You've heard about this new game on social media and UEFA.com and you have read How To Play. You are pretty much ready to go. But before you begin to splash the cash we are going to give you a few essential hints and tips to help you work out the best strategies and tactics to give your team a kick start in the Champions Draft.
The first rule of Champions Draft is there are no rules. You are playing against friends, family, colleagues or maybe complete strangers. Disregard any relationships; this is not Fantasy Football. If you want Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, you are bidding to get them ahead of everybody else in your league. Whether you add them to your Watchlist, make a blockbuster €50m bid to get your man, or wait until the final ten seconds of the auction to sneak in – be ruthless!
Don't miss the live auction
That may sound fairly obvious but there is a chance you are in one time zone while fellow league members are in another. Do your homework beforehand, but be sure you know exactly when the live auction is going down. Remember, only one team can have Gareth Bale or Neymar – if you miss them in the auction, you may miss them for the rest of the season. If you cannot be online during the live auction, you can place plenty of bids in advance … but you risk showing your hand to your opponents.
Your squad size is 15 players so you are unable to bid on any more than that number. Likewise, your team has an allocation of three forwards, therefore you cannot place bids on more than three in that position at any one time. Once you have been outbid, you can again get involved, either increasing your offer for the same player or looking elsewhere. The same goes if you have all your money bid on a handful of players.
The order in which players are sold at the auction is random, so leaving cash and free team slots available until the latter stages is vital. Remember – you cannot withdraw a bid. If you want to drive the price of a player up but do not really want him (a valid tactic!), be wary that you may end up with him on your team if nobody outbids you.
The auction is obviously a major part of the game, but do not forget Free Transfers. This is your chance to make changes after the auction and leading up to the matchday – the deadline is 30 minutes before the first game of each matchday. If you do not purchase 15 players during the auction, your squad will be autofilled at random. You will be able to swap any unwanted players for free agents once the auction is complete. You should also check out the injuries and suspensions, and see what bargains exist that may have not been snapped up during the auction.
The most obvious strategy to focus on is selecting players that will score the most number of points – it's not rocket science! However, give some thought to who is most likely to play. Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, FC Bayern München and FC Porto have already qualified – will they play all their stars?
On the flipside, you will lose any players who play for eliminated sides when the competition reaches the knockout phase. You need to score points now, but you also need to balance that against which players are most likely to progress through the competition. Picking players from teams that will still be competing hard and have a good chance of qualification on matchdays five and six may be a good strategy to follow.
Know your numbers?
Champions Draft is not just about goals, assists, and clean sheets. Players are rewarded for defensive actions such as clearances, recovered balls, tackles and blocks. Points are given for attempts on target and deducted for attempts off target. Check out the scoring system here. Use the statistics sections on UEFA.com to help guide you.
If you have played our great Fantasy Football game before, you will know that appetite for defensive midfielders is generally low. With many more defensive statistics being taken into consideration here, they may be the bargains to look out for in Champions Draft.
We will be publishing expected team lineups along with injuries and suspensions early next week to help with your selections. Until then, good luck with your Champions Draft!
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