Ahead of the first matchday of the UEFA Champions League this season, UEFA.com is taking a look at some popular selections, as well as those that might come as a surprise.
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Manuel Neuer (€ 6.0m) against Atlético (M)
After racking up 50 #UCLFantasy points in last season’s competition, it’s no surprise that Neuer is currently the top goaltender selected for Matchday 1. The German striker played a crucial role in Bayern’s march to their sixth European Cup, recording six clean sheets. and 28 shots saved to show he is still among the best goalkeepers in world football. Bundesliga champions welcome Spanish giants Atlético to Munich on Matchday 1. Neuer conceded just one goal in Bayern’s three home group matches last season.
Selected by 31%
José Sá (4.5 M €) against Marseille (H)
Last season was a memorable one for Portuguese goalkeeper José Sá. Olympiacos No1 kept an impressive 29 clean sheets in all competitions for the Greek champions, who have conceded just 16 goals all season in the Super League. He has already started the UEFA Champions League campaign this season with two clean sheets as Olympiacos beat Cyprus’ Omonoia 2-0 overall in play-offs. Sá will now look to take form in the group stage, with his home side in Marseille on Matchday 1.
Selected by 4%
Sergio Ramos (€ 6.5m) vs. Shakhtar Donetsk (H)
For many years Ramos has been one of the defense’s most trusted #UCLfantasy scorers and this season should be no different. The Real Madrid captain has started the season well in a defense that has kept three clean sheets in his first four Spanish La Liga games. Ramos not only offers defensive stability but also a significant goal threat after scoring twice in the UEFA Champions League last season. The #UCLfantasy managers who selected Ramos to their squad are hoping he can get points on both sides of the pitch on Matchday 1 with a home game against Shakhtar.
Selected by 41%
Robin Gosens (€ 5.5m) against Midtjylland (A)
Italian team Atalanta burst onto the UEFA Champions League scene from their debut last year, with defender Gosens establishing himself as an extremely valuable #UCLfantasy asset with 39 points during the competition. On the pitch mainly as an attacking winger by Gian Piero Gasperini, the Germany international was responsible for 48 ball recoveries completed during the competition. Gosens also used his license to advance, scoring his first-ever UEFA Champions League goal on Matchday 6 at Shakhtar. This season he has already opened his Serie A account with a goal in Atalanta’s 4-1 win over Lazio and could prove to be a valuable #UCLFantasy differential again as La Dea travels to the newcomers Midtjylland.
Selected by 5%
Ansu Fati (€ 8.0m) vs. Ferencváros (H)
The 17-year-old started 2020/21 in scintillating form, giving Barcelona fans the belief that a new superstar could be among them. The La Masia prodigy has started all three Spanish La Liga games so far this season for Ronald Koeman’s side, scoring three times, as he also found the net in his first international start for Spain against Ukraine in the UEFA Nations League. Fati played 112 minutes in the UEFA Champions League last season, scoring the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory at Inter on Matchday 6 to become the competition’s youngest goalscorer. His playing time so far this season suggests he will occupy a bigger place this year and with Hungarian side Ferencváros visiting Camp Nou on day one, #UCLfantasy managers have moved in large numbers to bring Fati in their respective teams.
Selected by 31%
Sadio Mané (€ 11.0m) vs. Ajax (A)
A vital part of Liverpool’s well-oiled attacking machine, Mané will look to improve on his two goals and two assists during last season’s UEFA Champions League campaign. The Senegalese star has scored 18 goals and recorded ten assists in Liverpool’s winning Premier League campaign in 2019/20 and already has three goals in three league appearances so far this season. With a move to Ajax on Matchday 1, Mané may well prove to be a nifty differential for #UCLfantasy managers looking to take an early advantage.
Selected by 2%
Robert Lewandowski (€ 12.0m) against Atlético (H)
The #UCLfantasy asset with the best score of last season is unsurprisingly the best detained striker before Matchday 1. The Bayern forward took his game to a whole new level on the European stage in 2019/20, his tally of 15 goals making him the best in the UEFA Champions League. scorer for the first time. Overall, the Polish sniper has racked up an astounding 104 #UCLfantasy points during the campaign and it’s no surprise that so many managers trust Lewandowski despite his opponent’s defensive pedigree on the day. opening, Atlético.
Selected by 45%
Neymar (€ 11.5m) v Manchester United (M)
The Brazilian striker racked up 36 #UCLFantasy points last season, with three goals and four assists, despite missing four of six group matches. Neymar will desperately need to start the group stage this year on a high note and a recent hat-trick for Brazil on an international mission won’t have hurt his confidence. Owned by less than 10% of #UCLfantasy managers, Neymar represents a shrewd differential choice as his team opens up against Manchester United.
Selected by 7%