With the new UEFA Champions League season knocking on the door, this is a very busy week for UCL fantasy managers to pick the best players possible from the available bunch of players playing in UCL this season. Since the number of players available is huge and you are given a budget of 100 million to build a 15 men squad (11 players in starting XI + 4 Substitutes), every manager has to be very careful about the players they pick. Although there are many players who have proved themselves previously in the Champions League, there are many new players as well who can add valuable points to your squad. And above all, there are many factors that determine the performance of the players as well the points you will gain from your overall squad in a particular Gameweek. Here is a brief UCL Fantasy Beginners Guide on how you may construct your initial squad effectively to be a top player in your mini-leagues in the coming Gameweek. We will be also providing you with all the necessary guidance throughout the entire season for making the best UCL Fantasy squad.
Tips and Tricks to build a strong squad: 5 things to remember
1. Aim for a Balanced Squad
Since you have to pick a squad of 15 players, your squad will be built according to a particular formation you choose and your team will have Forwards, Midfielders, Defenders, and Goalkeepers. Therefore your squad will be made up of:
- Two goalkeepers
- Five defenders
- Five midfielders
- Three forwards
Sometimes people tend to spend more on Forwards and Midfielders and they have to end up with low-priced Defenders and Goalkeepers, which proves to be a fatal mistake. Always aim for choosing a balanced squad and don’t waste excessive money only on one type of player, rather pick players wisely from the pool of Forwards, Midfielders, Defenders, and Goalkeepers. Also, pick your substitutes wisely as well and don’t try to buy too cheap players as substitutes just because you don’t have enough funds after making your first XI. Always remember your substitutes can give you more points if your regular squad players fail on a particular day. With a maximum of three players that can be selected from one club for the group stage, try to keep those players who are regular starters from their respective teams to ensure more points.
2. Keep an eye on the Injury list
Selecting the nailed-on starters is always going to increase your chances of success in the UCL Fantasy Quarter Finals. Also one of the main key factors or your success will be to avoid any last-minute injuries. So remember to keep an eye on our UCL Fantasy Injury list to make sure which players make the final cut for the individual teams and on whom you should remain cautious about or avoid totally.
3. Watch the opponents of Every Gameweek
A very important factor that determines how many points your team can collect is the opponents against which the players are playing. Remember once you build your initial team, you can only make two transfers in between two Gameweeks without using wildcard or limitless chips, so take a good look at the opponents your players will be facing for each Gameweek as well as in entire group stage matches. Here is an example on how the opponents are important.
Suppose, in the group of Manchester City, there are Olympiacos, Porto, and Marseille but in the group of Manchester United, the other teams are Istanbul Basaksehir, Paris Saint-Germain, and RB Leipzig. Now the opponent’s Manchester City players will be facing are comparatively weaker than the opponent’s Manchester United will be facing. This means a Manchester City defender and goalkeeper have a better chance of keeping more clean sheets throughout the entire group stage than a Manchester United defender or goalkeeper. Which will ensure more points for your team. The same goes for a forward or midfielder who have more chance of scoring goals or providing assists depending on their opponents in a particular Gameweek. Hence, always remember to check the opponent teams a player will be facing before constructing your squad.
4. Monitor Player Ownership and Prices regularly
The ‘Selected by %‘ in each player’s profile is a useful statistic to monitor as it allows the managers to see how popular their player picks are. For those who need to gain some points in their mini-leagues and climb up the rankings, there are plenty of tempting options with low ownership amongst the remaining teams. If your differential produces the results, you are bound to fly up in the rankings. However, remember certain players are highly-owned for a reason, and going without them represents a significant risk, so balance is key. Try to maintain a proper balance between differentials and highly owned players in your squad.
5. Selecting a Captain for each game week
Choosing the right captain can make or break your matchday since the point of your captain is multiplied by two and added to your total points. With the group stage scheduled, it is worth looking at who the top candidates are from each of the fixtures and building your squad around those players as well as picking a captain. However, you can change the captain between two matchdays of a game week, but only the player selected as captain at the end of the game week will be awarded a double point. Since the selection is more thus so is the hassle of getting the correct choice. Don’t worry we have your issues covered in our UCL Fantasy article.
Premium Options for your Initial Squad
As mentioned earlier, for the group stage you are allowed to make only two free transfers between gameweeks, hence it is important to have some players in each category who can ensure points to your team throughout the entire group stage. Here is a list of players you can pick for your squad in each category to ensure points.
1. Robert Lewandowski (Forward)
Robert Lewandowski is currently in very good form and so is his team Bayern Munich. The champions of the last season are ready to kick start their Champions League season with a bang, and since Lewandowski has started the season in Bundesliga with the goalscoring form he finished in last season it is very safe to keep Lewandowski in your squad. Lewandowski is also a safe candidate to be chosen as captain with his current goalscoring form, as a handsome number of goals or assists are expected from him in the group stage.
2. Erling Braut Haaland (Forward)
Erling Braut Haaland is another forward you can keep in your team. Haaland was another top-scoring forward in Europe last season and he has started this season for Borussia Dortmund with the same goalscoring form with 4 goals in 3 matches in Bundesliga. Haaland always finds the net against his opponent, and since he is now a regular starter for Dortmund, he could be proven as a point-scoring machine in your squad.
3. Mohamed Salah (Midfielder)
Although Mohamed Salah is a forward, similar to FPL, UEFA has categorized him in the midfielder category. So if want to keep the Liverpool talisman in your squad you have to keep him in the Midfielder category. It has its own plus points, Salah is on penalty duties and you get the additional points of goals and assists due to him being categorized as a midfielder. Salah has been one of the most consistent players in the Premier League as well as the Champions League for the last three seasons and he is worth the price to keep in your squad. Salah is another candidate to be captain for the first matchday.
4. Ansu Fati (Midfielder)
The young Barcelona player has established himself as a starter of Ronald Koeman‘s team and he has also been directly involved in 4 goals in 3 matches in La Liga. Keeping his current form in mind, he can be a healthy inclusion in your squad. Another advantage of having him in the squad is, his price is comparatively less (8 million) than many top players.
5. Kevin De Bruyne (Midfielder)
In Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, it is always difficult to predict which player will start and so it increases the risk of including a player from Manchester City in your fantasy squad. But Kevin De Bruyne is one of the few undisputed starters, especially in a big match like the Champions League opening day fixture. Besides, De Bruyne is currently one of the best midfielders in the world who is always involved in the game. Keeping De Bruyne in your squad is another way of ensuring points.
6. Achraf Hakimi (Defender)
In your UCL fantasy squad, keeping a defender who is often involved in goals is another way of scoring more points and hence come Achraf Hakimi. Hakimi recently joined Serie A club Inter Milan, but he has adopted in Antonio Conte’s squad very well and is scoring and assisting in Serie A as well. He was also one of the highest point earning defenders last season in UCL fantasy.
7. Joshua Kimmich (Defender)
Kimmich was a member of the last season’s champion squad and was a very impactful player throughout the season. He is a regular starter and is often involved in goals, clearances, interceptions which made him one of the top point-earning defender of UCL fantasy last season. Kimmich is one of those defenders you should definitely have in your squad.
8. Sergio Ramos (Defender)
The Real Madrid captain can be a dark horse pick in your UCL fantasy squad this season. Since Real Madrid is one of the best defensive teams in Europe who conceded the least number of goals and kept the most clean sheets last season among Europe’s top five leagues, the same form is expected from them in Champions League this season as well. With the clean sheets expected from Real Madrid, their captain and first defender Sergio Ramos can add good points. Also since Sergio Ramos is Real Madrid’s first-choice penalty taker and second highest goal scorer for the team in last season, he can be a good addition in your fantasy squad.
With our UCL fantasy guide, we expect that you will be a very successful UCL fantasy manager for the season 2020-21. Remember, Fantasy games are just picking and excluding correct players at the correct time. Additionally, choosing a captain can be a decisive factor just because of his double point. Not only these, you have to choose “Wildcard” & “Limitless” very carefully as they can be a gamechanger.
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Which player among these are you planning to feature in your starting 11 in UCL 2020-21 Fantasy squad? Have you liked our UCL Fantasy Beginners Guide Guide? Do you have any suggestions about our UCL Fantasy Guide? Let us know in the comment section below