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Ready for kick-off

Published: Monday 16 September 2002, 18.05CET
The Tipster offers some advice about the UEFA Champions League Fantasy Football game. features

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Published: Monday 16 September 2002, 18.05CET

Ready for kick-off

The Tipster offers some advice about the UEFA Champions League Fantasy Football game.

The major challenge with the UEFA Champions League Fantasy Football is to sift through over 800 players and find the perfect 15-man squad. So, Tipster is here to offer a few pointers.

Dream 15
Spread over the 15 players required for your squad, the initially alluring €100m budget equates to approximately €6.6m a player. Putting that in perspective, the top strikers in the competition are all in the €11m price bracket.

Ruud and Raúl
However, it would be imprudent not to have one top-priced striker in your squad. Ruud van Nisterooij top scored in the competition, and despite a slow start domestically this term, will be fancied to do so again in what looks like a straightforward group for Manchester United FC. He and Raúl González look the best value of the €11m club.

Striking stars
For bargain seekers, other options are the €9.5m Pierre van Hooijdonk, who has been in sparkling form as the season begins; new Juventus FC recruit Marco Di Vaio at €8m; and Christian Giménez of FC Basel at €7m.

Midfield magic
Predictably, the official best midfielder in the competition last season, Michael Ballack, who has now switched to FC Bayern München, leads the midfield players shopping list at €10m. Cheaper alternatives include Olympique Lyonnais's Eric Carrière, who was one of the top points scorers in midfield last season despite only playing the first group stage, at €8m; Liverpool FC's in-form Danny Murphy at €8m; and PSV Eindhoven's Mark van Bommel at €7m.

Dream defenders
Goalscoring defenders such as Roberto Carlos and John Arne Riise are premium priced but again players from Valencia CF and Liverpool FC, who meet on Matchday One are again likely to be in high demand. A possible goalkeeper bargain is new Manchester United FC recruit Ricardo, who could feature regularly give Fabien Barthez injury troubles.

Injury list
Finally a word, or several, on injuries and suspensions. Ronaldo, Robert Pires, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Vladimir Smícer, Andriy Shevchenko, Gary Neville. Rafael van der Vaart, Guly, Otto Addo, Marat Izmailov, Andriy Husin, Thomas Helveg, Jorge Andrade, Roque Junior, Wes Brown and Francesco Totti are all likely to miss the first Matchday through injury.

Banned band
Totti is also among those out of action through suspensions along with AS Roma colleagues Francisco Lima and Gabriel Batistuta. Also banned are the aforementioned van Bommel, Valencia CF's Kily González, Carlos Varela Perez of FC Basel, Yakubu Ayegbini of Maccabi Haifa, Cyril Rool of RC Lens and the RC Deportivo La Coruña duo of Aldo Duscher and Lionel Scaloni.

Register now
You can register for UEFA Champions League Fantasy Football by clicking here

Last updated: 18/09/02 20.42CET

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