UCL Fantasy top picks for Matchday 8
The next round of Champions League is close. We take a look at the top picks for Matchday 8. 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 8 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 – Gregor Kobel
Dortmund are in fantastic form this season as at the time of writing they sit neck and neck with Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga. They play in one of the first games of Matchday 8 meaning managers can take a risk in terms of investment.
The German side have been reliable and that can reinforced in their last 10 competitive matches with a whopping nine wins and one loss. In the same period Dortmund have also kept four clean sheets, showing good defensive capabilities.
Chelsea lay ahead for Dortmund who are really struggling to maintain consistency. The Blues have struggled to score goals and have actually scored less goals then any English side in the top four tiers. This could further boost the appeal of a Dortmund defender.
One player who should be considered is Gregor Kobel (€5m). The Swiss goalkeeper kept seven clean sheets in his domestic campaign last season. He has already bettered that total with eight this season already. The Dortmund defence has evidently improved.
Kobel was fantastic against Chelsea in the first leg and picked up a cool eight points for his efforts. Considering he plays on the first day, sits at a great price-tag and faces a team struggling to score goals, he has to be considered amongst the top picks for Matchday 8.
Benfica are another team in relentless form. The Portuguese side have been a brilliant watch and there’s no surprise they have made it this far. They play in one of the first fixtures on the first Matchday which means their players are even more investable.
To highlight their elite form, Benfica have won eight of their last 10 matches, losing one and drawing one. In that same match period they kept an impressive seven clean sheets. The type of defensive form that cannot be ignored.
Benfica face Club Brugge in the second leg. It was a comfortable 2-0 victory for Benfica in the first leg who didn’t look like they were in danger of conceding for large parts of the game. Club Brugge are in torrid form considering their usual standard so investing against them could be hugely beneficial.
Odysseas Vlachodimos (€5m) sits at a great price-tag and one that is accessible to to every UCL manager. The Greek goalkeeper banked 10 clean sheets in his 21/22 league campaign. This season he has already surpassed that with 14 clean sheets and there’s plenty more opportunities to add to that. Taking all of those factors into account Odysseas Vlachodimos eases into the top picks for Matchday 8.
At the time of writing Napoli sit at the top of Serie A 18 points clear of second place. Their domestic dominance is crystal clear and that great form has translated into the Champions League. Napoli have have shown some of the best form in European football all campaign.
In their last 10 matches the Italian side have managed to win a whopping nine of them whilst losing just one. It is worth noting that the match they did lose was a cup game. In that period they have also kept a huge seven clean sheets.
Napoli face Frankfurt in the second leg after comfortably beating them 2-0 in the first. Frankfurt showed a huge lack of offensive quality in the first leg. What should also be taken into account is that Frankfurt have lost their biggest goal threat due to a red card suspension. Because of that, investing the Napoli defence becomes even more appealing.
One of the most basic ways into the Napoli is through Alex Meret (€5m). The Italian has been reliable this season, picking up 12 clean sheets in the league already. Meret plays towards the end of the Matchday and there’s no safer option that him at the back in Matchday 8.
Defenders – Alejandro Grimaldo
Benfica are a must in terms of defensive investment. Keeping seven clean sheets in their last 10 matches in all competitions is no east feat. They face a Club Brugge who have won just two of their last 10 matches in all competitions.
Club Brugge are a team to target and one way to invest in both Benfica’s attack and defence is with Alejandro Grimaldo (€5.3m). The left-back banked five goals and five assists in his 21/22 domestic league campaign.
This season has been no different for Grimaldo as he continues to impress as one of the most attacking full-backs in Europe. So far he has collected two goals and six assists this season domestically. In his current Champions League campaign he has also managed two goals, two assists and two clean sheets, reflecting premium form.
Below we can see Grimaldo’s heat map from this season. He spends most of his time in the opposition’s half and a chunk of his positioning is in the opponent’s box, increasingly the already high chance of him picking up an attacking return.
Grimaldo has already hit two double-digit hauls in his Champions League campaign, including a whopping 20-point haul consisting of a goal, an assist, a clean sheet and a player of the match award. Not owning Grimaldo could be trouble and for that reason he walks into the top picks for Matchday 8.
Further investment into the Benfica defence could be highly beneficial. Most of the top managers will already own Alejandro Grimaldo so making sure we benefit from a clean sheet will be key. One player who looks to be a main stay in the Benfica starting 11 is Alexander Bah.
Budget players will get more and more difficult to come by as we progress through the latter stages of the Champions League and he offers exactly that. The right-back comes in with a tasty price-tag of €4.5m which could help enable the pricier options within our squads.
Bah proved his quality at a young age in the Danish league. He managed an impressive four goals and three assists in 12 league games. His performances were rewarded with a move to the Czech Republic. There he added to his total with another three goals.
Benfica swooped into to sign Bah a season after his previous move. The Danish full-back has already bagged one goal, three assists and five clean sheets this season. In addition, he has also hit two back-to-back nine-point returns in his last Champions League matches.
Below is a graphic of Bah’s heatmap this season and similar to Grimaldo, although not as impressive, the Dane loves to advance forward and also utilises more of his time in the opposition’s half. This then increases the likelihood of an attacking return.
At a great price, with attacking threat and playing for one of the best defences in Europe, Aleksander Bah has to be considered amongst the top picks for Matchday 8.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo
Similar to Benfica, Napoli are another side with one of the best forms in Europe. The Italian side have managed a fantastic seven clean sheets in their last 10 matches in all competitions. Investing in the Napoli defence could be absolutely vital.
The standout option in the Napoli backline is without a doubt Giovanni Di Lorenzo (€5.1m). The right-back had a solid 21/22 domestic campaign. He claimed one goal, five assist and a massive 15 clean sheets, accumulating 21 returns in 33 games.
This season Di Lorenzo has shown his attacking capabilities once again with one goal and four assists. Although good his Champions League campaign has been even better. He has banked a huge 55 points including three double-digit hauls, two goals, one assist and two clean sheets.
In his last 10 matches in all competitions Di Lorenzo has banked seven clean sheets, two assists and two goals, totalling to 11 returns in 10 games which is elite form. With a great fixture ahead and in fine form, Giovanni Di Lorenzo is a must in the top picks for Matchday 8.
We have already seen that Dortmund’s top form stretches to nine wins in their last 10 matches in all competitions so investment could be beneficial. The Dortmund defence has been a concern for years but that seems to be changing.
The German side have banked four clean sheets in their last 10 matches but their Matchday 8 opponent’s offensive form bolsters the appeal of the defence. In fact Chelsea have failed to score in a huge seven of their last 10 matches in all competitions.
One of the most effective ways into the Dortmund defence could be Raphaël Guerreiro (€4.7m). In his 21/22 domestic league season he hit four goals and two assists. Guerreiro proved his threat in his most recent World Cup campaign for Portugal bagging one goal and two assists in just four matches.
This season the left-back has already managed one goal and six assists in his 17 matches of league football for Dortmund. Guerreiro has also shown his offensive talent in the Champions League scoring two goals and banking a 13-point haul in the group stages.
As we can see from the heat map above, the Dortmund man spends most of his time in the opposition’s half which suggests he looks to advance at any given opportunity. Against a team struggling to score goals and great offensive hunger, Guerreiro could be a great addition into the top picks for Matchday 8.
AC Milan have been inconsistent this season, especially when comparing their performances to that of the season before when they won the league. Although that is the case things do seem to be improving as of late.
Their recent slumps looks to be reverting as Milan have picked up four wins on the bounce. What is even more surprising is that in the same four matches they also kept a clean sheet in each and every one of them. This could mean that their defensive assets are a lot more appealing than they were not long ago.
They face a Tottenham who have also been inconsistent this campaign. We never know what were going to get from the English side which means backing against them could go either way. One method into the Milan defence and attack could be Theo Hernandez (€5.9m).
The French international has become one of the best left-backs in Europe. In his most recent World Cup tournament he managed to pick up one goal and two assists in the six matches he featured in. He has also picked up two goals and three assists in his league campaign this season whilst also creating another two assists in the Champions League.
Milan have been playing with a wing back system as of late which puts Theo Hernandez in one of the most advanced positions on the field. For that reason and the factors above, he makes his way into the top picks for Matchday 8.
Midfielders – Vinicus Junior
Champions League holders Real Madrid will be hoping to claim a second successive title this season and their on a good path to achieving that. In their last 10 matches they have won seven, drawn two and lost one, showing very strong form.
In the same period as above the Spanish side have also hit the net 26 times, averaging 2.6 goals per match. This offensive strength is exactly what we look for as UCL Fantasy managers and a team that is essential in terms of investment.
Real Madrid face a Liverpool side struggling for form. In fact in their last 10 matches the English club have lost four, drawn three and won three whilst also conceding 15 goals, an average of 1.5 goals conceded per game.
One of the two best ways to invest in the Real Madrid attack is Vinicus Junior (€10m). The Brazilian has shot to success and become one of the best attackers in world football today. A good example of his output is in his 21/22 domestic campaign where he bagged a huge 17 goals and 10 assists.
Vincius has continued that previous form into the current campaign. Collecting seven goals and four assists already, he is on his way to another brilliant season. If that wasn’t enough Vinicus has also picked up a six goals and two assists in just seven Champions League matches this campaign.
After dismantling Liverpool 5-2 in the first leg Real Madrid will be expecting a Liverpool onslaught which gives Vinicius plenty of space to scrutinise. In fantastic form and a great fixture ahead, Vincius Junior may well be an essential and because of that can be considered amongst the top picks for Matchday 8.
Benfica may be in excellent form but their also scoring a lot of goals. In the their last 10 matches they have bagged 23 goals, averaging 2.3 goals per game. When considering the cost of some of their attacking assets, their an easy inclusion into any fantasy team.
Club Brugge are in poor form and we have seen that above in their last 10 matches. However, the Belgian side are also shipping a lot of goals. They have conceded 13 goals in the same period, averaging 1.3 goals per game. This number may seem ok but considering the strength of their league, it could be seen as extremely poor.
Joao Mario (€6.3m) has become one of, if not the best way into the lethal Benfica attack. Although his previous seasons have been low in terms of output, this season the midfielder has reached another level. Mario has already struck a massive 14 goals and five assists.
His total for this season racks up to 19 goal contributions in 21 matches. Mario’s attacking output has been brilliant so far. In the Champions League he has also managed five goals and one assist in six matches, proving he can do it on the biggest stage.
Mario also takes his teams penalties which provides an additional route to points. With eight goals and two assists in his last 10 matches, he is one of the most in-form attackers in Europe and his price-tag makes him the best enabler in UCL Fantasy.
It could take a brave UCL Fantasy manager to avoid investment in the Napoli frontline this week. In their last 10 matches in all competitions they have scored 25 goals, averaging 2.5 goals per match and cementing themselves as one of the best attacking units in Europe.
The Italian side face Frankfurt in the second leg. Napoli comfortably beat their opponents 2-0 in the reverse fixture and it could have been a lot more. Frankfurt are in poor form as of late, losing three of their previous four matches whilst also conceding two or more goals in the same three.
The cheapest and most effective way into the exciting attack is without a doubt Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (€5.9m). The young Georgian has burst onto the scene this season. Picking up 10 goals and nine assists already Kvaratskhelia has become vital and one half of the deadly Napoli duo.
Kavaratskhelia has notched up two double-digit hauls already in his European campaign this season showing he can be explosive. With a great fixture, taking penalties and in great form he walks into the top picks for Matchday 8.
Liverpool may be inconsistent but they have still scored two goals in three of their last five matches in all competitions, showing a very capable attack. They face a massive task of turning round a 5-2 defeat in the second leg, but they aren’t exactly shy of making comebacks.
Real Madrid are full of goals but they also have the tendency to concede them. An example of this was in the first leg when Liverpool scored two quick fire goals to take a 2-0 lead early on. The standout player from the Liverpool attack is of course Mohamed Salah (€11.3m).
Last season domestically Salah bagged an impressive 23 goals and 13 assists. This tallies to a whopping 36 attacking returns in 35 matches. This season his output has dropped off. The Egyptian has picked up just eight goals and five assists in the current league campaign.
There isn’t a lot to suggest Salah can continue his ridiculous output in UCL Fantasy. To highlight how good Salah has been in UCL Fantasy, he has collected a colossal five consecutive double-digit hauls in the last five matches.
Salah’s 68 points in the game consists of eight goals and two assists. Taking penalties also helps with his appeal and along with his big game ability in the Champions League, secures is position within the top picks for Matchday 8 regardless of his league form.
Bayern have been one of the best teams to invest in for a long time now. Their relentlessness for goals has been their best trait. In their last 10 matches the German side have won six, drawn three and lost one. In that same period they have also netted 23 goals, averaging 2.3 goals per game.
Their Matchday 8 opponents are PSG who may be a force going forward, especially with the return of star man Kylian Mbappe but defensively they have shown fragilities. In their last 10 matches the French side have conceded 16 goals, averaging 1.6 on average per game.
PSG could throw everything they have at Bayern in the second leg as they are losing the tie, which could leave plenty of room to scrutinise for the Bayern attackers. The most in-form attacker is Kingsley Coman (€8m).
Coman hit six goals and two assists in his 21/22 domestic league season and five goals and 10 assists in the season before that when given the opportunity to play. Coman’s recent form has really caught the eye though.
In his last four matches Coman has picked up five goals and one assist reflecting fantastic recent form and form that is very difficult to ignore. Another big factor is that Bayern concede most of their chances down the flanks rather than centrally. With Coman playing on the flank he has plenty of potential and due to all of the factors above, makes it into the top picks for Matchday 8.
Forwards – Karim Benzema
Real Madrid’s scoring form means it could be wise to invest in two of their attackers. They face a very inconsistent Liverpool in Matchday 8 and after scoring five goals against them in the first leg, it could be wise to double up on the Real Madrid attack.
The other half of the two best options in the Real Madrid frontline is Karim Benzema (€10.6m). The Frenchman should be top of every non-owners shopping list. His relentless form has lasted years long and should be highlighted.
In season 20/21 Benzema managed a whopping 23 goals and nine assists, totalling to 32 goal contributions in 34 matches. His great form continued into season 21/22 where he hit a ridiculous 27 goals and 12 assists, accumulating to 39 attacking returns in 32 matches.
This season in the league Benzema has not disappointed, even though he has suffered from injuries. So far the Real Madrid striker has managed 11 goals and three assists in 14 matches. Once again, Benzema is matching returns with number of matches played.
Taking penalties, fully fit and in great form, Benzema could be an absolute must going into his second leg against Liverpool. Because of that and the above, the Frenchman eases his way into the top picks for Matchday 8.
Napoli are in better form than most teams in Europe and their recent free-scoring qualities have been highlighted already. The Italian side have been fantastic and they go into Matchday 8 against Frankfurt full of confidence after pushing them aside in their recent 2-0 victory.
The Napoli attack is as convincing as ever and doubling up on their potent attack could be absolutely key to success. Victor Osimhen (€7.8m) had a strong first season in his first domestic league campaign with Napoli.
In his debut season in 20/21 Osimhen picked up a very good 10 goals and three assists in 24 matches. He improved on that number in his following season where he bagged 14 goals and two assists. However, his current season can be considered as his break out campaign.
So far the Nigerian has collected a massive 19 goals and three assists, accumulating to 22 goal contributions in 20 matches. His form has made him one of the most wanted strikers in Europe so make sure he is in your fantasy teams going into Matchday 8.
Manchester City have been one of the best teams to invest in terms of UCL Fantasy for some time. The motivation to finally claim their first Champions League trophy is bigger than ever. This reinforces their appeal for some of their assets.
Things haven’t been as straight forward as they would have hoped lately. In their last 10 matches Manchester City have won seven, drawn two and lost one, which is still fantastic but arguably below their usual high standard.
In the same period the English giants have scored 23 goals, averaging 2.3 goals per game. Manchester City are scoring goals and it could be vital to stick with main Erling Halaand (€11m). The Norwegian is considered as the best striker in the world.
His first season in the Premier League has been a magnificent one. In the 24 matches he has played so far he has netted an incredible 27 times whilst also creating four assists. This totals to 31 goal contributions in 24 matches, a number most strikers in the world would be happy to finish a season on.
Manchester City go into Matchday 8 needing to win after drawing the first leg away from home. With plenty of motivation and a strong home record, Manchester City could score plenty of goals and there can be little doubt that start man Haaland will be amongst them.
PSG have been a little inconsistent lately. In their last 10 matches they have won six, lost three and drawn once. What is important though is that they are still scoring plenty of goals. In the same period they have bagged a huge 27 goals, averaging 2.7 goals per match.
Bayern are in good form but they also suffer from defensive weaknesses. In their last 10 matches they have shipped goals in half of their matches, conceding two in one of their most recent league matches. They looked fragile for periods in their first leg and PSG have their man man back.
Kylian Mbappe (€11.4m) did not start in the first leg of the tie due to injury but he has returned in time to start the second leg. The Frenchman has been in top form for years. In his 21/22 domestic season he bagged a huge 28 goals and 17 assists. This totals to 45 goal contributions in 35 games.
This season his great form has not changed. So far Mbappe has managed 17 goals and three assists in his 21 league games. He also had a very strong 21/22 Champions League campaign collecting six goals and four assists in eight matches.
In his current UCL season, Mbappe has already notched up seven goals and one assist. Back with a bang Kylian Mbappe has hit four goals and one assist in his last two matches and taking everything into account he could have huge potential in Matchday 8.
If you need a reminder of what happened in Matchday 7, catchup right here.