Ederson or Gregor Kobel? Alejandro Grimaldo or Alessandro Bastoni? Vinicíus Júnior or Kingsley Coman? Kylian Mbappé or Harry Kane? UEFA.com considers the choices.
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As Matchday 8 of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League approaches, UEFA.com looks at some of the most popular picks heading into the round of 16 second legs, and a selection of lesser-owned players who could prove shrewd differential options on #UCLfantasy, presented by Playstation.
Ederson (€6.0m) vs Leipzig (H)
Manchester City's tie with Leipzig remains in the balance after a 1-1 draw in Germany. Ederson, making his first UEFA Champions League appearance since Matchday 4, picked up three Fantasy points which took the second highest-owned goalkeeper to an overall score of 23. The Brazilian has conceded just twice in five matches in this season's competition, keeping three clean sheets. Another shut-out on Matchday 8 will give Pep Guardiola's side an excellent chance of progressing into the quarter-finals.
Owned by 15%
Gregor Kobel (€5.0m) vs Chelsea (A)
An excellent individual performance from Dortmund's No1 helped the Bundesliga side to a 1-0 home first-leg win against Chelsea. A clean sheet and eight saves helped earn Kobel eight Fantasy points, a score matched by just one other goalkeeper on Matchday 7. Chelsea have scored just once in their last six games in all competitions, so the low-owned Kobel could serve as a key goalkeeping differential.
Owned by 1%
Alejandro Grimaldo (€5.3m) vs Club Brugge (H)
The Fantasy performances of Grimaldo have given the Benfica full-back an ownership bettered by just one other defender ahead of Matchday 8. Grimaldo's potency has brought four attacking returns in the UEFA Champions League this season, and a 20-point-haul on Matchday 1. With 24 points in the last three matchdays, Grimaldo is commanding huge attention going into Matchday 8, in which his Benfica team look to secure their place in the quarter-finals at the expense of Club Brugge. With the potential for points at both ends of the pitch, his Fantasy appeal shows no signs of lessening.
Owned by 22%
Alessandro Bastoni (€5.5m) vs Porto (A)
The centre-back has been a key cog in Inter's defence across their 2022/23 UEFA Champions League campaign, starting six of their seven matches and keeping a clean sheet in four. Another shut-out in Portugal on Matchday 8 would take the three-time European champions into the quarter-finals, which could bode well for Bastoni's Fantasy credentials. The Italian international is yet to score less than four points in a match this season, picking up 37 in total.
Owned by 3%
Vinícius Júnior (€10.0m) vs Liverpool (H)
No player in any position accumulated a higher Fantasy score than the Real Madrid man on Matchday 7, the 22-year-old leading the holders' remarkable turnaround at Liverpool. The Brazilian also kept up his record of earning an attacking return in every UEFA Champions League match he has started this season. Currently the third highest-scorer in all positions with 57 Fantasy points, Vinícius could get more chances on Matchday 8 as Liverpool push forward in a bid to overturn their three-goal aggregate deficit. With Vinícius the fourth most-owned player on #UCLfantasy, it would be a huge risk to overlook him.
Owned by 39%
Kingsley Coman (€8.0m) vs Paris (H)
The Parisian-born winger once again came back to haunt his former club in the first leg, scoring the only goal in Bayern's 1-0 victory at Paris having done the same in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions final. Given Coman's recent goalscoring form and his record against Paris, Fantasy managers seeking a low-owned midfielder capable of significant attacking returns should look no further. Coman has found the net in each of his last four appearances in all competitions for the German champions, five goals in total, and Bayern have not failed to score in a home fixture since February 2020.
Owned by 2%
Kylian Mbappé (€11.4m) vs Bayern (A)
Although currently the second highest Fantasy scorer with 63 points to his name, Mbappé suffered a rare blank – albeit off the bench – on Matchday 7 as Paris failed to breach a resolute Bayern defence. However, a one-goal deficit means everything is still to play for in Germany and Mbappé is often the man for the big occasion. The striker already has seven goals and three assists in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League and has been named Player of the Match on four occasions, more than anyone else. Mbappé's vast Fantasy ownership will be expecting another memorable performance in Munich.
Owned by 41%
Harry Kane (€10.5m) vs Milan (H)
After losing 1-0 in Milan, Tottenham have work to do back in north London. If the Premier League outfit are to progress, they will need their talismanic forward to lead the charge. Despite 18 Premier League goals this season, Kane has yet to show the same level of return in Europe, scoring just one and picking up two assists. Perhaps this has contributed to his low Fantasy ownership, but in Tottenham's biggest match of the season so far, Matchday 8 at home to Milan may well be the game in which Kane make a decisive impact.
Owned by 6%