#UCLfantasy popular picks and potential differentials

It's the semi-final first legs this week: do you need to take a few risks or can you afford to stick with the crowd?

Lionel Messi is once again the most popular Fantasy pick
Lionel Messi is once again the most popular Fantasy pick ©Getty Images

It's crunch time in the UEFA Champions League and #UCLfantasy mini-leagues alike as we reach the semi-finals, so where should you play it safe and where might you take a risk? UEFA.com investigates.

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Popular pick
Alisson (€5.8m) vs Barcelona (A)
The Liverpool stopper just edges out opposition goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen in the popularity stakes, with Alisson boasting an ownership of 22% compared with the Barcelona custodian's 20%. Liverpool's season has been built on a solid defensive foundation and with Jürgen Klopp's men posting four clean sheets in their last five games in all competitions, they are arguably one of the few sides capable of keeping Messi and Co at bay.
Selected by: 22%

Potential differential
Hugo Lloris (€6.1m) vs Ajax (H)
Tottenham's Lloris has had quite an eventful UEFA Champions League campaign from a Fantasy perspective; the Frenchman has produced four clean sheets and a penalty save but received minus points on matchday three due to a red card. It is perhaps that dismissal against PSV that has kept his ownership so low, but his returns since should be taken into account. In fact, Lloris has amassed 36 #UCLfantasy points since matchday five – more than any other goalkeeper still in the competition.
Selected by: 2%


Popular pick
Jordi Alba (€6.6m) vs Liverpool (H)
This is one occasion where price, popularity and Fantasy output all match up, as Barcelona's Alba is the most expensive #UCLfantasy defender, has earned the most points, and features in the most teams. With a goal and four assists in addition to five clean sheets in this year's competition, the Spaniard is capable of harvesting points at both ends of the pitch. Expect to see him charging up that left wing as the Catalan giants host Liverpool in Wednesday's first leg.
Selected by: 30%

Potential differential
Matthijs de Ligt (€4.8m) vs Tottenham (A)
Although Ajax haven't achieved a clean sheet in the competition since matchday five, there are other reasons why you may look to their young captain for Fantasy points. De Ligt's winning goal in Turin last time out capped a towering performance as the Dutch side eliminated Juventus, and also served to illustrate the 19-year-old's attacking threat. The Dutchman also scored in UEFA Champions League qualifying earlier in the season, and has added a further four domestic goals.
Selected by: 5%


Popular pick
Philippe Coutinho (€8.5m) vs Liverpool (H)
While not enjoying the best of seasons in the Spanish Liga, Coutinho has saved his best showings for Europe with three goals and two assists in the campaign. His last outing in the competition brought a stunning strike against Manchester United, and with his Barcelona team now welcoming Liverpool, Coutinho will look to inflict more damage on another English club – this time his former employers.
Selected by: 31%

Potential differential
Christian Eriksen (€9.0m) vs Ajax (H)
With surprisingly low ownership, Eriksen could be an excellent differential option in Tuesday's first leg in London. Prior to Saturday's Premier League defeat by West Ham, Tottenham had a 100% record at their new stadium and they will be determined to bounce back in order to head to Amsterdam with an advantage. Eriksen, boasting two goals and three assists in the competition this season, will be key to Spurs' hopes in the absence of Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son.
Selected by: 5%


Popular pick
Lionel Messi (€11.8m) vs Liverpool (H)
With fellow premium asset Cristiano Ronaldo out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage, Messi – already the highest owned #UCLfantasy player – has seen even more clamour for his inclusion. He loves playing against English opposition, although this will be Barcelona's first meeting with Liverpool since 2007 and the Argentinian will be looking to find the net against them for the first time. It's still a brave Fantasy manager that excludes this year's top scorer from their squad.
Selected by: 55%

Potential differential
David Neres (€7.0m) vs Tottenham (A)
Finding differential players at this point in the competition can be tricky but Ajax's David Neres is a tempting option at a budget-friendly price. The Brazilian has come alive in the knockout rounds, scoring against both Real Madrid and Juventus while also picking up an assist. With fearless Ajax in the hunt for away goals against Tottenham on Tuesday, the 3%-owned Neres could be your ace in the pack.
Selected by: 3%