UCL Fantasy Soccer: Defender | UEFA Champions League
With two English teams battling for European supremacy, choices regarding # UCLfantasy options will be narrowed, but UEFA.com is on hand to investigate the remaining defenders.
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Both Manchester City and Chelsea advance to the UEFA Champions League final on Matchday 12 after beating Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid 2-0. The highest-scoring defender over the course of the two second legs was Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker (€ 5.9m), who scored eight #UCLfantasy points after not only one lock but also seven ball restores who have added two additional points to his score. Walker is currently the # UCLfantasy defender with the highest score on his way to Matchday 13. He has received 59 points from his ten appearances in the competition this season and will again be popular with # UCLfantasy managers.
Another Manchester City full-back who has impressed this season from a #UCLfantasy perspective was João Cancelo (€ 6.0m). Not only has the Portugal international brought defensive stability on his side and showing off his fantasy possessions without conceding, but he has also contributed from an attacking standpoint. The versatile defender, often given permission to roam forward, has seen two attacking setbacks in competition this season. He scored a goal on Matchday 3 and provided support on Matchday 7. Waiting for team news is crucial before deciding whether Cancelo is worth using, especially since he has not appeared in two of Manchester City’s last three European games. However, if Josep Guardiola uses him from the start on Matchday 13, he is an extremely tempting option.
One defender who is sure to start for Guardiola’s men in his first appearance in a UEFA Champions League final is Rúben Dias (€ 5.8m). The center-back has been a standout figure for Manchester City since joining from Benfica last summer. He has accumulated 57 points in ten of his twelve games, making it the second highest # UCLfantasy score of any remaining defender. Much of these points were collected through ball restorations, with Dias performing 50 ball restorations to add 14 points to his total score. Dias has accumulated at least four points in each of its UEFA Champions League games since Matchday 1, making it one of the most trusted # UCLfantasy options among defenders.
Even before Thomas Tuchel moved to Chelsea as head coach in January, the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League winners had already established themselves as one of the strongest defensive units in this season’s competition. Eight goals conceded from twelve European games mean that #UCLfantasy managers, who are looking at Chelsea defenders to get them into their respective Matchday 13 squads, have plenty of options. One of them is club captain César Azpilicueta (5.4 million euros), who has returned 36 points in the last six match days with three goals against and 30 ball restorations. While Azpilicueta was originally used as part of a central defensive defense, he was used as a right-back in Chelsea’s two semi-finals against Real Madrid. Should he play in the same position in the final, it opens up the potential for him to make an offensive return against Manchester City, as he did in the last Premier League match between the two teams.
Azpilicueta isn’t the top #UCLfantasy scorer among Chelsea defenders, however. This honor goes to Antonio Rüdiger (€ 4.9 million), another player who has shone in the Chelsea defense since being reinstated. With 57 Fantasy points so far, the German Dias is the same as a joint defender with the second highest score of both finalists on the way to the final. Rüdiger has several points in his arsenal, receives an assist on matchday 11 and a goal conceded on matchday 12. At a bargain price, it offers an excellent price-performance ratio.
With two strong left full-backs fighting for a position on matchday 13, Tuchel has a hard time making a decision. While waiting for team news is vital for all #UCLfantasy managers, it is expected that Ben Chilwell (€ 5.5m) will be selected to take on the role over Marcos Alonso (€ 4.7m) start despite that scoring the winner Chelsea’s 2-1 away win over City in the Premier League recently. Chilwell has been selected for each of the last four UEFA Champions League games in Chelsea, scoring 27 # UCLfantasy points with one goal, two conceded goals and 19 ball restores over that period. With three options for Chilwell to earn Fantasy Points, the England international seems like an ideal pick for managers looking for a more offensive defender.