool and Juventus looks a sound investment.

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