UCL Fantasy top picks for Matchday 7
The next round of Champions League is close. We take a look at the top picks for Matchday 7. In addition, we take into consideration team and player form, fixture difficulty, minutes, fitness, heat maps and other factors to help us pick out those great options.
Taking a look at the UCL Fantasy top picks for Matchday 7 could be vital to both getting back on track or maintaining those successful starts to the campaign. We have a new set of fixtures; this can indicate different assets or highlight players even more in terms of bringing them in.
Goalkeepers – Kepa Arrizabalaga
Chelsea have been improving defensively over the last few weeks. The addition of Benoît Badiashile has been huge for the Blues. His strength and partnership with Thiago Silva has seemingly helped towards solidifying the backline.
At the time of writing Chelsea have kept three consecutive clean sheets in as many games. Chelsea did show signs of a good defence in their two matches against AC Milan in the group stage, keeping clean sheets in both.
They face Dortmund in Matchday 7 on the second day of matches. The German side are in great form but when considering the €4.5m price-tag of Kepa Arrizabalaga, it could be an opportunity missed. Kepa has the best save percentage in the Premier League this season which also boosts his appeal when considering potential save points.
Kepa has secured his first team status in the Chelsea team, has a brilliant price-tag and has plenty of potential for save points. The Spaniard also plays on the second day which gives managers the opportunity to swap him out on the third or fourth day if he blanks. Taking into account all of the factors above, Kepa Arrizabalaga makes the top picks for Matchday 7.
Benfica reflected some of the best form in Europe for large parts of this season. Although there was a recent drop-off, that great form seems to be returning. In their last 10 matches the Portuguese side have managed a huge six clean sheets.
Interestingly six of the clean sheets Benfica kept in the last 10 matches actually came in their last seven games. They face a struggling Club Brugge side with a new manager in Matchday 7. In their last 10 matches Club Brugge have failed to score more than one goal in seven.
There is huge potential for a clean sheet against Club Brugge ahead. One of the best ways into the Benfica defence could be Odysseas Vlachodimos (€5m). The 28-year-old managed to keep 10 clean sheets in his 21/22 domestic season.
To put the above into perspective, Odysseas Vlachodimos has already bagged 13 clean sheets in 20 matches in his current campaign. The Greek goalkeeper also plays on the second day so can be swapped out if he blanks.
Benfica’s strong defence seems to be getting even more solid and with a game against a struggling Club Brugge next and plenty of clean sheets under his belt already, Odysseas Vlachodimos makes the top picks for Matchday 7.
Another Portuguese side impressing is Porto. In the six matches they played in their most recent group stage they picked up clean sheets in half of them. Since then things defensively seem to be very steady. In their last 10 matches Porto have bagged a massive eight clean sheets.
Porto’s fantastic recent defensive form could be key going into a match against Italian giants Inter. Interestingly in their last 10 matches Inter have scored one goal or less on six occasions. So against a strong defence they may struggle.
Not only is their defence strong but they also have one of the most prolific fantasy goalkeepers in the competition, if not the most. Diogo Costa (£5.2m) ranks as the highest scoring goalkeeper in the game.
The Porto man picked up three double-digit hauls in the group stages. His points consisted of three penalty saves, an assist and clean sheets. No matter how many times you read that last sentence it doesn’t quite sink in does it?
Costa has a tough fixture but has proved to be a relentless fantasy asset whilst also playing for a well drilled defensive unit. Taking everything into account, Diogo Costa should be an easy inclusion into the top picks for Matchday 7.
Defenders – Alejandro Grimaldo
We have already seen that Benfica have a very strong defensive unit which only increases the potential of one of their defensive assets. Their opponent Club Brugge are also maintaining some suspect form going into Matchday 7.
One player who UCL Fantasy managers should be looking at is Alejandro Grimaldo (€5.3m). The Spaniard has been one of the most exciting full backs in Europe over the last several years. Last season he managed five goals and five assists and six clean sheets. Grimaldo totalled 16 returns in 29 matches.
This season his attacking capabilities have been on show yet again. In the 19 matches he has played domestically, Grimaldo has already created two goals, six assists and nine clean sheets, leading to a massive 17 returns in 19 matches.
Grimaldo is reflecting premium player form with his output. If the above wasn’t enough, the full back has already notched up two assists, two goals and one clean sheet meaning he secured five returns in six matches.
As we can see in his season heatmap below, Grimaldo loves to attack and spends more time in the opposition’s half than his own. We can also see his positioning in the oppositions box. This only adds to his attacking potential.
Alejandro Grimaldo is in fantastic form and with potential for both the clean sheet and an attacking return, he breezes his way into the top picks for Matchday 7.
Benfica are in great form and have a great fixture so further defensive investment into their backline is advised. Many managers will likely own a Benfica defensive so doubling up on them could see huge gains if they do keep the clean sheet.
Many managers will also be looking for budget priced defenders when building their round of 16 teams. Budget enablers help spread funds around the rest of the squad and also aid when buying the more expensive options.
One player who fits the bill is centre back Otamendi (€4.7m). Centre backs can be a lot more appealing in UCL Fantasy. This is because they are rewarded for every ball recovery they make. This then adds to their final total as the Matchday progresses.
Otamendi banked a whopping 45 ball recoveries in the group stages contributing 15 points to his points tally spread across his six matches. Otamendi isn’t shy of creating goal contributions either as he created an assist in his final group game.
With multiple routes to points, Otamendi has fantastic potential and sits at an even better price-tag. For that reason and the factors above, the centre back has to be considered in the top picks for Matchday 7.
As Chelsea continue to improve their assets become even more tempting. Although they face a very good scoring side, they have shown against Milan that when playing well they can stop their opponents. This then boosts the chances of a clean sheet.
With a game against Dortmund in Matchday 7, it’s probably a good idea to go for a Chelsea defender with attacking threat and Reece James (€6.2m) is one of the most dangerous defenders in Europe on his day.
James has returned to first team football after an injury. The Englishman hit an impressive five goals and nine assists, accumulating to 14 attacking returns in 26 matches last season and has already shown signs of his attacking ability.
It was his penultimate group stage match where James really proved his talent. He created an assist, scored a goal and kept the clean sheet which led to a monstrous 20-point haul against AC Milan. Lets take a look at his heat map.
We can see from his heatmap that James also spends the majority of his time in the opposition’s half. The positioning in the box is also very exciting an also boosts the likeliness of an attacking return. James has huge potential going forward and regardless of opponent should always be considered if fit.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo
Napoli have been one of the most convincing teams in Europe this season. Both domestically and in Europe the Italian side have hugely impressed. They sit a massive 13 points clear in their league and have won eight of their last 10 matches in all competitions
Amongst those great results they have also kept four clean sheets. They face German side Frankfurt in Matchday 7. Their opponents have shown bluntness to score goals in their group stage matches where they failed to score in two of them.
The Napoli defence is great but Giovanni Di Lorenzo (€5.1m) stands out as the best asset in the backline. The Italian has racked up a cool 42 points in UCL Fantasy so far. Those returns consist of two clean sheets, one goal, one assist, a player of the match award and a whopping 43 ball recoveries.
Di Lorenzo has also had a really solid domestic league campaign. In 21 matches he has picked up one goal, three assists and eight clean sheets. This tallies up to 12 returns in 21 games. The defender has also been averaging 1.4 key passes per game which increases his assists potential and overall appeal.
We can see from his heatmap above that Di Lorenzo’s positioning is promising from a fantasy perspective. Similar to other attacking full backs he has a lot of positioning in the opponent’s half but he also has a lot of positioning in the box with the darker red patches.
Napoli’s form is hard to ignore and Di Lorenzo stands out as one of the the top picks for Matchday 7.
One of the biggest shocks in the January window was Joao Cancelo’s (€6.7m) move from Manchester City to Bayern. The Portuguese full back has impressed fans around the world with many labelling him as one of the best in the world.
There is no doubt Joao Cancelo has talent but the Manchester City rotation made him a major risk in terms of minutes. Bayern were quick to sign him and their need for him is reflected in the fact he has started both of their last two matches.
Bayern face PSG in Matchday 7 which is far from easy. However the news that Kylian Mbappe will not start in the first leg is a huge boost to their backline and only increases the chance of a clean sheet. UCL managers need to remember that Bayern kept five clean sheets in their six group stages matches. These clean sheets came against teams like Barcelona and Inter.
Cancelo has already proved himself in Europe. In the first four Champions League matches this season where he played 90 minutes, he returned in all of them. Cancelo’s first return of the campaign consisted of two assists, a clean sheet and nine ball recoveries, bagging 15 points.
For those concerned about his offensive output with the move over to Bayern, don’t be. Cancelo has played just two matches and managed to create an assist in both, reflecting his fantastic ability to muster up chances and considering all of the factors above, makes his way into the top picks for Matchday 7.
Midfielders – Khivicha Kvaratskhelia
Napoli have been fantastic this season. Whilst sitting at the top of their domestic league their also looking to challenge some of the biggest teams in Europe. A good example of their scoring form is the fact they have scored 23 goals in their last 10 matches, averaging 2.3 goals scored per match.
In the Champions League that top form has also been seen. They advanced through to the round of 16 after topping their group with 15 points. In the six matches they played they also scored a huge 20 goals, averaging 3.3 goals per match.
They face a Frankfurt side who have kept just two clean sheets in their last 10 competitive matches so the potential for Napoli goals is there. One player every fantasy manager should have in their round of 16 teams is Khivicha Kvaratskhelia (€5.9m).
Khivicha Kvaratskhelia has been a revelation this season. The 21-year-old midfielder has bagged eight goals and nine assists in his 17 domestic league matches. This totals to 17 goal contributions in as many games, reflecting premium form.
If that wasn’t enough Kvaratskhelia picked up two goals and three assists in his current Champions League campaign, once again returning as many goal contributions as matches played. His performances helped him reach two double-digit in that same period.
We can see from his heatmap above that although he is classified as a midfielder in the game, the majority of his positioning is near or inside the opponents box. What is even more significant is that Kvaratskhelia also took his teams last penalty, increasing his appeal even more and securing him as one of the top picks for Matchday 7.
Dortmund are becoming progressively convincing lately. In fact, in their last 10 competitive matches they have won six. Interestingly four of those wins have come in their last four league matches. Another key takeaway is how many goals they have been scoring.
In the same 10 match period as above, the German side have netted 21 times, averaging 2.1 goals per game. Dortmund have seemingly found their rhythm. They face a Chelsea side who have shown major inconsistencies lately and for that reason it could be a good idea to invest in one of their attackers.
Jude Bellingham (€7.5) grabbed the attention of football fans around the world in his most recent World Cup campaign with many naming him as one of the best midfielders in football. At only 19-years-old, Bellingham is only growing and improving his game.
Last season Bellingham hit three goals and eight assists, totalling to 11 returns in 32 matches. This season the youngster has already collected four goals and four assists, leading to eight goal contributions in 18 matches domestically.
Bellingham’s output is improving but it’s his Champions League campaign that is really appealing. The Englishman tends to turn up in the biggest games and that can be reflected in the fact he’s claimed a huge 49 points in UCL Fantasy so far.
In the five group stage matches he played he scored four goals and created one assist, creating as many goal contributions in as many games played. His returns converted into an impressive three double-digit hauls. Bellingham has shown multiple routes to points and for that reason is an easy addition into the top picks for Matchday 7.
Benfica have sustained some of the best form in Europe this season and that doesn’t come without scoring goals. The Portuguese side have collected 19 goals in their last 10 matches, averaging 1.9 goals scored per match.
It was also a convincing Champions League group stage for Benfica. They topped their group ahead of French giants PSG hitting 14 points in total. Within that period they also put away a huge 16 goals, averaging 2.6 goals scored per game.
They face Club Brugge in Matchday 7. Although they racked up a ridiculous five out of six clean sheets in their group stage, their recent form is concerning but promising for the Benfica attackers. The Belgian side have kept just two clean sheets in their last 10 matches.
Joao Mario (€6.1m) comes in at a fantastic price so for managers looking for the best enabler out there, you may have just stumbled upon him. This season domestically, Mario has already bagged a huge 12 goals and four assists, totalling to 16 goal contributions in 19 matches. Interestingly five of his goals and one of his assists have come in the last three matches, reflecting brilliant form.
Mario also takes his teams penalties which massively boosts his already big appeal. We can see from the heat map below that Mario is very versatile. Attacking from most positions on the pitch but predominantly on the wings, Mario has become an all around attacker.
Mario picked up four significant returns in his six Champions League matches including two double-digit hauls. His potential is clear and for that reason, at that price, becomes one of the best players to invest in for Matchday 7.
Bayern have been one of the best attacks to invest in for Champions League Fantasy players. Their scoring form tends to average one of the best in Europe, making their attackers some of the most attractive in the game.
In their last 10 matches the German side have won seven, drawn three and remain unbeaten. In that same period they also scored a huge 30 goals. That total averages three goals scored per game, yes you guessed it, one of the most in-form attacks in the Champions League.
They a face a PSG side who have been struggling to convince lately, whilst also keeping just three clean sheets in their last 10 competitive matches. One player many should consider is winger Leroy Sane (€9.3m).
In his previous domestic season Sane managed seven goals and seven assists in 32 matches. However similar to Jude Bellingham, seems to take his Champions League campaigns by storm as he picked up six goals and six assists in just 10 European matches.
This season Sane has notched up six goals and three assists in is 17 domestic matches. However similar to his last season it was his Champions League campaign that caught the eye. The German has collected four goals and one assist from just four UCL games.
Sane returned in every Champions League match he played picking up 40 points in UCL Fantasy and averaging 10 points per game. Considering all of the factors above, Sane is an easy inclusion into the top picks for Matchday 7.
If there is one team you can count on in the latter stages of the Champions League it’s Real Madrid. The Spanish side were underdogs against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City last season but beat them all to claim another European trophy.
In their last 10 matches in all competitions their form has not been as good as they would have liked. However Real Madrid still won six of them which says a lot about the high standards they want to maintain.
They face a hugely out of sorts Liverpool in Matchday 7. The English club have lost two matches on the bounce whilst also conceding five goals and keeping just two clean sheets in their last 10 matches. Liverpool are their to attack.
One of the best ways to target Liverpool could be with Vinícius Júnior (€10m). The Brazilian is considered as one of the most promising attackers in world football. Last season domestically he managed a whopping 17 goals and 10 assists. This led to a huge 27 goal contributions in 35 games.
This season Vinícius Júnior has continued his great form with seven goals and three assists, accumulating to 10 returns in 20 matches. If that wasn’t enough then his recent Champions League output might be. In the six matches he played he scored four goals and created one assist.
His Champions League returns amass to 40 points in UCL Fantasy which also consists of eight or more points in four of the six games he did play. Vinícius Júnior will be looking to target the space left behind Liverpool’s flanks with his pace and could have massive potential in the round ahead. Taking everything into account, Vinícius Júnior makes the top picks for Matchday 7.
Forwards – Erling Haaland
In their last 10 matches Manchester City have won six. Although good for most teams Manchester City hold higher standards so they will be hoping to improve on that. In that same period they also scored 18 goals, so when considering their going through a slump, it’s still very impressive.
They face Leipzig in Matchday 7 who although are in good form have still only kept three clean sheets in their last 10 competitive matches. The potential for Manchester City goals could be huge and there is one man who could punish them.
Erling Halaand (€11.1m) has took the Premier League by storm since moving over to Manchester City. After just 20 matches he has already racked up a massive 25 goals and three assists, accumulating to 23 goal contributions.
In Fantasy Premier League Haaland is the highest owned and highest scoring player in the game. Reflecting how good he has been this season. In the four Champions League matches he has played he has collected 26 points whilst also scoring five goals.
Haaland is in fantastic form and against a team struggling to keep clean sheets he could have bags potential. Because of that and the reasons above, Haaland makes his way into the top picks for Matchday 7.
Napoli’s form is no secret at this point. The Italian side are dominating in their own domestic league whilst also packing a punch in their current Champions League campaign. The goals are coming which could mean a double up on the Napoli attack a wise move.
Another standout option in their frontline could be Victor Osimhen (€7.9m). The Nigerian striker has become one of the most wanted players in Europe over the last couple of seasons. In his 21/22 domestic campaign he scored 14 goals and created two assists which could be considered as a turning point in his career.
In his current campaign Osimhen is hitting new heights. Scoring a huge 16 goals and creating three assists the striker has accumulated more goal contributions than he has played matches. His current form looks prime for huge returns in Matchday 7 and for that reason makes it into the top picks for Matchday 7.
Real Madrid will be looking to improve and against a Liverpool side who have conceded more big chances than any other team in the Premier League in the last six matches, it could well come in Matchday 7.
Main man Karim Benzema (€10.7m) has arguably been one of the best strikers in world football for years. Taking a look at some of his recent seasons may help remind us of that. In his 20/21 domestic season he scored 23 goals and created nine assists, totalling to 32 goal contributions in 34 matches.
In his 21/22 season Benzema continued his hot form. He picked up a massive 27 goals and 12 assists, accumulating to 39 goal contributions in 32 matches and solidifying himself as one of the best around. This season that form has not changed.
In the 12 matches Benzema has played in the league this season he has already racked up nine goals and three assists, totalling 12 attacking returns in 12 games. His quality and experience combined make him one of the most lethal players in the world and because of that gets his inclusion into the top picks for Matchday 7.
Things are on the up for Tottenham. In their last 10 matches in all competitions they have won six, lost three and drawn one. In that same period they have also scored 18 goals and averaged 1.8 goals scored per match.
They face a struggling AC Milan side in Matchday 7. The Italian side have lost a massive seven of their last 10 matches whilst also failing to keep a single clean sheet and conceding two or more goals in seven matches.
Scoring a large percentage of their goals is record breaker Harry Kane (€10.5m). Kane has been one of the best strikers for a long time now and that does not seem to be slowing down. In his 20/21 domestic season he banked 23 goals and 14 clean sheets, totalling 37 goal contributions in 35 games.
Fast forward to the current domestic campaign and Kane has already netted 17 goals and created one assist leading to 18 returns in 22 matches. He is in fantastic form and with a game against an out of form AC Milan, there may not be a better time to invest in him.
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