With plenty of points to be picked up for ball recoveries, UEFA.com looks at who excelled on Matchday 1.
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The return of #UCLFantasy means the return of the popular ball recovery points system implemented for the first time last season. UEFA.com rounds up who scored highest in this category on Matchday 1.Play Champions League Fantasy
Over the course of Matchday 1, a total of 25 players recorded ten or more completed ball recoveries in their respective fixtures. Topping the pile was Salzburg defender Maximilian Wöber, with an impressive 18 in his side's 2-2 draw with Lokomotiv Moskva. Wöber’s exploits earned him six ball recovery points, giving the centre-back a total of seven #UCLfantasy points despite his team conceding two goals. This once again proves the benefits of the ball recovery points system for defenders, who still have a chance of gaining a large proportion of Fantasy points even without a clean sheet.
Trailing just behind Wöber on ball recoveries was Liverpool’s Joe Gomez, another centre-back. The England international picked up 11 #UCLfantasy points on Matchday 1 after he recorded 16 ball recoveries as well as a clean sheet in a 1-0 win away at Ajax. Completing the top three was Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, the Brazilian making 15 ball recoveries even as his side slipped to a 3-2 home defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk.
As we look towards Matchday 2, a couple of players stand out as potentially high-value #UCLfantasy assets when taking into account their respective fixtures along with their ball recovery totals on Matchday 1. Priced at just €4.5m, Cristian Romero is one such player who could prove a shrewd purchase, with the Atalanta defender completed 14 ball recoveries in their 0-4 win away at Midtjylland whilst also registering an assist, accruing 14 Fantasy points. With three #UCLfantasy point outlets at his disposal (attacking returns, clean sheets and ball recoveries), Romero represents great value ahead of the Serie A side’s home tie against Ajax on Matchday 2.
Also worth considering is Dortmund’s Thomas Meunier who, like Romero, has proved to be a threat in both attack and defence. With 11 individual ball recoveries on Matchday 1, his ceiling for #UCLfantasy points also looks to be high in the second round of matches as Dortmund welcome Zenit to Germany.
Matchday 1: Most ball recoveries
|Federico Ricca||Club Brugge||Defender||€4.5m||13|