1 week ago

Stand Out Captain Picks for FanTeam's €250K UCL Game

After what seems like an age, thanks to a two-week international break, Match Day 5 of the Champions League is just around the corner. For Fanteam players, that means it’s time to start thinking about our options for the final fixtures in the Group Stage €250K competition. Are you sat in a cash place currently and want to play it safe with a sensible captain pick, or are you lagging behind and need to be a little more aggressive?

I have outlined a few options below for whatever situation you find yourself in currently.


Captain Picks

*Note – rotation may be a risk from Match Day 5 in the Champions League, as some of the teams who have already qualified as group winners may decide to rest players.  This is worth bearing in mind when making transfers or choosing your captain.


Robert Lewandowski - 14.5M

To date, this has been another stellar Champions League campaign for Bayern’s Polish star striker.  Lewandowski has returned a colossal 8 goals and 1 assist in just 4 group games, is the top scorer in the Fanteam UCL game with 47.4 points, (12.45 per game average) and had an action-packed Match Day 4 vs. Benfica, (scored a hat trick, got 1 assist and missed a penalty). 

He is perhaps slightly overperforming his XGA stats, (Expected Goals + Assists), so this could level out a touch in the coming games.  However, I am certainly not betting against him to carry on his rich vein of form in MD 5  He does have a very high ownership at 48% and is probably the most sensible captain choice if you are looking to maintain your rank this GW.

Anytime goalscorer odds for Robert Lewandowski v Dynamo Kyiv are 6/13. 

Sebastian Haller - 8.5M

Many pundits expected Group C of the Champions League to be a very closely fought affair, but Ajax have set the competition alight, scoring 14 goals and conceding only 2 in their 4 group games so far. 

At the forefront of this electric display of attacking football is the ex-West Ham United striker, Sebastian Haller.  Haller has been nothing short of phenomenal this season, with 7 goals and 1 assist over the 4 group games.  In the Fanteam UCL game, Haller has amassed 47.4 points in total and 11.85 average points per game  

Anytime goalscorer odds for Sebastian Haller v Besiktas are 11/10. 

Mo Salah - 13.0M

What is there to say about Salah this season?  He has been in the form of his life in the Premier League, with 10 goals and 7 assists in 11 league games.  His form in the Champions League has been almost as impressive, with 5 goals in 4 group stage games.  In the Fanteam UCL game, Salah has 36.8 points in total and average of 9.2 points per game.  He is not as highly owned as either Lewandowski or Haller and has an ownership of just 18% currently, so he may prove to be somewhat of a differntial pick as captain in Match Day 5. 

Porto are up next and Liverpool have an amazing record against them in recent meetings, with Salah bagging 2 goals in a 5-1 away win back at the end of September.  If Salah is not rested for this game, he will likely cause the Porto defence all kinds of problems once again. 

Anytime goalscorer odds for Mo Salah v Porto are 6/5. 

Differential Captains

Vinicius Junior - 10.5M

Real Madrid had a shaky start to their Champions League campaign with a shock 2-1 home defeat to FC Sheriff.  However, they bounced back to record back-to-back wins against Shakhtar Donetsk in Match Days 3 and 4 to now sit top of a tightly fought group.  Realistically, Real need to get two positive results from their final two games to guarantee progression. Sheriff are up again in Match Day 5 and offer Real a chance to get revenge on their shock home defeat against the Moldovan minnows. 

At the forefront of Real's attack this season has been Vinicius Junior.  Up until this season, the mercurial Brazillian had shown flashes of brilliance, but this year he has nailed down his place in the starting XI and started to deliver high-quality performances on a more consistent basis.  Vinicius has scored 2 goals and recorded 3 assists in the Champions League to date.  

In the contect of the Fanteam UCL game, he is the 3rd highest scoring midfielder on the game with the exact same points returns as Salah, (a total of 36.8 points and an average of 9.2).  With Midfielders gaining an extra point per goal and 1 point for a clean sheet, this may make Vincius worth a punt as a differential captain pick this Match Day.  .   

Anytime goalscorer odds for Vinicius Junior v Sheriff are 6/5.  

Riyad Mahrez - 11.5M

Although City look pretty assured of qualification from Group A, they are in a two-way battle with Paris St. Germain to take 1st place.  City have been involved in some open high scoring affairs in the Champions League group stage to date and face PSG at home in Match Day 5.  Despite being one of the main victims of ‘Pep Roulette’ in the Premier League, Mahrez has started all of the Champions League games to date, scoring 4 goals along the way.  Due to this perceived rotation risk, Mahrez has a low ownership of only 15%, despite having a total of 34 points and an average of 8.5 points per game.

PSG are a team that Mahrez always seems to perform well against; last season he scored in both legs of the semi-final against the Parisians (once away and twice at the Etihad) and was arguably City’s stand out player in the 2-0 defeat to them earlier this season.  He may not be the most obvious pick in a tough fixture, but City need to win to secure the top spot in the table, and Mahrez may prove to be their main weapon once more against the French side.

Anytime goalscorer odds for Mahrez vs PSG are 21/10 currently


Christopher Nkunku - 8.0M

Much was expected of RB Leipzig again this season, but after losing three of their key players in the summer (Marcel Sabitzer & Dayot Upamecano to Bayern and Ibrahima Konate to Liverpool), they have struggled to hit the heights of the previous two seasons in both the Bundesliga and Champions League.

In the absence of Sabitzer, Nkunku has come to the fore as the teams’ real talisman and has delivered consistently despite his teammates struggles.

Although he is categorised as a midfielder in the Fanteam game, Nkunku has actually been playing as a forward in some recent games.  He has recorded 5 goals to date in the Champions League, although he is overperforming his XG by some way.  The French midfielder is the 2nd highest scoring midfielder in the Fanteam UCL game on 38.9 points and an average of 9.72 points per game.  Interestingly his ownership is only 10%, so he represents a great option as a differential captain for Match Day 5.   

Leipizig play Club Brugge away in Match Day 5 and if they want to have any chance of finishing 3rd and qualifying for the Europa League place, they simply have to win this game.  If they do, Nkunku will almost certainly be in the thick of it.   

Anytime goalscorer odds for Christopher Nkunu v Club Brugge are 11/4. 

Whoever you decide to go for as captain, I wish you luck and hope that you are still in the mix for a cash place when Match Day 6 comes around in a few weeks time.




On and off Sorare since February 2021. Having fun and making ETH along the way!