#UCLfantasy matchday 1: What the numbers say

UEFA.com crunches the numbers to find out which players are predicted for big matchday one totals.

Lionel Messi was top scorer in #UCLfantasy last season
Lionel Messi was top scorer in #UCLfantasy last season ©Getty Images

Predicting which Fantasy players are going to perform on a given matchday is a difficult task. Through crunching the numbers, a projected points total for each player has been calculated based on the player's historical performance in the UEFA Champions League. Goals, assists, clean sheets and the likelihood of playing are the major parameters used in our projections.

The top projected players for each position for matchday one are given below. As ever, check team news before making your final selections.

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GOALKEEPERS

PlayerPrice
ClubOpponentsHome/AwayGamedayProjected
Manuel Neuer6.0BayernCrvena zvezdaHWednesday6.1
Samir Handanovič5.5InterSlavia PrahaHTuesday6.1
Lukáš Hrádecký4.5LeverkusenLokomotiv MoskvaHWednesday6.1
Ederson6.0Man CityShakhtarAWednesday6.0
André Onana5.0AjaxLOSC LilleHTuesday6.0

The top projected goalkeeper is Bayern's Manuel Neuer, who faces a Crvena zvezda side that failed to score in two of their three away matches in last season's group stage. Inter's Samir Handanovič will play Slavia Praha in one of Tuesday's early kick-offs while Lukáš Hrádecký of Leverkusen is third and is an attractive budget option for matchday one. Leverkusen welcome Lokomotiv Moskva, who scored just one goal in three away group games last season.

Manchester City's Ederson and Ajax's André Onana occupy the final two spots in the top five projected goalkeepers. Ederson kept two clean sheets against matchday one opponents Shakhtar Donetsk last season, while Onana and Ajax face a LOSC team who have not scored in four of their last seven UEFA Champions League group matches.

DEFENDERS

PlayerPrice
ClubOpponentsHome/AwayGamedayProjected
Joshua Kimmich6.5BayernCrvena zvezdaHWednesday7.4
Lucas Hernández5.5BayernCrvena zvezdaHWednesday6.9
Nicolás Tagliafico5.0AjaxLOSC LilleHTuesday6.3
Oleksandr Zinchenko5.0Man CityShakhtarAWednesday6.1
Milan Škriniar5.5InterSlavia PrahaHTuesday6.0
Diego Godín5.5InterSlavia PrahaHTuesday6.0
Wendell4.5LeverkusenLokomotiv MoskvaHWednesday6.0
Jonathan Tah5.0LeverkusenLokomotiv MoskvaHWednesday6.0
Sven Bender5.0LeverkusenLokomotiv MoskvaHWednesday6.0
Niklas Süle5.0BayernCrvena zvezdaHWednesday6.0

The top two projected defenders for matchday one, Joshua Kimmich and Lucas Hernández, are part of a Bayern team that kept four clean sheets in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League and also offer attacking potential. Left-backs Nicolás Tagliafico and Oleksandr Zinchenko could offer excellent value for money, particularly if the Ajax defender can match his attacking output from last season when he scored three times in Europe; he scored twice over the weekend in the Eredivisie. Inter and Leverkusen, whose players complete the top ten, are both projected to keep a clean sheet on matchday one.

MIDFIELDERS

PlayerPrice
ClubOpponentsHome/AwayGamedayProjected
Raheem Sterling11.0Man CityShakhtarAWednesday7.2
Philippe Coutinho9.0BayernCrvena zvezdaHWednesday7.0
Mohamed Salah11.0LiverpoolNapoliATuesday6.9
Kevin De Bruyne10.5Man CityShakhtarAWednesday 6.8
Hakim Ziyech8.0AjaxLOSC LilleHTuesday6.3
Sadio Mané10.5LiverpoolNapoliATuesday6.0
Riyad Mahrez8.5Man CityShakhtarAWednesday5.7
Heung-Min Son9.5TottenhamOlympiacosAWednesday5.4
João Félix8.0AtléticoJuventusHWednesday4.8
Kai Havertz5.5LeverkusenLokomotiv MoskvaHWednesday4.8

A good combination of players that play Tuesday and Wednesday are represented in the projected top ten midfielders, with Manchester City's Raheem Sterling topping the list. The Englishman has started the 2019/20 season in fine form having scored eight goals already for club and country. Bayern's Philippe Coutinho has ample UEFA Champions league pedigree, having scored 47 points (three goals, two assists) in #UCLfantasy for Barcelona last season. Mohamed Salah and Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mané were the two top-scoring midfielders in #UCLfantasy last season, recording a combined 115 points.

FORWARDS

PlayerPrice
ClubOpponentsHome/AwayGamedayProjected
Lionel Messi11.5BarcelonaDortmundATuesday8.4
Robert Lewandowski10.5BayernCrvena zvezdaHWednesday7.5
Cristiano Ronaldo11.5JuventusAtléticoAWednesday6.6
Sergio Agüero10.5Man CityShakhtarAWednesday
6.3
Dušan Tadić9AjaxLOSC LilleATuesday6
Romelu Lukaku10InterSlavia PrahaHTuesday6
Karim Benzema9.5Real MadridParisAWednesday5.7
Gareth Bale8.5Real MadridParisAWednesday5.5
Harry Kane11TottenhamOlympiacosAWednesday5.4
Kevin Volland6.5LeverkusenLokomotiv MoskvaHWednesday4.9

A mixture of Tuesday and Wednesday gamedays in the projected top forwards means Fantasy managers can make the most of the ability to substitute players between gamedays. The top projected forward is last season's top #UCLfantasy point scorer, Lionel Messi. In four group stage matches in 2018/19, Messi scored six times and assisted another.

Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Agüero are projected to score heavily on the opening matchday, with the Bayern striker finishing top scorer in last season's group stage with eight goals. Investment in Real Madrid's forwards would also appear to be wise, with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale projected to produce attacking returns despite a tough trip to the Parc des Princes to face Paris on Wednesday.