Ahead of Matchday 2, who are the most popular players on #UCLfantasy and whose potential might have been missed?
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UEFA.com ponders some highly-owned Fantasy assets as well as a few crafty differentials for Matchday 2.Pick your Champions League Fantasy team for Matchday 2
Keylor Navas (€5.5m) vs İstanbul Başakşehir (A)
Paris recorded seven clean sheets from 11 games in last season's UEFA Champions League and Navas played a crucial role in his side’s run to the final. Whilst he could not secure a clean sheet on Matchday 1 in a 1-2 loss at home to Manchester United, he did still manage to record four saves over the course of the game. Well liked within #UCLfantasy quarters, Navas is sure to be a popular asset ahead of Paris’ Matchday 2 trip to İstanbul Başakşehir.
Selected by 16%
Yassine Bounou (€5.0m) vs Rennes (H)
Sevilla’s Moroccan stopper has made an impressive start to both the domestic and European campaign. Having conceded just three goals in his four Liga games this season, Bounou recorded four saves as his side held Chelsea to a 0-0 draw away from home on Matchday 1. Priced at only €5.0m, Bounou could prove a shrewd acquisition for those looking for a clean sheet from their keeper on Matchday 2, as Sevilla welcome French debutants Rennes to Spain.
Selected by 4%
Achraf Hakimi (€6.0m) vs Shakhtar Donetsk (A)
There was frustration among many #UCLfantasy managers on Matchday 1 after Hakimi missed Internazionale’s home draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach due to illness. The wing-back is in line to return to Antonio Conte's starting line-up on Matchday 2, as the Italians face Shakhtar Donetsk. Last season, Hakimi became widely revered for his attacking exploits at Dortmund, scoring four times in the UEFA Champions League, including twice against his current employers. With such a high potential for points, it is no surprise to see the defender so highly valued among fantasy football managers.
Selected by 31%
Joe Gomez (€5.5m) vs Midtjylland (H)
Despite missing first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker and star central defender Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool still managed to keep a clean sheet on Matchday 1. The reigning Premier League champions defeated Ajax 0-1 in Amsterdam, where it was another centre-back who shone for the Reds. Joe Gomez stepped into the breach magnificently in the absence of Van Dijk, completing 16 ball recoveries (the second most of all the players who featured on Matchday 1) and accumulating 11 Fantasy points in total. With Van Dijk a long-term absence, Gomez is expected to keep his place in the Liverpool backline and could prove quite the sleeper pick in terms of #UCLfantasy points potential.
Selected by 2%
Wílmar Barrios (€4.5m) vs Dortmund (A)
Barrios is one player who is benefitting greatly from the ball recovery system. One of the lowest-priced players on #UCLfantasy, the Colombian has proven an incredibly popular budget midfielder so far and currently boasts an ownership of 47%. On Matchday 1 he recorded ten ball recoveries, taking his overall points tally up to five despite not registering an attacking return in Zenit's 1-2 defeat at home to Club Brugge. Next up for the reigning Russian champions is a trip to Dortmund and despite the difficulty of the fixture, owners of Barrios can be confident of another healthy #UCLfantasy points return.
Selected by 47%
Kingsley Coman (€8.0m) vs Lokomotiv Moskva (A)
Coman was the star of the show for Bayern on Matchday 1, with two goals and an assist for the attacking winger in the reigning European champions’ 4-0 win against Atlético in Munich. That performance brought him 16 fantasy points, the most of any midfielder and the second highest total overall for Matchday 1. Coman, who scored the winning goal in last season’s UEFA Champions League final, could well be in line for another start on Matchday 2 at Lokomotiv Moskva. The Frenchman provides a differential route into the Bayern midfield and that could be crucial considering the attacking threat posed by Hansi Flick’s side.
Selected by 4%
Lionel Messi (€12.0m) vs Juventus (A)
Messi got his and Barcelona’s UEFA Champions League campaign off to a flying start, scoring a penalty that he won himself and providing an assist in the Catalan giants’ opening group stage fixture at home to Ferencváros. Messi racked up 11 #UCLfantasy points in Barca’s 5-1 victory over the Hungarian champions, reminding everyone that once again he is likely to be amongst the top performers in Europe’s most prestigious club competition. Matchday 2 brings a stern test for Messi and his team as they meet Serie A champions Juventus in Turin. Messi, who scored twice against Juventus in 2017, thrives on the big stage and that bodes well for his owners ahead of Matchday 2.
Selected by 37%
Duván Zapata (€9.5m) vs Ajax (H)
Italian side Atalanta have begun this season’s UEFA Champions League in the same way they approached the latter stages of last year’s campaign: with lots of goals. Zapata is reaping the benefits of playing for such an attacking team, not only scoring on Matchday 1, but also registering two assists and picking up 13 #UCLfantasy points as La Dea swept past Midtjylland in Denmark. With such a low ownership percentage, the Colombian forward must be considered an incredibly enticing differential option for #UCLfantasy managers on Matchday 2 as Atalanta host an Ajax side beaten at home by Liverpool in their opening group stage fixture.
Selected by 3%