As the UEFA Champions League enters the Quarter Final stage, for the first time ever, the games will be played on single legs taking place on four consecutive days. As the Quarter Final kicks off this Wednesday so does the preparations for the UCL Fantasy Quarter Finals! What’s more? Given the unique situation surrounding the competition this season due to the coronavirus, UCL Fantasy managers have been handed unlimited transfers to get their squads in shape for the final stages.
In this UCL Fantasy Quarter Finals guide, we will discuss how exactly to get the best out of the unlimited transfers. From captaincy choices to picking the differentials, how to get the best out of each team, while keeping an eye on the fixtures. Remember, six of the eight Quarter Finalists have never won the Champions League before. The two teams who have, face each other in the Quarter Finals itself. There’s a big chance of a new team getting crowned champions of Europe this season.
UCL Fantasy Quarter Finals: Tips and Tricks
1. Aim for a Balanced Squad
With a maximum of five players that can be selected from any one club for the quarter-finals, it’s often tempting to fill your squad with players from the probable semi-finalists However we suggest thinking a bit more out of the box and select players from a wider range by spreading your squad across all the eight teams. With the Champions League proving to be a game of uncertainty you may be tricked, more so like the last year’s Semi-Finals. Having a disbalance squad might put you in a situation where, despite having five additional free transfers ahead of the semi-finals, you cannot field a full squad of 15 active players without taking points hit for transfers.
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 factor 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. Additionally, we will provide the lineup indications from all the eight sides, thus giving you a clear cut idea as to how the teams will build up before the final showdown in Lisbon.
3. Selecting a Captain for each game day
Choosing the right captain can make or break your matchday. Example – Captaining Josip Iličić on matchday 8 handed the managers a handsome 48 points! With the quarter-final schedule giving the fantasy managers four chances to get their captain right, it is worth looking at who the top candidates are from each of the four fixtures and building your squad around those players. Also 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 Quarter Finals article.
4. Monitor Player Ownership 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.
UCL Fantasy Quarter Finals: Players to look out for
Wednesday 12th August
While they are the surprise package of the quarter-finals, nobody should be underestimating Atalanta. One of the most exciting attacking sides in Europe, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side scored an incredible 98 goals in Serie A this season, more than any other side in the league. One of their star performers this season, Josip Iličić (€6.1m), looks set to miss out on the Quarter Finals due to personal issues but Duván Zapata (€8.3m) looks capable of playing in his shoes after scoring seven goals in the Serie A.
PSG boasts a high goalscoring attacking line upfront with Kylian Mbappé (€10.6m) will be a popular choice if he can overcome injury. With Mbappe potentially out due to his injuries, and Di Maria suspended, extra responsibilities will be on Neymar (€11.4m) a tempting alternative, and represent excellent differential value. Managers will also be looking forward to owning Keylor Navas (€5.6m) after he being the highest-scoring goalkeeper in the fantasy. After keeping five clean sheets, Navas will stand confident underneath the poles for a sixth one.
Managers looking at the Paris front line may want to wait until their starting line-up is released before choosing a forward, especially given the doubts surrounding Kylian Mbappé’s involvement, but there is no denying Neymar’s armband potential regardless. The Brazilian’s ownership is a lowly 5% despite being on the scoresheet in his last three UEFA Champions League appearances. His status as a differential and being on penalty duties will surely tempt those looking to make a fast start to Matchday 9.
Thursday 13th August
Leipzig finished third in the Bundesliga table and lost just one game post-lockdown. They may have lost some attacking flair in departed striker Timo Werner but January signing Dani Olmo (€6.0m), who shone for Dinamo Zagreb earlier, has caught the eye for his new club and could be worth bringing in given the unlimited transfers. Additionally, Marcel Sabitizer (€6.7m) who scored both the goals against Tottenham can be a threat in the box, and given his value could prove to be a very useful differential. One of the standout performers in the round of 16, Leipzig keeper Peter Gulácsi (€4.4m) kept clean sheets in both the legs and will look to continue his run as an overperforming differential.
Standing in Leipzig’s way is one of Europe’s most robust defenses with Atletico currently riding an 18-game unbeaten run in all competitions. They were typically tough to break down in the Liga and that makes Jan Oblak (€6.0m) their goalkeeper, along with fellow defenders Felipe (€5.1m) and Renan Lodi (€4.3m) tempting from a clean-sheet perspective.
There are few teams you would consider captaining a defender for but Diego Simeone’s Atletico certainly falls into that bracket. Felipe is the second-highest scoring fantasy defender having being scored one goal, kept four clean sheets, and logged an impressive 51 ball recoveries in the competition to date. If the Brazilian can combine a clean sheet with another attacking return on Thursday, then he will be outscoring plenty of midfielders and forwards.
Friday 14th August
This season’s Champions League represents Barcelona’s last chance for silverware after losing out on the league title. With high stakes and a high flying Bayern Munich insight many managers will be armed with Lionel Messi (€11.5m) in the squads especially after his performance against Napoli. Luis Suarez (€10.0m) could prove to be a differential pick with many not banking on the Uruguayan after his recent dip in performances.
Bayern’s incredible run of form is nothing short of sensational. Hansi Flick‘s side has won their last 18 games in all competitions, and are fancied by many to go on and win their sixth European Cup. The top scorer in this season’s competition, Robert Lewandowski (€10.9m), failed to find the net in just one of his last 11 appearances since the restart while Serge Gnabry (€8.3m) has been a popular choice amongst fantasy managers this season.
With 13 Champions League goals to his name this season, it is hard to look past Lewandowski for the standout captaincy choice this matchday. Lewangoalski has already acquired 83 Fantasy points – a staggering 27 more than his nearest competitor in any position. There has simply been no stopping him, whose three goals and four assists across both legs of the round of 16 ties against Chelsea gave him a combined haul of 30 points. His ownership is now over 40% and is set to rise even further given that Fantasy managers are armed with unlimited transfers ahead of the quarter-finals. You can’t simply look past Lewandowski for your captaincy candidate this matchday unless Serge Gnabry could prove to be a useful differential.
Saturday 15th August
City has been in irresistible form over the last two months and expertly navigated their way through a tough round of 16 tie with the likes of Real Madrid. Pep Guardiola has a wealth of attacking talent at his disposal with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne (€10.3m), Raheem Sterling (€11.3m), and Gabriel Jesus (€8.4m) all of whom have been racking up goals and assists in the Premier League. Famous for his Pep Roulette, Guardiola generally gives managers a tough time with his tactical team selections, but options such as De Bruyne, Sterling, and Jesus are sure to be nailed on especially after Aguero missing the Champions League due to injury.
On the other hand, Memphis Depay (€8.0m) has enjoyed an excellent UEFA Champions League campaign and picked up where he left off with a goal against Juventus over the weekend so he is the standout Fantasy option from the French side going into their clash with Manchester City.
Raheem Sterling is the highest scoring Fantasy midfielder – second only to Lewandowski across all positions. The Englishman was in superb form in the Premier League over the summer, scoring nine goals and registering four assists since the restart. Certainly a valuable back-up captaincy option to have on the last day if any of your previous matchday captains fail to click.
UCL Fantasy Quarter Finals: Team Draft
Sample Squad 1
Having a mixture of Bayern and City attackers with an Atletico Madrid defense might be the key to unlocking to your full potential as a manager in the UCL Fantasy Quarter Finals
Sample Squad 2
Tweaking certain changes to the first draft and bringing on the explosive Kevin De Bruyne and Alphonso Davies might be a lethal option if you heavily back on Bayern and City to go through to the semi finals. You can exchange Gomez for Sabitizer based on your needs.
So that’s all for our UCL Fantasy Quarter Finals Team Selection Guide, hope to see you again before the Semi-Finals show. If you are concerned about the list of Injuries and Suspensions, look no further:
What are your thoughts on the UCL Fantasy Quarter Finals Guide? Do you have any of the players in your lineups? Let us know in the comment section below.