The Scout's opening squad of the new UEFA Champions League season includes Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Robert Lewandowski and Mauro Icardi, but there is no room for Erling Haaland.
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The Scout's first squad of the new #UCLfantasy season, presented by Playstation, is a mixture of players who have delivered in the UEFA Champions League in the past and those who have started the new domestic season in good form.
With Barcelona and Real Madrid at home to Champions League debutants on Matchday 1, both provide goalkeepers for the Scout squad. Barcelona welcome Antwerp on Tuesday and Marc-André ter Stegen (€5.5m) has managed three clean sheets in five Liga appearances this season.
Should the Belgian champions succeed in scoring in Barcelona, attention will switch to Real Madrid, who take on Union Berlin at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday. With Thibaut Courtois facing a lengthy lay-off, Kepa (€5.0m) is in line to deputise having conceded only once in his first two appearances since joining in the summer.
Barcelona are also represented among the five defenders, with on-loan João Cancelo (€6.0m) having marked his home debut with a goal at the weekend – and also provided four assists in last season's Champions League, four of them in the group stage. The versatile Portuguese defender's parent club Manchester City are at home to Crvena zvezda to kick off their trophy defence and there could be an opportunity for Sergio Gómez (€4.5m), who registered two clean sheets and an assist last season.
Another stand-out performer from 2022/23 was Inter's Matteo Darmian (€4.5m), who picked up 50 Fantasy points with six clean sheets and is again selected for the trip to Real Sociedad. David Raum (€4.5m) is also away, his Leipzig side going to Swiss champions Young Boys having won their last two Bundesliga games 3-0 with the defender scoring their third goal on Saturday, while Abdülkerim Bardakci (€4.5m) is a key part of a Galatasaray defence who are at home to Copenhagen having conceded in only two of their last ten Turkish league outings.
There is only one place to start in midfield – with the most popular player on Fantasy at the time of writing. Jude Bellingham (€7.5m) is in 74% of teams and has scored in his first four La Liga games for Real Madrid. Leroy Sané (€9.0m) has also hit the ground running in 2023/24, scoring three goals in his first four Bundesliga games and also scoring twice for Germany in the international break, so he comes in for Bayern München's home game against Manchester United.
Another Germany-based player in form is Leipzig's Xavi Simons (€6.5m), who has three goals and four assists already in this season's Bundesliga, while Inter's Henrikh Mkhitaryan (€7.0m) scored twice at the weekend to open his account for the season having managed 51 Fantasy points in 2022/23. Kerem Aktürkoglu (€6.0m) completes the midfield having registered three goals and three assists in four Turkish Super League games this season.
The obvious fact up front is no place for last season's top scorer Erling Haaland as he may be due for a rest as Manchester City kick off against Crvena zvezda; similarly, budget constraints rule out Kylian Mbappé, but the nature of the Champions League is that there are a host of other talents from which to choose. One of the brightest is Harry Kane (€10.5m), scorer of four Bundesliga goals after his summer switch to Bayern.
Robert Lewandowski (€10.5m) is also on a scoring streak, finding the net in Barcelona's last three matches – and looking for a repeat of his Matchday 1 hat-trick in 2022/23. Runs of form do not come much hotter than Mauro Icardi (€9.0m), however, who has found the net in Galatasaray's last six games – eight goals in total – and has scored in each of his last 11 starting appearances for the Turkish champions, hitting 18 goals in those matches.