As the UEFA Champions League enters the Semi Final stage, for the first time ever, the games will be played on single legs taking place on two consecutive days. As the Semi Final kicks off this Tuesday so does the preparations for the UCL Fantasy Semi Finals! With the semi-finals looming, are there still any under-the-radar picks – and who can you not afford to leave out?
In this UCL Fantasy Semi Finals guide, we will discuss how exactly to get the best out of the five allowed 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, three of the four Semi Finalists have never won the Champions League before. There’s a big chance of a new team getting crowned champions of Europe this season.
- UCL Fantasy Semi Finals: Tips and Tricks
- UCL Fantasy Semi Finals: Players to look out for
- UCL Fantasy Semi Finals: Team Draft
UCL Fantasy Semi Finals: Tips and Tricks
1. Aim for a Balanced Squad
With a maximum of six players that can be selected from any one club for the semi-finals, it’s often tempting to fill your squad with players from the two probable 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 four 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 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 Semi 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. Additionally, we will provide the lineup indications from all the four 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 semi final schedule giving the fantasy managers two chances to get their captain right, it is worth looking at who the top candidates are from the two 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 Semi 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 Semi Finals: Players to look out for
Tuesday 18th August
Leipzig finished third in the Bundesliga table and lost just one game post-lock down. Leipzig continues to impress many with their outstanding performances and there is little chance of their key players going under the radar any longer, such as January signing Dani Olmo (€6.0m), who scored the opening goal against Atletico has caught the eye and can be useful bringing in given his advanced position on the field. Additionally, one player who continues to stand out in every game is Marcel Sabitzer(€6.8m). He claimed another assist on Matchday 9 and it would be no surprise if he rewarded the 8% of the managers with more in the semi-final.
One of the standout performers in the round of 16, Leipzig keeper Peter Gulácsi (€4.5m) kept clean sheets in both the legs and even managed to restrict Atletico to just one goal that too a penalty. He will look to continue his run as an over-performing differential. At just €4.3m and owned by 7%, Konrad Laimer represents major differential value coming into Matchday 10. Had it not been for the penalty conceded against Atlético, the German side was very impressive defensively in denying Simeone’s men many chances and they will have to be just as tight defensively against Paris.
PSG boasts a high goalscoring attacking line upfront with Kylian Mbappé (€10.7m) and Neymar (€11.5m), but felt the absence of Angel Di Maria (€8.4m) in their quarter-final with Atalanta. The return from suspension of one of their key creators will boost their attack. Di Maria will be fresh and will reduce the reliance on Neymar to provide that creative spark. He will be looking to add more to his tally of two goals and four assists.
Paris left it late in their quarter-final with Atalanta last Wednesday but a Neymar-assisted goal rescued them before the winner moments later, and in truth, it was no less than the Brazilian deserved as he was the French side’s chief threat throughout. Neymar has provided attacking returns in his last four UEFA Champions League matches, with three goals and three assists, and has hit form at just the right time with Paris chasing down their first-ever UEFA Champions League crown.
Meanwhile, Leipzig’s Sabitzer has racked up four goals and three assists in the UEFA Champions League this season with his latest contribution an assist against Atlético in last Thursday’s quarter-final. Leipzig’s historic achievement of reaching the semi-finals is no fluke and the Austrian could be a canny differential captain choice on Matchday 10.
Wednesday 19th August
Lyon completed the semi-final line-up and it is talented French midfielder Houssem Aouar (€7.1m) who caught our eye. Aouar was highly impressive against Manchester City in Saturday’s quarter-final with his two assists proving vital in a tactical masterclass from Lyon. On the other hand, Memphis Depay (€8.0m) has enjoyed an excellent UEFA Champions League campaign and will be the French side’s main hope going into their clash with the Bavarians.
Meanwhile with Paris No1 Keylor Navas set to miss the semi-final through injury, Bayern’s Manuel Neuer(€6.0m) is set to be the most popular goalkeeper in the semi-finals as he currently features in 14% of teams overall. The German international has kept four clean sheets in the competition this season. Selected by 26% of the owners, Joshua Kimmich (€6.5m) picked up nine fantasy points thanks to his goal and assist against Barcelona. The German international continues to prove how vital he is to owners for his attacking returns as much as his defensive capabilities.
Both Thomas Muller (€9.0m) and Robert Lewandowski (€11.0m) offer goal threats and are in great form. Lewandowski is simply a must-have player for your UCL Fantasy Semi Finals squads. While Lewandowski is clearly the popular pick, Muller jumped out of the shadows against Barcelona with two goals and an assist in a 13-point haul. A guaranteed starter and a man for the big occasion, Muller can be an excellent differential going into the semi-finals with a 3% ownership value.
If you aren’t satisfied with your captaincy points following Tuesday’s semi-final, then what better option to have as a second bite at the cherry than the ever-dependable Lewandowski? The Bayern striker has been a cut above the rest in the Champions League this season thanks to his 14 goals combined with five assists. The Pole features in close to half of all fantasy teams and, playing in Hansi Flick’s devastating Bayern side, could reward his owners with another haul against Lyon on Wednesday.
On the other side of the field, Aouar was highly impressive against Manchester City in Saturday’s quarter-final with his two assists proving vital in a tactical masterclass from Lyon, and if the French side can repeat their heroics against Bayern, Aouar could be an astute differential captain for the fantasy managers.
UCL Fantasy Semi Finals: Team Draft
With PSG-Leipzig proving to be more of a gamble, it is advisable to pick players from both the squads keeping balanced. Bayern are heavy favorites to win the Champions League not only the tie, and should any mishap happen, they are bound to go all the way.
So that’s all for our UCL Fantasy Semi Finals Team Selection Guide, hope to see you again before the Grand Finale. If you are concerned about the list of Injuries and Suspensions, look no further:
What are your thoughts on the UCL Fantasy Semi Finals Guide? Do you have any of the players in your lineups? Let us know in the comment section below.