Champions League Fantasy Football: Popular Picks and Potential Differentials
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Thibaut Courtois or Odysseas Vlachodimos? João Cancelo or Theo Hernández? Jude Bellingham or Galeno? Erling Haaland or Victor Osimhen? UEFA.com considers the choices.
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With unlimited transfers ahead of the UEFA Champions League restart, UEFA.com casts an eye on some of the most popular picks ahead of the round of 16, alongside a selection of lesser-owned players who could spring a surprise on Matchday 7 of #UCLfantasy, presented by Playstation.
Thibaut Courtois (€5.9m) vs Liverpool (A)
The Real Madrid No1 comes into Matchday 7 as comfortably the highest-owned goalkeeper on Fantasy. The Belgian stopper only featured in four of the holders' six group stage games, but two clean sheets, a penalty save and 17 saves brought him 25 Fantasy points. Carlo Ancelotti's side face Liverpool in the round of 16 with the first leg at Anfield with Courtois having conceded just one goal in his last four starts for Madrid.
Owned by 33%
Odysseas Vlachodimos (€5.0m) vs Club Brugge (A)
Although Vlachodimos has not replicated his Fantasy returns of last season, the Benfica goalkeeper's excellent recent domestic form makes him worthy of serious consideration. The Greek international has four successive clean sheets in the Portuguese Liga and with Benfica away to Club Brugge in the first leg of their round of 16 clash, will be looking to add to the single shut-out he managed in his five group appearances.
Owned by 5%
João Cancelo (€6.7m) vs Paris (A)
Cancelo's January loan move from Manchester City to Bayern has had no effect on his Fantasy ownership; the attacking full-back is one of just three players in all positions – and the only defender – with an ownership in excess of 50%. Cancelo has been deployed on the right side to great effect since joining Bayern, already gaining two assists for his new side. His vast ownership will now be hoping to see the same offensive potency against Paris as Cancelo aims to add to his four assists from the group stage.
Owned by 54%
Theo Hernández (€5.9m) vs Tottenham (H)
Although bringing in Hernández has to be considered a risk given his high price-tag and AC Milan's recent form, the potential rewards are significant. Hernández should be afforded plenty of opportunity to push forward from left-back and with Milan at home in the first leg against Tottenham, the Italian champions will be eager for a first-leg lead. The Rossoneri also kept clean sheets in their last two group stage matches, Hernández starting both games.
Owned by 7%
Jude Bellingham (€7.5m) vs Chelsea (H)
Having already scored once this season against English opposition, Bellingham will be looking to make his mark once again against Chelsea as Dortmund aim to lay the foundations for round of 16 success on Matchday 7. Bellingham lit up the group stage from central midfield, scoring four times, setting up one and earning two Player of the Match awards, all of which led to a Fantasy total of 49 points, the second highest among midfielders. Bellingham already boasts three double-figure scores in five starts across the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League.
Owned by 35%
Galeno (€5.8m) vs Inter (A)
Despite recording the joint fourth highest Fantasy score of 41 points among midfielders, the Porto winger remains largely overlooked, providing a potential opportunity for those looking for a differential asset capable of attacking returns. Galeno delivered 35 Fantasy points across Porto’s most recent four fixtures in the UEFA Champions League after scoring twice, adding an assist and twice being named Player of the Match. The Portuguese champions will surely see Galeno as one of their most dangerous attacking resources on Matchday 7, as Porto travel to Inter.
Owned by 2%
Erling Haaland (€11.1m) vs Leipzig (A)
Despite limited match time across the group stage, Haaland still managed to make his mark, scoring five goals and picking up 26 #UCLfantasy points in only 249 minutes of football. With the UEFA Champions League into the knockout stage, Pep Guardiola is likely to rely more heavily on his attacking spearhead. Haaland has been in scintillating domestic form all season, scoring 25 Premier League goals including four hat-tricks. The most popular forward on Fantasy and the second most owned player in all positions, Haaland will be aiming to add to the six goals he scored in his four appearances for Dortmund against Leipzig.
Owned by 53%
Victor Osimhen (€7.9m) vs Frankfurt (A)
Only Osimhen's lack of minutes in the group stage explains his low ownership among Fantasy managers, but the top scorer in Serie A this season will be looking to make a big impact for Napoli against Eintracht Frankfurt. The Nigerian forward is one of the most in-form strikers in Europe at present with seven goals in his last five league matches, and he can expect to lead the line for Luciano Spalletti's side in Germany on Matchday 7. Given Napoli scored 20 goals over the course of the group stage, Osimhen could prove to be the ultimate differential diamond.
Owned by 2%