TimeToDraft looks into the latest matches of the Champions League round of 16, which proved to be emphatic and lacking common sense.
The Champions League round of 16 was too predictable before the final gameweek, and we’ve discussed it in the previous article.
Everything runs to plan. Fantasy-review of the Champions League matches played on 8th and 9th of March.
However, it turned out that the most interesting events in Europe’s top club tournament were yet to come.
Dynamo Kiev had to score three goals at Etihad, but apart from a couple of dangerous attacks it looked like the Ukrainian champions had set their minds on a goalless draw even before the return leg. Manchester City did not want to force events either, which resulted in a crazy and unexpected stalemate. The Citizens netted three goals on the road, but failed to score at Etihad, while the Ukrainians played some bold football at home, but opted for cautious performance in the second leg, as if they didn’t need to score three goals.
Atlético Madrid were showing their best performance in between the Champions League matches with PSV, crushing their opponents in Spain. Madrid fans could expect similar performance against the visitors from Eindhoven, but Philip Cocu’s young gang, guided by impeccable Jeroen Zoet, survived 90 minutes at home (playing one man down for 22 minutes) and 120 minutes at Vicente Calderón. At the same time, the Dutch team kept showing their teeth and could actually avoid penalty shootout with some luck. Cocu outplayed Diego Simeone tactically, but the experienced manager of the Spanish side won the battle of emotions: having noticed a lost look of Luciano Narsingh, taking PSV’s eighth penalty, the Argentine wound up the stadium, which killed off the 25-year old forward, who had just played 2 minutes in extra time. The Dutch hit the crossbar, failing to convert PSV’s last penalty.
This Juventus selection will be hailed for a long time: missing three key players in Marchisio, Dybala and Chiellini the Italians crushed Bayern Munich in the first half, leaving the German champions with embarrassed faces for the first time in recent years. However, Bayern Munich have a top-club mentality, and they didn’t lose a sense of superiority through the last seconds of a slipping game. This faith helped them hit two goals past Gianluigi Buffon in regular time and kill off the rivals in added time. The difference between the German and Italian champions is best illustrated by substitutions: Bayern Munich introduced Thiago Alcântara and Kingsley Coman, and both of them went on to become game changers. Juventus fielded Sturaro and Pereyra, who managed just one goal attempt in 85 minutes between them, and that shot went far above the crossbar.
Only the game at Camp Nou turned out to be quite predictable. Arsene Wenger’s starting lineup included the likes of Elneny, Iwobi and Flamini, but the bold plot didn’t work out, as all three of Barcelona’s intimidating trio dubbed MSN got on the scorelist. The war had already been lost at the Emirates and Arsenal didn’t really have changes against outstanding Blaugrana.
We are going to outline key conclusions from what we have seen in the round of 16 so that fantasy managers could select strong sides for the quarterfinals.
The Catalan brilliance
Barcelona remain hot favorites for the title this year as they haven’t given a chance to any of their previous opponents so far. Regardless of opposition, it’s going to be a difficult choice between Suárez, Neymar and Messi once again, as well as picking the captain from these three wonderful players.
Atlético Madrid vulnerability
Atlético seemed like strong favorites when drawn against PSV, however, the Eindhoven team unveiled all problems of the Mattressers, showing the way to oppose tough Simeone’s side to their quarterfinal rival. Atlético Madrid are still a team to beat, but after unconvincing two legs against PSV, their favorite status in the round of eight is doubtful. At least prior to the first leg.
Manchester City doldrums
Manchester City managed just two decent games in the last six weeks: the League Cup final against Liverpool and the away game against Dynamo Kiev (crushing lacklustre Aston Villa doesn’t count). The Citizens clearly fell back after the news of Pep Guardiola’s summer arrival, and Manuel Pellegrini cannot or has no desire to restore the team’s morale. Manchester City are now clearly in poor form, and if they don’t improve they will certainly be considered quarterfinal underdogs.
Bayern Munich power
The Rekordmeister were one minute away from Champions League exit, but their recent Munich troubles do not make Pep Guardiola’s mighty side vulnerable. Juventus were really good against the German champions, and beating a solid opponent in such a dramatic fashion will only make Bayern stronger: they will have no fear whatsoever after this incredible comeback.
Here are the most efficient attacking players from all teams that managed to reach quarterfinals.
When it’s hard to predict the outcome of the games, the attacking power is split between more than just two players and clean sheets come from the most unexpected sides, the fantasy manager’s true level is demonstrated. Check out the selections that won FanTeam big daily guaranteed tournaments.
The winner of €1,000 GPP €10 CL Tuesday or the stacking guy.
Here are two different winners of €1,000 GPP €10 CL Wednesday on FanTeam platform.
These are vivid examples of successful and unsuccessful stacking and confirmation of the fact that a balanced team can win bog tournaments.