It’s the elite competition that every player wants to play in, and the famously huge trophy that every manager wants to win. Well now you can! The UEFA Champions League lands on www.draftfantasyfootball.co.uk this week and with 5 English teams in the group stages and Celtic flying the flag for Scotland this could be the best year yet. Unless you support Arsenal of course. Keep an eye out for an Alex Sanchez joining your mini league and picking all the Man City players…
If for any reason you are late to the draft party or are only playing draft on the less than impressive Official Premier League website then this is the ideal opportunity to get involved with the excellent Draft format on www.draftfantasyfootball.co.uk.
The burning question is with the biggest talents in world football up for grabs who will you draft first? Messi? Ronaldo? Neymar? If you missed out on owning Harry Kane in your Premier League team then this could be your perfect chance to pick him up. Such is the quantity of superstars in the UCL version he might even be available to draft in round 2!
While the famous names of European Football will form the basis of any winning fantasy side, here we suggest 1 less heralded player from each leading foreign club. These value picks can score the vital points to make even the most die hard Gooner smile on Champions League nights.
AS MONACO: Famous Faces – Radamel Falcao, Thomas Lemar, João Moutinho, Fabinho, Steven Jovetic.
Draft Boss value pick: Youri Tielemans MF, the 20 year old summer signing from Anderlecht scored 18 goals from Midfield last season for the Belgian side with many coming from outside the box. After so many departures from the French Champions this summer he should get the chance to impress at Europe’s top table.
PARIS SAINT GERMAIN: Famous Faces – Neymar Jr, Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva.
Draft Boss value pick: Layvin Kurzawa DF, the French international has started all four Ligue 1 games this season and has a goal to his name already. Could be the late round route into the PSG defence.
BAYERN MUNICH: Famous Faces – Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, Franck Ribéry, Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller.
Draft Boss value pick: Corentin Tolisso MF, you may be surprised to hear that his move to Bayern this summer made him the Bundesliga’s most expensive import ever and the product of Lyon’s academy’s versatility will see him play in a number of roles across midfield.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND: Famous Faces – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus, Shinji Kagawa, Mario Götze, Andriy Yarmolenko.
Draft Boss value pick: Christian Pulisic MF, don’t be fooled by Ousmane Dembélé’s big money move to Barcelona, there were 2 bright young attacking talents to make their mark last season. This 19 year old American probably hasn’t had the headlines his exciting play deserves and that makes him perfect value draft material.
RED BULL LEIPZIG: Famous Faces – Naby Keïta.
Draft Boss value pick: Timo Werner F, After 3 promotions in 4 years RB Leipzig sensationally finished 2nd in their debut season in the Bundesliga. Due to their meteoric (and heavily financed) rise there is a chance that your fellow fantasy managers may never have heard of star striker Timo Werner. Believe me when I say that won’t last for long. With 4 goals in 7 games for Germany and 23 goals in his last 33 top flight matches this 21 year old could be the surprise package of this years UEFA Champions League.
JUVENTUS: Famous Faces – Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuaín, Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, Blaise Matuidi.
Draft Boss value pick: Federico Bernardeschi F, a rising star of Serie A the winger signed from Fiorentina in the summer. In a side with such obvious attacking talents he should be a consistent threat as the Italians attempt to reach their 3rd Final in 4 years, making him a sensible option for a 3rd choice Forward.
NAPOLI: Famous Faces – Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, Marek Hamsík.
Draft Boss value pick: José Callejón F, Napoli are a fanstastic outfit all round but don’t have the household names of other top teams, probably due to the fact they tend to fall just short in the latter stages of European competition and havent managed to wrestle the Serie A title away from Juventus. Don’t let that put you off though as there is plenty of value to be had throughout their side which plundered a huge 94 goals in 38 Serie A games last campaign. In Group F alongside Man City, Feyenoord and Shakhtar Donetsk they are odds on to make it into the knockout stages.
AS ROMA: Famous Faces – Edin Džeko, Daniele De Rossi, Radja Nainggolan, Aleksandr Kolarov, Kevin Strootman.
Draft Boss value pick: Patrik Schick F, “Patrik has always been our obsession” were the words used by ex-Sevilla Director of Football and new Roma transfer maestro Monchi. Heralded as the most exciting Czech prospect for many years Schick scored 11 goals in 32 games for Sampdoria last season and is set to fill the hole left by Mohammed Salah in Roma’s attack.
ATLETICO MADRID: Famous Faces – Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Koke, Jan Oblak.
Draft Boss value pick: Saúl Ñíguez MF, the value picks in this column fall into 2 groups, established stars who haven’t reached famous status yet in the U.K. and new signings who can make an impact at this level. Saúl Ñíguez is definitely in the first category. Already having made 150 appearances for Atletico at the age of 22 it’s criminal that a man of such talent isn’t better known worldwide. If he played for any other country except Spain he would have a hell of a lot more than his current haul of 4 international caps. He was top scorer in the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship with 5 goals from midfield.
FC BARCELONA: Famous Faces – Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Ousmane Dembélé, Ivan Rakitić, Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba.
Draft Boss value pick: Nélson Semedo DF, a summer acquisition from Benfica, the Portuguese right back is blessed with pace and a huge engine for bombing up and down the sideline for the Blaugrauna. On his league debut he had 94% pass accuracy and at just 23 years old he has the potential to be an important figure at Camp Nou for years to come if he can cement his place in the starting XI.
REAL MADRID: Famous Faces – Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karin Benzema, Luka Modrić, Toni Kroos, Isco, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos.
Draft Boss value pick: Marco Asensio MF, I’m fully aware how ridiculous it is to suggest a player who scored in the Champions League Final this year as a value pick but quite frankly Real Madrid have a ridiculous squad and are favourites to become the first team to win 3 consecutive titles since Bayern Munich in 1974-1976. Real’s entire lineup will be high on every managers wanted list as they are certain to progress far in the competition and score a shed load of goals along the way. Asensio is set to become a true global superstar in the next few years and yet could easily drift into the 3rd or 4th rounds of the draft. You simply MUST have some Real Madrid players in your draft fantasy squad and this could be the season the 21 year old joins the world elite.
SEVILLA: Famous Faces – Steven N’Zonzi, Jesús Navas, Nolito, Éver Banega.
Draft Boss value pick: Luis Muriel F, Brought in from Sampdoria in the summer the Colombian speed merchant has the chance to be Sevilla’s main man up front and if he can adapt to his new surroundings could prove to be a solid draft choice for a side expected to qualify from Group E alongside Liverpool.