As the competition gets down to its last 32, UEFA Cup Fantasy Cup makes a welcome return on uefa.com. And The Tipster, riding high in the top one per cent in UEFA Champions League Fantasy Football, is here to help you pick your team.
The action begins in earnest on Thursday, so you have six days to register and condense the 700-plus player list into a world-beating 12-man squad.
Remember that only Thursday matches count in UEFA Cup Fantasy Cup, so disregard the Paris Saint-Germain FC v Boavista FC and Hertha BSC Berlin v Fulham FC matches for your first selection. Remember also that the unlimited transfer system allows you to change your team after each series of matches, so you need only pick a team that you think will perform well in Thursday's opening-leg matches and then start from scratch for the second legs.
The first tip from The Tipster is to learn from Champions League Fantasy Football statistics. Four of the top ten points-scoring goalkeepers in the first group stage are available for selection in Fantasy Cup: Vitaliy Reva of FC Dynamo Kyiv (three clean sheets in five Champions League matches), Dionisios Chiotis of AEK Athens FC, Club Brugge KV's Dany Verlinden and Fabien Cool of AJ Auxerre. Similarly, defenders Timmy Simons and Sami Hyypiä are proven in defence.
The best bet in midfield is Olympique Lyonnais playmaker Eric Carrière. The Frenchman was second highest points scorer among midfield players in the first group stage of Champions League Fantasy Football, after also scoring heavily in last season's competition. Vassilios Tsartas, Aleksandr Khatskevich and Danny Murphy also provide proven points-scoring ability in this sector.
In attack, Yakubu Ayegbeni, Sonny Anderson, Daniel Moreira and Michael Owen were all among the top scorers in the first stage of this season's Champions League. In addition, Alan Smith of Leeds United AFC, Pascal Feindouno of FC Girondins de Bordeaux, Stepan Vachousek of SK Slavia Praha, Celtic FC forward Henrik Larsson, Mustafa Özkan of Denizlispor and Wisla Kraków's Maciej Zurawski have all scored freely this season.
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