The 2022/23 UEFA Champions League (UCL) semi-finals continue this week – which means it’s also time for the competition’s official Fantasy game to return.
With prizes dished out every Matchday, UCL Fantasy also offers an incentive for managers to belatedly enter a team even if you are yet to sign up.
Here, our in-house expert FPL Reactions takes a look at Matchday 12 and its most appealing assets.
There is lots more UCL Fantasy content over on our sister website, Fantasy Football Community.
They’ll be bringing you more content on this game than ever before, from best player guides to team reveals.
You can also register and create a free FFC account, which will give you access to a weekly UCL newsletter, as well as members-only articles.
Inter face AC Milan in the second leg of their semi-final on Tuesday night. This means that if their players fail to return, managers can rotate them out for their second-night players. Inter’s Andre Onana (€5.0m) has banked eight returns in 11 Champions League matches so far, making him one of the game’s most successful goalkeepers.
Manchester City have sustained some of the best defensive stats in Europe. Although Ederson’s (€6.0m) quality has been questioned, one good game against Real Madrid and he has the potential to keep a clean sheet.
By comfortably beating Milan in the first leg, Inter’s assets have increased appeal this time. They have seven wins on the bounce in all competitions, also collecting an impressive five clean sheets. Combining this defensive solidity with a system that allows their wing-backs to advance far forward makes their backline one of the most appealing in the game.
It could be hugely beneficial to invest in a quadruple Inter defence. Adding to the goalkeeper, Denzel Dumfries (€5.3m), Matteo Darmian (€4.4m) and Federico Dimarco (€4.7m) all make the cut.
Man City’s home advantage makes them favourites to keep a clean sheet and, even if they fail to do that, centre-back John Stones (€5.1m) has been taking up a midfield position that puts him further up the pitch and therefore increases his chances of an attacking return. He can also be a significant goal threat from set pieces.
Yet opponents Real Madrid become a different animal in the latter UCL stages, so making sure we have sufficient coverage could be key. In terms of expected minutes, full-back Dani Carvajal (€5.4m) is one of the most reliable, with the Spaniard also registering six returns in his ten UCL matches so far.
In all competitions, Man City have won each of their 14 home matches in 2023, bagging an incredible 49 goals at an average of 3.5 per game. Such home form cannot go unnoticed and, for that reason, picking out their three best midfield assets could be important.
Standout option Kevin De Bruyne (€10.5m) is an easy selection. Jack Grealish (€6.9m) has become an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up and produced an eye-watering six key passes leading to shots in the Madrid first leg. The third and final Man City midfielder is Ilkay Gundogan (€8.0m). Chasing a new contract and playing out of his skin, the German international has collected four goals and two assists in his last three matches.
Not only do Real Madrid’s performances enhance in the latter stages but they also field the game’s most consistent asset. Vinicius Junior (€10.4m) has been relentless this season and that can be reflected in the fact that the Brazilian has secured an attacking return in all but one of his 11 matches so far.
Adding to Inter’s seven-game winning streak is their scoring form, finding the net 21 times and averaging three goals per game. One way to tap into this offensive line is via Nicolo Barella (€6.9m). The budget player helps enable pricier options elsewhere but has also scored two in his last three UCL games, showing he offers an attacking route himself.
It would be dangerous to leave out the most lethal striker in world football. A large reason for Man City’s elite home scoring form and fantastic winning run is Erling Haaland (€11.2m). Not only is the Norwegian smashing through records in his first Premier League season, racking up a mammoth 43 goal contributions in 33 matches, but such spectacular output has also seen him net 12 times in the UCL.
The second half of Real Madrid’s deadly duo is penalty taker and focal point Karim Benzema (€10.9m). The Frenchman maintains his status as one of the best forwards to ever play the game, providing consistent numbers that affirm the need to have him in our teams. His big game ability was visible last season when he scored two or more goals against PSG, Man City and Chelsea to help his side secure Europe’s biggest prize.
Finally, Inter’s recent spout of goals makes it very difficult to ignore their standout forward option Lautaro Martinez (€8.5m). By registering five goals and two assists during his last five outings, it emphasises his appeal and potential for Matchday 12.