The UEFA Champions League knockout stage is pretty much ‘knocking’ on the doors, with the impending Round of 16 fixtures for the topmost European clubs. The clash of the heavyweights, some action-packed intense football is what the UCL has always gifted us and will continue to do so in the near future too. Especially with the fans now getting involved in the tournament in the form of Fantasy Football, makes the competition more interesting. The real-life matches themselves are so exciting, let alone fantasy football.
In a previous edition, we discussed some cheap beasts you could keep in your fantasy squads, but in the current one, we will discuss the top captain choices for the competition of Round-of-16 games. These players are selected based upon their fixtures, their consistency of giving points, and current form and you can consider captaining them if you own them actually. There would be 8 matches in the first leg, played over 4 match-days (2 games per day). For each matchday, you may substitute in your players from the bench or change the captaincies (note that you might lose the points of the subbed off a player and also lose the double points of your previous captain. So substitute wisely). The captain choices for every game-day are given accordingly.
Day 1 (16th February)
Barcelona vs Paris Saint Germain & RB Leipzig vs Liverpool FC
Kylian Mbappe (€10.9m)
The Frenchman along with his strike partner Neymar, are favorite choices for fantasy managers. However, with the latter one being sidelined with an injury, all hopes are now upon Mbappe for the points. He faces a Barcelona team currently struggling defensively, hence he will be a good captaincy choice. He has gathered a total of 27 points in his 5 matches in group stage.
Mohamed Salah (€11.6m)
The Liverpool winger(midfielder in the game) is already an FPL great. His team faces Leipzig at a neutral venue, with Salah being the penalty-taker and currently the highest scorer in Premier League, he is another captaincy option from the 1st day of Round-of-16 matches. Midfielders always get an extra point for a goal than the forwards, which makes it 2, if they are the captain. So captaining midfielders are always recommended. Salah is also the highest point-scoring midfielder[34 points in 6 matches] from the group stages, a noteworthy fact.
Day 2 (17th February)
Porto vs Juventus; Sevilla vs Borussia Dortmund
Cristiano Ronaldo (€12.0m)
The Portuguese talisman missed the first two UCL fixtures but has contributed towards goals in the remaining 4 matches he played. Needless to say, he’s one of the favorite captain choices for this day. He is also the current top scorer in Serie A, and given his comparative underdog opponent, he is expected to shine in the match. Ronaldo has managed to bag a total of 30 points in 4 matches he played.
Erling Braut Haaland (€11.1m)
The 20-year-old Norwegian has been a sensation so far in his career, be it in his RB Salzburg days, national team, or now for Borussia Dortmund. He just loves to score and he is currently the 3rd highest goalscorer in the ongoing Bundesliga season and has a goal per 91 minutes (that is almost equal to a goal per game). Interestingly, he also averages a goal per game in this season’s UCL group stage, despite missing 2 games, Although his team faces a defensively sturdy Sevilla FC, Haaland always finds a way to find the net. He has managed to score 32 points in his 4 matches.
Day 3 (23rd February)
Lazio vs Bayern Munich; Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea
Robert Lewandowski (€12.1m)
A name that doesn’t require much description, the best player of the last season, recently added the FIFA Club World Cup to his cabinet. Although he didn’t impress much in the group stage, at least up to the expectations his fantasy managers had from him, he faces Lazio and would want to add to his scoring charts, which is highest in Europe at the moment. He is undoubtedly a top captain-choice if the previous options fail. He has bagged total of 20 points in 4 matches.
Luis Suárez (€9.9m)
The highest scorer of La Liga at the present, from an in-form Atletico Madrid team. They face Chelsea, who are in a transitional period under a new manager and are very much unpredictable at the moment. He is another decent captain choice, also considering his lower price, which makes him affordable besides the €10m+ players.
Day 4 (24th February)
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Manchester City; Atalanta vs Real Madrid
Karim Benzema (€10.4)
He is the guy Real Madrid lookout for goals. The French goal-poacher currently has 16 goals and 5 assists this season so far. He faces an attacking Atalanta team, who just lost their main player Papu Gomez to Sevilla. Atalanta’s defense also conceded 5 goals in a single match in the group stage against Liverpool. So on the last day of this matchday, if all other captains fail to deliver, you may look upon Benzema for the points. Benzema has scored 27 points in his 5 matches.
Ilkay Gündogan (€6.7m)
The German midfielder has pretty much taken away the limelight from Kevin de Bruyne this season. He is in top form at the moment in the Premier League. The Cityzens faces an unpredictable opponent in Borussia Monchengladbach, but still, odds are in the favour of the English side. Considering his cheap price and he will be playing on the last day of the Round-of-16 1st leg, he’d be an alternative to Benzema to be captained, if all other previous heavyweight options fail to deliver. He has bagged 28 points in his 5 matches.
Hence, to conclude, these were the captain options you can consider for the 1st leg of the Round-of-16 tie. Many assets like Neymar, Jota might miss out this round, but there won’t be any lack of action. It is recommended that you be updated with the last moment injury updates. Also, try to include at least a player mentioned above, from each matchday, so that you may switch between the recommended captain choices, once a choice fails to deliver. Not to forget, the unlimited transfer deadline is on 16th February, 20:00 GMT.
Which players of this UCL Fantasy Knockout stage captain guide are you thinking to feature in your Starting lineup? Did you choose any from our UCL Fantasy Captain Choices? How much did the UCL Fantasy Knockout stage Guide help you? Let us know in the comments section below.