With free unlimited transfers ahead of the knockout rounds, use this list of tips to help you pick wisely.
Article top media content
We've now reached the business end of the UEFA Champions League season with the round of 16 starting on 18 February. #UCLfantasy managers have been afforded unlimited transfers ahead of that deadline, so with some key decisions to be made, we have put together some tips on how to best utilise them.
Firstly, here's a rundown of the current state of play:
- #UCLfantasy managers can make unlimited transfers prior to the round of 16 first-leg deadline, and will not be deducted any points for doing so
- The squad budget has increased from €100m to €105m (although this may vary slightly depending on any value you have gained/lost in the group stage)
- The number of players you are able to select from one club has increased from three to four
- Once the first-leg matches have all taken place, #UCLfantasy managers will be granted three free transfers ahead of the second legs
So, what should #UCLfantasy managers bear in mind when reshuffling the pack?
Include players from a spread of teams
While it is tempting to load up on players from teams you are convinced will progress from the round of 16, anything can happen in football and you could find yourself in a position where you don't have enough free transfers to fill your squad once the quarter-finals come around. Selecting Fantasy assets from a number of different teams gives you a greater chance of being in a strong position going forward, and will allow for greater flexibility with your transfers.
Target specific fixtures
If there's a round of 16 tie you think will feature plenty of goals – or indeed very few – then it is worth selecting a few players from that fixture to maximise the points on offer. Additionally, with first legs taking place across four separate gamedays, #UCLfantasy managers will have four bites at the cherry when it comes to selecting a successful captain. Therefore, including what you deem to be a marquee player from each gameday gives you additional captaincy options.
Consider form rather than price
This could of course apply to any stage of the season but it is particularly relevant now with #UCLfantasy managers given extra funds to spend. A case in point is Erling Braut Haaland, currently priced at €4.7m, who lit up the group stage with eight goals for Salzburg. The Austrian side did not make it through to the round of 16, but Haaland's UEFA Champions League fairytale will continue thanks to his January move to Dortmund, where he has continued in sensational scoring form with seven goals in his first three Bundesliga games.
Analyse domestic form
By the time the UEFA Champions League returns, it will be more than two months since the remaining 16 teams will have played a European match. Plenty can change in that time, and so assessing how each club has recently performed in their domestic leagues can give you an edge, particularly in seeing which players are in a rich vein of form heading into the round of 16.