FPL Reactions talks us through his plans for UCL Fantasy Matchday 4.
Thanks to SofaScore for the heat maps used in this article.
Welcome to a brand new series of UCL Fantasy articles where i will go through some solid differentials every Matchday. This week I will also share my own journey in this seasons UCL campaign and how I did in matchday 3 in terms of team and rank.
Differentials are important to climb the ranks whilst the campaign progresses as a lot of managers will have similar looking teams and players, especially if you base your teams around my top picks article with allaboutfpl.
Firstly it’s important to mention that we get to see both the Chelsea v Malmo and the Salzburg v Wolfsburg lineups. This is a huge advantage for players and gives you an hour window to bring in those players that are definitely starting. Before we go through the differentials let’s take a look at my own campaign.
My matchday 3 review
If you follow my journey through my Top Picks articles usually with allaboutfpl you’ll know I have had a pretty solid start to campaign. Hitting ranks of 80k in matchday 1 , then 6k after matchday 2. Let’s see if that progress continued. Here is my team from matchday 3 :
A good matchday again after using the wildcard chip as planned. 101 points with most of my picks returning. The regular returners in Salah and Sane provided me with huge hauls, Cancelo my new signing proving to be a huge asset moving forward with his haul of 13 points, and even my budget gems in Adeyemi and Kristensen both returned as Salzburg swept aside Wolfsburg 3-1.
So with that good week another great rank rise from 6k up to 1k. Now it’s all about pushing on and trying to get into triple digits. You’ll see how I plan to set my team out later in the article.
Matchday 4 differentials:
Price: 5 million
Firstly Salzburg have shown more than enough in the UCL to suggest that not only will they not be walked over by the rest of the group but they will compete to win this group and that has shown in their results. 2 wins and a draw in their first 3 matchdays without a single loss against Sevilla , Wolfsburg and Lille. All recognisable teams within past European competitions. This already shows strength within the group , even more so because they lead the group in first place by 4 points.
To highlight Salzburg as a unit, in their last 20 matches in all competitions they remain unbeaten. An incredible show of form and something to not overlook.
Focusing more on the Salzburg attack. In their last 10 matches , a nice sample size, Salzburg have scored a huge 29 goals. This averages 2.9 goals scored in every game during that time. For me, buying into this attack could really get you ahead of the rest.
Okafor has featured 10 times this season with only 4 starts but what is exciting is that 3 out of 4 of those have come in Salzburg’ last 3 matches. This shows that the manager now has faith to keep playing the young Swiss. But we don’t have to worry about his nailedness because one of the lineups we get to see before the deadline is that of Salzburg.
His price is 5 million. The game has arguably struggled this season within the 6.5 million and less midfielder bracket so as you can see Okafor offers a fantastic enabling price that we so desperately need in our UCL teams.
You’ll notice that Okafor is positionally labelled as a midfielder in the game when in real life he actually plays in a forward role with Adeyemi. For regular fantasy players this is known as OOP (out of position) , thus having even more value. You’ll see this from his heat map below:
You’ll also see that not only does Okafor not play in midfield but spends a lot of time in the opposition box, exactly where we want our assets.
His own attacking stats are probably the reason his manager has made him a regular starter as of late. From the 10 matches Okafor has featured he has scored 4 goals and created 3 assists , accumulating to 7 goal contributions in 10 matches. Impressive for a 5 million priced midfielder. With 3 of those goals and 2 of those assists being scored and created in his last 3 starts, which is even more impressive.
Okafor and Salzburg play Wolfsburg next. A team not only that they swept aside where the young Swiss actually scored a brace, but a team that have struggled for consistency as of late. With 2 wins , 3 draws and 5 losses with 3 of those 5 losses being in their last 3 , Wolfsburg look like the team to target.
Noah Okafor offers fantastic value with his enabling price and brilliant form. Playing for a team scoring plenty of goals and out of his in game position , against an out of sorts opponent, including Okafor in your future plans could be a very clever move and one your competitors may have never heard of. A very exciting differential.
Moving onto the other team that also plays early on Tuesday allowing us to see their lineups is Chelsea.
Price: 5.5 million
Like all players we need to guarantee the player plays and although there has been rotation between Chilwell and Alonso in the past that seems to be settling down. To highlight that in the last 4 matches in all competitions Ben has started all 4. If that wasn’t enough we get to see the starting lineups for Chelsea before the deadline.
In terms of defence there’s not many better in Europe never mind the premier league. Chelsea have kept the joint most clean sheets with 6 and the joint least goals conceded. This is all whilst playing the likes of Spurs , Arsenal , Man City , Liverpool and strong newcomers Brentford. Very impressive.
In terms of attacking potential you’ll struggle to find someone as good in the last 4 matches. Firstly let’s take a look at Chilwell’ heat map below
From the heat map already you’ll see that He spends a lot of time in the opponents half and even as much movement in the opposition box as in his own. A huge indication at first glance that Chilwell loves to attack.
In terms of underlying stats in the premier league in the last 4 Ben Chilwell impresses being the joint second amongst defenders for touches in the opponents box (11) , 1st goals scored (3) which is fantastic , 2nd for Goal attempts with 7 just behind Cancelo and Joint 2nd big chances created. Amazing recent underlying stats.
In his last 5 matches for club and country when Chilwell has started he’s managed to score 4 goals and keep 4 clean sheets resulting in 8 returns in 5 matches and again struggling to find better in Europe for current form from a defender.
Chelsea and Chilwell go up against a team who are struggling for consistency in all competitions. In their last 10 matches Malmo have only took 5 wins away. In the UCL their form is worse. Playing 3 matches so far they have lost all and conceded 3+ goals in each of them , resulting in 11 goals conceded in that time whilst scoring no goals. Very poor.
Ben Chilwell becomes a fantastic differential for matchday 4 , in fantastic scoring form in a very strong defensive unit and up against a very poor Malmo side , I think he could have a big matchday in terms of points.
Price: 7 million
Already some may be thinking isn’t he a rotation risk? With Werner and Lukaku now out with injuries the Chelsea attacking depth is looking dented. With both players now out Hudson Odoi has already started the first premier league game since they’ve been out. A reminder we see the lineups regardless.
The Chelsea attack although usually rotated often are still in form. 23 goals scored in their last 10 matches , averaging 2.3 goals per match. That’s after playing teams like Man City , Liverpool , Juventus and Spurs in that same period. Still very good.
Let’s take a look at CHO’ heat map this season. Although there is a lack of game time , his regular positions are still clear:
You’ll see that CHO predominantly plays on his favoured left side. You can also see that although a midfielder in UCL fantasy he plays as an advanced winger, with runs into the box the potentially is clearly there if playing.
Eyeing up a first team place in this Chelsea attack CHO will no doubt be going out to impress in every game he plays until the return of Werner. With a goal in his first match the young 20 year old will want to impress on the biggest stage their is in club football.
In the 5.5 million- 7 million midfielder bracket that isn’t rich with options CHO becomes a good one.
The opponents coming up are Malmo. As discussed earlier in their last 10 are very inconsistent with conceding 16 goals in that time. Not bad but when you factor in that they’ve conceded 11 of those goals in their 3 matches in the UCL it screams potential, even more so because in the last face off Malmo conceded 4 goals against Chelsea.
Price: 9 million
Havertz like CHO has struggled for minutes amongst the Chelsea attack. Also similar to CHO the injuries of Werner and Lukaku have had a positive affect on those minutes with Havertz now being even more nailed than CHO. The injuries have put Havertz in a position where he is the only player in the squad good enough to play in the advanced forward role that Lukaku left behind. We also get the lineups anyway.
Havertz is no stranger to this advanced role. His first season although clinching the Champions League with his goal against Man City in the final had a torrid run. Catching Covid , experiencing long term after effects from that whilst also getting injured meant he couldn’t show us his true potential, thankfully we saw it before Chelsea bought him at Bayer Leverkusen.
In his 18/19 season in the Bundesliga Havertz played 34 matches, scored 17 goals and created 3 assists, contributing to 20 goals in his 34 matches as a young 20 year old.
The great form continued in his final season at Leverkusen before he came to Chelsea in the 19-20 season after he played 30 matches , scoring another 12 goals and creating another 6 with assists.
2 matches played so far for Havertz in his advanced position for Chelsea this season. Whilst missing out on the score sheet for Chelsea during their huge 7-0 win against Norwich Havertz showed against Southampton that he’s still a natural goal scorer after nodding in from a set piece. You’ll see from his heat map below against Southampton how advanced his position can be:
With Lukaku still out and an opponent that have conceded 3+ goals in all if their UCL matches so far , Havertz could have the potential to return sone big points in match day 4.
Price: 5 million
Augustinsson the 27 year old Swedish Left back is highly regarded amongst the Nordic community and Bundesliga fans. Although this is the case his stats don’t reflect that in recent seasons.
Firstly playing for Werder Bremen a very average/poor team within the Bundesliga. Poor would usually be an exaggeration due to their mid table finishes but the past couple of seasons they have dramatically dropped in average due to their 16th and 17th league finish in the past 2 seasons. This already suggests of course that his stats may not represent his quality.
For Sweden as stated earlier he’s highly regarded within the team. Check out his heat map below from the European Qualifiers below:
You’ll see that Augustinsson actually spends more time attacking then defending along with a lot of positioning outside the opposition box and also runs into the box.
Sevilla saw the potential in Augustinsson and so brought him to the club this current season. With 3 match appearances in a row Ludwig is certifying himself into the Sevilla backline. Even more convincing is that he has already returned both an assist and a clean sheet in the 2 La Liga starts he’s made. Take a look at his heatmap from those 2 matches so far:
You’ll see already from those 2 matches vast amounts of positioning in the opponents half and movement into the box.
Sevilla themselves have a had a good run of form as of late. In their last 10 matches they’ve only lost one match whilst keeping 5 clean sheets within that same period.
Sevilla play against a Lille side up next in matchday 4 who have only won 3 of their last 10 and failed to score in 4 of those same matches, showing huge inconsistency.
Augustinsson shows potential going forward whilst playing for a team who have shown to be a good defence. Against an inconsistent in Lille Ludwig could well be a great differential for matchday 4.
Price: 4.9 million
For those that don’t know what OOP means in the fantasy football world it means out of position. This term is usually used in the fantasy football community when a player is playing out of position compared to their in game position. This gives them more potential to return more points.
Dest labelled as a defender in the game and rightly so because that’s his natural position. However recently now taking up an attacking position on the wing as part of a front 3 for Barcelona. Giving him a massive boost in terms of potential and being much closer to the oppositions goal.
Check out his heat map below :
You’ll see both versatility which is valuable in any fantasy football asset but you’ll also see huge attacking positioning including some darker areas in the box.
In Dest’ last 10 matches for club he’s managed to keep 3 clean sheets , create 4 assists and score 1 goal accumulating to what would be 8 fantasy points returns in his last 10 matches, which is impressive.
Next up it’s Dynamo Kyiv who were flattened by Bayern 5-0 last time out. Barcelona will be looking to bounce back into consistency after a loss against their fierce rivals Real Madrid.
Dest offers incredible value in terms of being out of position, being basically an attacking winger but getting the clean sheet points when Barcelona don’t concede. Combine that with a great price and great opponent in terms of potential he could be a great differential for matchday 4.
Price: 9.6 million
Whilst everyone picks the template picks of Lewandowski, Ronaldo , Lukaku and several more, a nice differential pick to boost you up those ranks like Zapata could be great.
Starting with the opponent is something I don’t usually do but it’s very important considering the circumstances. Man United don’t tend to be a fixture anyone would ever target in terms of assets but matchday 4 could be the time to.
Man United have only kept 1 clean sheet in the premier league this season after 9 games which is extraordinary considering. In fact in their last 10 matches played they have conceded 19 goals , 1.9 goals on average during that same period which bodes well for Zapata.
Atalanta may not be the pinnacle of Italian football but going forward they are more than handy. They haven’t failed to score a goal in any of their last 10 matches. On top of that have scored 18 goals in that same period just less than the amount Man United have conceded. Meaning a 1.8 goals scored average in their last 10.
In season 20-21 Zapata had a pretty impressive season. 37 matches played scoring 15 goals and creating 9 assists, combining to 24 goal contributions in 37 matches.
That good form has continued this season. 7 matches played in Serie A so far, scoring 4 goals and creating 2 assists. 6 attacking returns in his last 7 matches.
Although there is some rotation in the front line Zapata has proven that even when he doesn’t start he still features and even when he features can still score.
With an arguably good fixture at a decent price Zapata offers great recent from in a very capable side in terms of attacking and scoring.
Price: 6.2 million
The midfielder bracket between 5-7 million has been an issue this campaign due to the limited options and Danjuma stands out like a sore thumb.
Firstly Villarreal are an interesting team in that they are capable of both conceding lots of goals but scoring lots of goals. In their last 10 matches they have scored 18 goals averaging 1.8 goals per match. Not bad at all.
Next up to play is Young Boys. Having already played them and swept them aside in a big 4-1 win, Villarreal will be looking to do a similar job especially being at home this time. Although domestically strong conceding 5 goals in their 2 UCL matches already suggests they could be out of their depth.
Danjuma although categorised as a midfielder his position and heatmap is oddly similar to Salah although just on the other side of the pitch. This could be seen as Danjuma playing out of position as he spends more time in the final third and oppositions box than most other midfielders in the game. Take a look at his heat map :
You’ll also a huge presence in the opponents box , reflecting just how dangerous and attacking Danjuma really is.
Danjuma bought from Bournemouth for this current season played 33 matches in the championship last season, scoring 15 goals and creating 7 assists. 22 goal contributions in 33 for the young Dutchman.
That great form continued with him in a Villarreal shirt and continues currently. In the 12 matches Danjuma has played in both the UCL and La Liga combined he has managed 6 goals and 2 assists. 8 goal contributions in 12 games.
Danjuma offers great value for money when there isn’t much in game for this particular position. At only 2% owned he offers first team minutes and a price that enables upgrades to the rest of the squad whilst still hitting attacking returns. A great differential for match day 4.
Team: AC Milan
Price: 6.2 million
Brahim Diaz recently tested positive for Covid which meant he was to be sidelined until he tested negative. That time has come with multiple sources revealing he has tested negative and is ready to resume normal training.
You can already see by his price that he enables money to be spent on the more expensive in form options and there is many this campaign. Already a good reason to look further into him.
Milan are in fine scoring form in attack with 19 goals in their last 10 matches averaging 1.9 goals per match within that time. A solid average when looking for teams to invest in within the attack.
With a terrible start to their UCL campaign after losing all 3 matches the Italians will be looking to get some points on the board. With Diaz now back in the team we could just see the injection of quality they need.
Their opponents Porto are very much used to dominating in their domestic league , however were found out by Liverpool when they lost 5-1 in Portugal at home. Losing their last match against Santa Clara 3-1 , the Porto backline has shown that when it’s breached it’s heavily breached.
The Spanish talent predominantly plays in a left and central sided attacking role although will be found utilising space anywhere in the attacking half. Check out his heat map below:
Diaz being so young at 22 still looks to find a team to settle in. After moving between loan deals between Milan and Real Madrid for several years he now seems to be finding his feet with recent form . 9 matches played so far domestically and in the champions league , scoring 4 goals and creating 2 assists combining to 6 goal contributions in 9. Impressive.
Brahim Diaz offers value in a position in the game that is struggling for options in the cheap bracket. Playing for a side desperate for points against a team who when on the back foot can concede plenty. A great enabling asset for matchday 4.
Price: 8 million
Starting with Sporting and their opponent. Their form is always very good. In their last 20 matches they’ve only lost twice with one of them being against high flying Ajax in their UCL group. They’ve also only failed to score once in that same period which was against Dortmund the other member of their group in the UCL. Very impressive.
In terms of goals scored , 17 goals scored in their last 10 matches in all competitions averaging 1.7 goals over the same period, with 4 of those goals scored against Besiktas their upcoming opponent in matchday 4.
Besiktas are struggling for consistency. 5 losses in their last 10 matches whilst only keeping a single clean sheet in those same games with 9 matches having conceded in and a huge 7 out of 9 of those games they have conceded 2+ goals showing massive potential for Sporting and Goncalves.
Whilst 8 million sounds a lot of money for Goncalves his peers in that price range are struggling, Mount , Bellingham, Barella and many more failed to return in matchday 3 and none looked convincing either.
Take a look at Pedro’ heat map below :
You’ll see see there he plays primarily on the right side and then centrally as well. Lots of movement in the final third and box shows great potential especially going into the Besiktas match.
In his 20-21 season he managed to play 32 matches for Sporting scoring a huge 23 goals and creating 3 assists, accumulating to 26 goal contributions in 32 matches. Very impressive.
This season his good form continues in the 6 matches played so far he has managed 3 goals and 1 assist, 5 attacking returns in 6 which is a great start to the season.
Against a team who have terrible recent form in goals conceded, with really good recent form Pedro Goncalves could really run riot in matchday 4.
Price: 8.7 million
Ajax have been somewhat of a revelation so far in that they seem to be performing above many expectations including my own. Of course in the domestic league I expect them to dominate but the way they have is slightly surprising in terms of how many goals scored and how well they’ve beaten their opponents.
In their last 10 matches Ajax have a magnificent 37 goals scored averaging a colossal 3.7 goals per match. One of Europes highest scoring teams amongst the major European leagues. Amazing.
Equally in the champions league they’ve also dominated. 11 goals scored in the 3 matches played so far in the UCL. 4 against originally German favourites for the group Dortmund. Another show of great form.
Another matchup against the Germans Dortmund again next where Ajax will be looking to top the group comfortably. With Dortmund losing some key players due to injury including star man Haaland, Ajax will once again fancy themselves to win the game.
Defensively Dortmund are very inconsistent. Only 2 clean sheets in their last 10 games whilst also conceding 14 in that same period . 1.4 goals per match on average.
Many readers know of Tadic’ time in the premier league for Southampton in season 17-18 but fast forward to last season he played 34 matches , scored 14 goals and created 17 assists. An amazing show of goal contributions with 31 in 34 matches. Fantastic stats for any player at this level. Even more impressive that Tadic shows an impressive spread of assists and goals showing potential of two separate routes to points.
This season the 32 year old after 13 matches played in the UCL and domestic league he’s managed to score 5 goals and create 10 assists. 15 goal contributions in 13 matches for the Serbian forward. Incredible form again already.
For me against a weak opponent defensively Tadic can really hurt Dortmund. In a high scoring team with incredible form reflecting in his current stats this season Tadic could be a fantastic differential for matchday 4.
So there you have it. Some great differentials to push on and separate yourself slightly from the template. This is my current set up going into matchday 4:
You’ll see I haven’t made any changes yet and probably won’t until we see the early lineups. However Ben Chilwell remains high on my transfer list to come in.
Thank you for reading and I hope this article has helped. Until next time. Good luck on matchday 4.