The UEFA Champions League returns on Tuesday, February 16 and so does their accompanying Fantasy game.
There are just 16 sides left in the competition who will go head-to-head in the knockout rounds sooner rather than later – so now is the time to get reacquainted with them.
To restart our UCL Fantasy coverage, here is a breakdown of every club involved: their domestic form, star men so far and chances of progression in the upcoming games. All stats/ recent form are taken from the respective domestic leagues.
UCL Round of 16 Fixtures
- RB Leipzig vs Liverpool (Feb 16)
- Barcelona vs Paris St. Germain (Feb 16)
- FC Porto vs Juventus (Feb 17)
- Sevilla FC vs Borussia Dortmund (Feb 17)
- Lazio vs Bayern Munich (Feb 23)
- Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea (Feb 23)
- Borussia Monchengladbach vs Manchester City (Feb 24)
- Atalanta vs Real Madrid (Feb 24)
- Bundesliga: 2nd place
- Recent form: WLDWL
In spite of their shock 3-2 loss to Mainz at the weekend, RBL still sit second in the Bundesliga. While you normally wouldn’t expect Julian Nagelsmann’s men to get anything from a double-header against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, on the Reds’ current form, anything is possible.
Having only conceded 17 goals in 18 league games, Leipzig supposedly have the strongest defence in the German league. However, the 12 goals they conceded in their group stage games are the highest of any team left in the competition.
Their highest points scorer in UCL Fantasy, top goal-scorer and top assister in all competitions are the same person: Angelino (€5.4m). He is the second-highest points-scorer in UCL Fantasy so far this season, with eight goals and eight assists for RBL from his left wing back/wing role.
- Premier League: 4th place
- Recent form: DDLDL
As any Fantasy Premier League player will know all too well, Klopp’s Liverpool are currently in their poorest form in years. They are winless in five league games and the only team they’ve beaten in all competitions since their 7-0 dismantling of Crystal Palace in December were Aston Villa’s Under-23s in the FA Cup; and even that was not straight-forward.
Struggling to score and leaking simple goals, their recent performances have been incredibly out of character.
With three weeks until their next Champions League tie, a lot could change at Anfield. If the Reds get back to form, they’ll be comfortable favourites for their last-sixteen fixture.
So far in the competition, Andrew Robertson (€6.5m) is their top scorer on 35 points, and has looked to be their best player this season. On the other side, Trent Alexander-Arnold (€6.7m) ultimately, Liverpool’s options will need reassessing closer to the game.
- La Liga: 3rd place
- Recent form: LWWWW
Barcelona’s recent record may look strong, but if you look deeper at their fixture list, Ronald Koeman’s men have failed to beat a top-quality side since their 2-0 away win against Juventus in late October.
They lost the Spanish Super Cup Final 3-2 to Athletic Bilbao (13th in La Liga), which saw Lionel Messi (€12.1m) lose his head and pick a red card
As long as he’s still in Catalonia, Messi will be the main man. He has 14 goals and six assists this season, but Antoine Griezmann (€9.9m) is starting to pick up some of the slack.
He has grabbed nine goals so far, with recent braces against Granada and Bilbao making him the form man on this team. Jordi Alba (€6.0m) is the pick further back, with eight assists to his name.
Barcelona face one of the strongest sides in the competition and given their poor record in big games recently, there look to be better teams to target with the high price tags on the Barca players.
Paris St. Germain
- Ligue 1: 1st place
- Recent form: WDWWW
Mauricio Pochettino is at the wheel. The manager who lost the 2018/19 UCL Final in charge of the side who lost the 2019/20 Final. To say they’re a winning combination sounds ironic, but in the five games since he’s taken over, PSG have scored 11 goals, conceded two and won the French Super Cup.
Pochettino has been playing a 4-2-3-1 so far, at points fitting in all of Angel di Maria (€9.0m), Mauro Icardi (€9.5m), Neymar (€11.4m) and Kylian Mbappe (€10.9m). Neymar and Mbappe will always be the star men when fit and it’s always hard to decide between them.
At the back, Marquinhos (€5.8m) has 36 points in UCL Fantasy so far, with his 45 balls recovered the sixth highest in the game. PSG have conceded just 11 league goals.
- Primeira Liga: 2nd place
- Recent form: WWWWD
Porto had a strong group stage in a relatively poor group, but this doesn’t resemble most of the great Porto sides of recent years. They are currently second in the league behind Sporting Lisbon and were also knocked out of the League Cup by their rivals.
However, Porto kept four clean sheets in the UCL group stages, with Zaidu Sanusi (€5.0m) the second highest scorer in UCL Fantasy. They’ll need to rediscover this defensive rigour if they want to challenge a Juventus side which is starting to find its feet.
Serie A: 4th place
Recent form: WWWLW
Inconsistency has defined Andrea Pirlo’s tenure with the Old Lady. In the last ten days, they beat Napoli 2-0 to win the Italian Supercup three days after being turned over by Inter Milan by the same score.
Juventus beat a seemingly indomitable AC Milan side 3-1 on the road, but were dispatched 3-0 by Fiorentina two weeks earlier.
Basically, it’s hard to know which Juventus side will turn up, but with Porto as their opposition, they should manage to win over two legs.
Cristiano Ronaldo (€12.0m) and Alvaro Morata (€9.0m) are their first choice strike partnership and the main two UCL Fantasy picks. Ronaldo has 20 goals in 21 games and is a UCL knockout-round legend.
- La Liga: 4th place
- Recent form: DWLWW
This Sevilla side are inconsistent and lack individual quality, but Julen Lopetegui is a good coach and their opponents are also incredibly inconsistent at the moment. With Erling Haaland (€11.1m) leading the opposition line, I worry for their sometime shaky defence.
Going forward, there’s only one real option. Youssef En-Nesyri (#7.4m) scored a goal every 59 minutes in the group stage and has 16 goals in 27 appearances for Sevilla.
- Bundesliga: 7th place
- Recent form: WWDLL
This is a top quality side which is seriously out of form. Borussia Dortmund have lost their last two (although Gladbach and Leverkusen are both strong sides).
Going back into December, they lost to Union Berlin and were hammered 5-1 by VfB Stuttgart. Edin Terzic is their new manager, and it’s his first solo managerial role, so there’s very little to go by. Since he took over, he’s won three, lost three and drawn one.
But regardless of who’s at the helm, Haaland can’t seem to stop scoring. Across the Bundesliga and UCL, he’s scored 20 goals in 17 games and has scored braces against Gladbach and Leipzig since Terzic took over.
Haaland is the only man I trust in this Dortmund side until I see more from Terzic at the helm, but they should still have the quality to beat Sevilla.
- Serie A: 7th place
- Recent form: DWWWW
This is a seriously tough game for Lazio, even having won their last four on the bounce. Lazio have conceded 26 goals in 19 league games and their defence should be no match for Bayern’s scintillating attack.
The only one of their players who warrants serious consideration is Ciro Immobile (€10.6m), who has 18 goals in 21 games this season and at 9.3ppg has scored points at the highest rate of any forward in UCL Fantasy this season.
Bundesliga: 1st place
Recent form: WLWWW
Bayern Munich have to be the favourites for the whole competition and are certainly favourites for this fixture. They’ve already scored a frankly ridiculous 53 league goals in 18 games this season, one goal away from three goals a game.
Gladbach exposed their high line in their recent 3-2 win, but that will have been a necessary reminder to Hansi Flick’s side and you imagine that they won’t be caught out twice.
Their eighteen goals were the highest of the group stages and although he didn’t quite shine as expected during that phase of the competition, Robert Lewandowski (€12.1m) will be back in a starring role for the last-sixteen.
23 goals in 17 Bundesliga games is unparalleled across Europe. Just behind him, Thomas Muller (€10.0m) is a knockout legend on a club and international stage and has nine goals and ten assists in 18 league games. He’s another incredible pick ahead of this plum knockout game.
Although Bayern’s defence can be prone to leaking goals, Joshua Kimmich (€6.6m) plays in central midfield and had four goal contributions in his three 2020/21 UCL games before getting injured. All three will be great picks in the long run in this competition.
- La Liga: 1st place
- Recent form: WWWWW
They’ve conceded just eight goals in 18 La Liga games. That’s an incredible defensive record for Diego Simeone’s notoriously tough side. Stefan Savic (€4.6m) played every minute of the group stages and has 43 balls recovered.
Going forward, Luis Suarez (€9.9m) and Joao Felix (€9.0m) are the star men. Suarez has 12 goals in 19 games for Atleti. Just behind them, Marcos Llorente (€6.5m) has seven goals and six assists in 24 games and could be a top budget option.
Premier League: 9th place
Recent form: LDLWL
With a new manager coming in over the next few days, I’m reticent to say too much about Chelsea. Atletico will be an incredibly tough side to face and have one of Europe’s toughest defences, so Thomas Tuchel will have a massive task on his hands.
- Bundesliga: 5th place
- Recent form: WWDWW
On current form, Gladbach are the Robin Hood of the Bundesliga and they’re having fun while they’re doing it. In their last four games they’ve beaten Dortmund and Bayern; scoring seven and conceding four goals in those two games alone. Their electric, counter-attacking offense can cause any side problems, even against this Manchester City defence.
Marcus Thuram (€8.7m) and Alassane Plea (€8.4m) are the stars of the front-line, with Plea’s five goals and three assists in five group stage starts making him the highest scoring forward in UCL Fantasy.
Just behind them, penalty-taking club captain Lars Stindl (€8.3m) is in a rich vein of form, with five goals and three assists in his last six league starts. At the back, Swiss centre-half Nico Elvedi (€4.8m) scored in the group stage and has three goals in his last two games, highlighting his prowess in front of goal. Flying left back Ramy Bensebaini (€5.7m) is also a threat at both ends.
Premier League: 1st place
Recent form: WWWWW
This Manchester City side is all about defence. They conceded just once in the group stage and have conceded once in the last six PL matches with their established centre-back partnership of John Stones (€5.1m) and Ruben Dias (€5.6m). With star creative man Kevin de Bruyne (€11.5m) potentially out for both legs of the last-sixteen, City’s issues are much more likely to be going forward.
However, Gladbach aren’t exactly renowned for their defensive rigour. All FPL players will know the dangers of Pep roulette, but some of their cheaper attacking options may well come to the fore. Ilkay Gundogan (€6.7m) and Phil Foden (€7.1m) are budget options in midfield and should both be a key part of City’s push for the Champions League title, with Gundogan on penalties and in great goalscoring form.
- Serie A: 5th place
- Recent form: WWDDW
On a good day, this is still a very impressive side who can score a lot of goals. However, ever since their UCL quarter-final loss to PSG last season, they’ve lost something of their spark.
Coupled with losing club captain Papu Gomez to Sevilla, this is an unpredictable side and match up. Left wing-back Robin Gosens is the safest bet for fantasy points within this squad, with six goals and six assists in 22 games this season.
Up top, Duvan Zapata (€9.7m) was their key man in the group stages, although all four of his goals came in the first two games. Centre-back Cristian Romero (€5.1m) is the highest scoring player in the game with 50 points, 22 of which have come from his frankly ridiculous 71 balls recovered. Their lightning attack could well punish an unsteady Real side.
- La Liga: 2nd place
- Recent form: WDWDW
This is a shadow of former Real Madrid sides, struggling to find their identity and failing to gain any real consistency. While Zidane has won three UCL titles as a manager, it seems very unlikely he’ll get close to a fourth this season.
Although Eden Hazard (€9.4m) is now back from injury and looking the best he has in a while, this side are still too reliant on 33-year-old Karim Benzema (€10.4m), with 15 goals and five assists in 24 appearances. At the back, the only option is penalty-taking club legend Sergio Ramos (€6.5m), but against Atalanta’s attack there may well be better options at lower prices.
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