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Champions League Fantasy Football: Top tips for starting out

New to Fantasy this season? Follow UEFA.com's beginners' guide to get the most out of the game and be in with a chance of winning some top prizes!

The new UEFA Champions League season means the return of UEFA.com's popular Fantasy Football game, presented by PlayStation, giving managers the chance to score points and win fantastic prizes by selecting from some of European football's top players.

For managers new to the game in 2023/24, there's some unique features that will help ensure you get the most out of it and maximise your scores!

Pick your Fantasy squad for Matchday 1
Fantasy Football: All you need to know

Wait for line-ups where you can

A big advantage for Fantasy managers is that the deadline is kick-off in the opening game of that matchday – generally 18:45 CET on Tuesday in the group stage and 21:00 CET in the knockout rounds. This means that – in addition to referring to UEFA.com's possible line-up piece, published every Monday of a matchweek – managers have the chance to check out some confirmed starting line-ups before making their final selection.

Managers therefore have the opportunity to check any injury or selection decisions before finalising their Fantasy team. While this is useful in the group stage, it's even more crucial in the knockout rounds, when there are fewer games so ensuring your players are involved is vital.

Substitutions within a matchday

In Fantasy, managers pick a 15-player squad – and they have the chance to use it all, as substitutions between Tuesday and Wednesday games are a key feature. This means that, should certain players not deliver the required points returns on a Tuesday, managers can replace them with players who are not in action until the following day.

With that in mind, a useful tip is to initially focus on Tuesday players but try to ensure your squad also has options for the following day, so you can make changes if you need to.

Read the Fantasy rules

Change your captain

Similarly, the captain – who scores double points – can also be switched mid-matchday. Just as it's important to ensure your squad contains a mixture of players who have games on different days, it's a good idea to pick a strong captain option for both Tuesday and Wednesday as sometimes you'll need to switch for the best returns.

With the captain's score likely to make or break your matchday total, it's worth considering investing the bulk of your funds – €100m in the group stage, rising to €105m for the knockouts – in contenders for the armband. These will generally be the highest-profile and most potent players on the game, and as a result the most expensive, so pick wisely!

Use your free transfers

Fantasy managers can make unlimited changes twice during the season – before Matchday 1 and also ahead of Matchday 7, the first legs of the round of 16 ties – but there's also plenty of opportunity to tinker with your squad the rest of the time. With at least two weeks between Champions League matches in the group stage, players can get injured or be rested from one matchday to the next, so it's important to keep a close eye on selection.

Throughout the group stage, managers get two free transfers per matchday, rising to three in the round of 16 second legs, five before the first legs of the quarter and semi-finals, three before each of those second legs and five for the final. In addition, any further transfers in excess of the free moves will cost you -4 points each – sometimes it might be essential, but it's usually best to only make additional changes if you have to.

Focus on certain clubs

Champions League Fantasy also lets you to use your resources to focus on clubs you think will enjoy success in their matches. For the group stage, you can select a maximum of three players per club but, as with free transfers, this increases as the competition progresses through the knockout rounds.

Fantasy teams can include a maximum of four players per club in the round of 16, five in the quarter-finals, six in the semis and eight for the final. That allows Fantasy managers to select representatives from clubs they think will both win on any given matchday, but also to look longer term and use players whose sides are likely to progress furthest in the competition.