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Champions League Fantasy: Forwards for every budget

Forwards will take up the majority of most #UCLfantasy managers' budgets; UEFA.com presents a variety of options to suit every price range.

Choosing a prolific forward line is essential in #UCLfantasy so here’s a rundown of some tempting options at different price brackets.

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UEFA Forward of the Season 2020/21 - Erling Haaland
UEFA Forward of the Season 2020/21 - Erling Haaland

PREMIUM OPTIONS

#UCLfantasy managers are spoilt for choice when it comes to heavy-hitting forward options but a good place to start is Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland (€11.0m), who finished as the top scorer last season's UEFA Champions League with ten goals and recorded more Fantasy points (62) than any other striker. With just one point fewer, Paris's Kylian Mbappé (€10.5m) – slightly cheaper than the Norwegian star – is equally enticing while team-mate Neymar (€10.5m) was directly involved in nine goals in last year's competition, yet has a relatively low ownership of just 6% at present.

Two players who know a thing or two about finding the net in Europe are Cristiano Ronaldo (€11.0m) and Lionel Messi (€11.0m), who both have new clubs for this season – although Ronaldo is back on his former stamping ground. The pair have amassed 254 UEFA Champions League goals between them across their glittering careers so far, while third on the list of all-time scorers in the competition is Robert Lewandowski (€11.5m) who is showing no signs of slowing down his incredible scoring rate having struck 13 goals in his last eight competitive games for club and country.

Club Brugge v Paris: Mbappé's 2019 hat-trick
Club Brugge v Paris: Mbappé's 2019 hat-trick

Another forward re-treading old ground this season is Romelu Lukaku (€10.5m), now back at a Chelsea side who look perfectly set up to exploits the Belgian's strengths up front. The 28-year-old scored four goals in five appearances in last season's group stage for Inter, while his former strike partner Lautaro Martínez (€10.5m) has already found the net for the reigning Italian champions as well as Argentina this season and represents an intriguing premium differential.

MID-PRICED OPTIONS

There are likewise plenty of attractive options in the mid-range bracket and if any of these strikers can match the premium assets, their #UCLfantasy owners will be the ones to benefit. Ajax pair Dušan Tadić (€8.5m) and Sébastien Haller (€8.5m) have started the season strongly having each registered two goals and an assist in the Dutch champions' first three league fixtures. For those willing to pay a little more, André Silva (€9.0m) will be looking to make a big impact at new club Leipzig after scoring 28 goals for Eintracht Frankfurt in last season's Bundesliga.

Jota on hat-trick at Atalanta
Jota on hat-trick at Atalanta

#UCLfantasy managers are occasionally reluctant to include the likes of Premier League pair Mason Greenwood (€8.0m) and Diogo Jota (€8.0m) due to the threat of rotation at Manchester United and Liverpool respectively. However, the former in particular has begun the season in superb fashion by scoring in each of the Red Devils' first three league games and his ability to play in various positions may mean more UEFA Champions League minutes for him than last season.

Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri (€8.5m) was a consistent performer in the UEFA Champions League last season, scoring six goals despite four of his eight appearances coming from the bench. Having started all three of the Spanish side's Liga games so far this campaign, logging two goals and an assist in the process, the Moroccan international is poised to lead the line in Europe.

Watch Giroud highlights and reaction
Watch Giroud highlights and reaction

BUDGET OPTIONS

In order to create a balanced Fantasy squad, keeping one of the forward spots free for a budget option is a viable strategy and there are plenty of cheap enablers who could outperform their price. Two proven strikers at the highest level are Edin Džeko (€7.5m) and Olivier Giroud (€7.0m), now at local rivals Inter and AC Milan respectively. Both have already got off the mark this season.

Lassina Traoré (€6.5m) has also taken little time to adjust to new surroundings after having hit the net five times already for Shakhtar Donetsk since his summer move from Ajax. The Burkina Faso international could be the perfect budget-friendly option to complete your #UCLfantasy front line.

Champions League opening goals of the season
Champions League opening goals of the season

Antony (€7.0m) has given Ajax manager Erik ten Hag food for thought after taking just five minutes to score on his first start of the season just before the international break. The Brazilian found the net against Midtjylland in the UEFA Champions League last season and will be hopeful of further opportunities this time around.

Cyle Larin (€7.0m) is worth looking at given his goalscoring exploits with the Canadian international team having scored 12 goals in his 11 international appearances in 2021, while he has already been on the scoresheet for Beşiktaş in the Turkish Süper Lig this season. Larin has completely flown under the radar in #UCLfantasy circles yet looks capable of surprising a few if he can translate his form to the European stage.