The Champions League is back tomorrow. UEFA deserve a lot of criticism for the way the tournament has distorted domestic leagues around the world and for its next seeding plan based on historical achievements. What can not be denied is that the knockout rounds of the competition are the highest quality, most exciting football in the world game.
There are three main fantasy games for the tournament.
The official UEFA version and the Telegraph game are more traditional games with budgets and transfers.
Both have a free wildcard before the knockouts start so take advantage of those and make sure your team is full of players still in the tournament and who have decent fixtures.
The UEFA game allows you to change your captain inside the gameweek. So for example you could captain Ronaldo against PSG this week and if you’re not happy with his points you can captain Messi the week after instead. There is also allocated transfers between the rounds so you have some leeway with your transfers and you’ll be guaranteed players in the final.
The Telegraph game has 20 transfers which you can use whenever you feel appropriate. So in the Messi, Ronaldo example above, you could buy Ronaldo in your original team and then buy Messi before the Chelsea game and you will get points from both players.
Draft Fantasy offer their great draft site for the Champions League meaning when Messi pulverises Chelsea next week only one player will benefit.
I have already spoken about this game here
Here are five tips for the games. Some of the tips will apply to some versions more than others but should all be useful for which ever version you’re playing.
GAMBLE ON STARS GOING OUT
If you’re chasing in a league the time to gamble is now. The longer you leave it the less games there are and the players available is less meaning there’s less scope for catching up. PSG v Real Madrid, Chelsea v Barcelona and Juventus v Spurs will all guarantee some big names going out. Nail your colours to the mast now and gamble on someone going out. You will have your own thoughts but I think Spurs, Barcelona and Real Madrid will qualify. If I was behind in a league I would trade Neymar for the right offer. There are also some other ties that look more obvious out could be exploited the same way. Unsure of Liverpool’s defence, of United’s attacking threat? Pile up on Porto and Sevilla players. Remember though this mainly applies if you’re chasing a leader. If you are the leader let others make mistakes.
MANCHESTER CITY ARE THE REAL DEAL
The same as in domestic games, get as many City players as you can. They are deserved favourites to win the tournament. They have a good draw in Basel and you could easily get big points in their second round match up.
Slightly contradicting point here. Be wary of having loads of players from one team this early in the tournament. The draw is an open one with no seeding all the way through. You could pack your team with Bayern players as they beat Besiktas, supplemented with a handful of Manchester City players as they beat Basel. Then Quarter finals they draw each other. Now what? Try as much to spread your players. This is especially important in versions with limited transfers.
DEFENCE DOESNT WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Last years knockout rounds averaged 3.52 goals per match, with only 24.5 percent of possible clean sheets being kept. This is not a great era of defending and coupled with many superstar forward players and attacking managers means defenders should not be a priority in your team.
USE TRANSFERS WISELY
Read the rules on the transfers in your games and exploit them as best as you can. I have already mentioned the Messi Ronaldo flip flop. The biggest thing to aim for is to have players in the final. Don’t get to the final with a full back on the bench as your representation whilst your rival packs their team with players from both sides.
Paris St Germain have won 21/25 and average over three goals a match.
It’s the French league.
A more telling result was their capitulation away in Munich last December. They may get past Real Madrid in round two but at some point they will let you down. Be careful.
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