Before Matchday 9, UEFA.com is tackling some sought-after tips, as well as those that may surprise.
Choose your Champions League Fantasy Team
Edouard Mendy (€ 5.2 million) against postage
Chelsea have established themselves as one of the strongest defensive units in European football since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival. Led by the German, the Blues have conceded 12 goals from 14 games in all competitions, with the last seven games all ending in failures. Unsurprisingly, goalkeeper Mendy has become a popular pick for #UCLfantasy on Matchday 9. The Senegalese stopper was in brilliant shape during his first season of competition. Mendy has already played six clean sheets, scored 20 saves and earned 42 # UCLfantasy points, especially the remaining goalkeepers who are still involved.
Owned by 19%
Alisson Becker (€ 5.9m) against Real Madrid
While key injuries have contributed to Liverpool’s defensive battles in the Premier League, it was a completely different story in the UEFA Champions League, as they went six clean sheets in their eight games. After missing game days 5 and 6, Alisson returned to Liverpool’s round of 16 against Leipzig. The Brazilian international was very impressed and prevented the Bundesliga from hitting two legs in the 4-0 overall win. Alisson is expected to be busy again on Matchday 9 as Liverpool face Real Madrid in the quarter-finals. However, with a 3% stake, he can prove to be a valuable differential pick with a small pool of goalkeepers to choose from at this point.
Owned by 3%
Trent Alexander-Arnold (€ 6.7m) against Real Madrid
Despite the problems in Liverpool, defender Alexander-Arnold was a player who remained a popular choice for #UCLfantasy throughout the season. The right-back has added five goals to his high fantasy point participation both in defense and in the future, complemented by two assists over the course of his six UEFA Champions League games. That earned him a total of 50 points and made Alexander-Arnold the joint defender of #UCLfantasy with the highest score in the quarter-finals. The English international’s ability from set pieces could prove crucial in Liverpool’s quest to unlock the Madrid defense, which brings both goal and support potential. Combine that with the Premier League goals in this season’s UEFA Champions League and it’s easy to see why the 22-year-old is in high possession on Matchday 9.
Owned by 21%
Alessandro Florenzi (€ 5.0m) against Bayern
Florenzi have started in all eight Paris games this season and Maurizio Pochettino’s side will travel to Munich desperately conceding a goal in the first leg of the quarter-finals. The Italian full-back was part of a defense that had only two failures in eight games. However, with 33 ball recoveries completed, Florenzi managed to score nine extra points for his small possession, giving him a total of 32 points. While the Florenzi ball recovery system offers a welcome opportunity to score points, the absence of injured Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski increases the chances for him and Paris of cleansing on Matchday 9.
Owned by 2%
Casemiro (€ 6.3m) against Liverpool
After Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro was suspended on Matchday 8, he is expected to return to the starting line-up on Matchday 9 against Liverpool. The Brazilian has won large numbers of # UCLfantasy owners due to his ability to win the ball and has had the highest number of ball restorations of any quarterfinal midfielder (53). These restores resulted in his fantasy score increasing a massive 16 points as a result. However, it is also worth considering the attack threat posed by the midfielder, who recorded both a goal and an assist in the group stage. These factors make Casemiro a popular game day 9 fantasy option.
Owned by 17%
Kevin De Bruyne (€ 11.3m) against Dortmund
While De Bruyne didn’t have as much to offer in the UEFA Champions League this season as would have been expected for Manchester City due to injury issues, the Belgian midfielder has always played brilliantly when he hit the field. From his three European starts on Matchdays 2, 3 and 8, De Bruyne has scored ten points each time with a goal and four assists for his name, which means he has hugely rewarded his small # UCLfantasy possession on those rare appearances. Manchester City reach the quarter-finals with De Bruyne expected to be one of the first names on Josep Guardiola’s team sheet and the midfielder looks like an extremely tempting, if somewhat unexpected, nuanced choice for Matchday 9.
Owned by 6%
Kylian Mbappé (€ 11.0m) against Bayern
As one of the stars of the round of 16, Mbappé starred for Paris in the elimination of Barcelona after his hat-trick was reinforced by another goal in the first leg on Matchday 8 to allow the Parisians to advance to the quarter-finals. The 22-year-old is in splendid form in the UEFA Champions League, scoring six goals and assisting in the last three European games in Paris. From these games alone, he scored a total of 33 # UCLfantasy points. Mbappé has a total of 47 points, behind Dortmund’s Erling Haaland among the strikers. The owners of the French superstar expect him to contribute to this record on matchday 9 against Bayern. The defending champions failed to concede a goal against Lazio in the round of 16 and Mbappé will undoubtedly pose a major threat to the scorers, especially on the counterattack.
Owned by 27%
Karim Benzema (€ 10.4m) against Liverpool
After recovering from an injury that kept him away from Real Madrid in the first leg of the first leg at Atalanta, Benzema played a pivotal role in the second leg on Matchday 8, scoring his fifth UEFA Champions League goal of the season in a 3 -1 win. The 33-year-old forward has found the net three times in his last two games in the UEFA Champions League, earning 18 # UCLfantasy points in those 180 minutes. The last six games in all competitions have scored eight goals in that time and 23 over the course of the season achieved. Given these compelling stats, the French is a smart differential option.
Owned by 6%