​Goalposts, crossbars and zero scored. Fantasy review for the Champions League first semi-final games

2016-04-28 18:46:34 Author: Oleg Smolerov (awd2) Rating: +3

All clean sheets, brilliant saves, unexpected line-ups and other details of the Champions League first semi-final matches in TimeToDraft fantasy review.

First Champions League semis were as cautious as one might expect. We have not enjoyed great attacking football in every match, and we still have no clearfavorites in both clashes. With one goal scored and three clean sheets, several woodwork hits by all teams except Manchester City, the games were full of stats to think about.

Under Zidane Real boasts impeccable statistics in the home matches at Santiago Bernabeu, and knowing that fact we expected a much more aggressive push from Manchester City at Etihad Stadium. Every fantasy fan will tell you that moving to Madrid with no advantage earned at home is a dangerous venture, and even more risky to expect a great result with only one shot on target. The match itself has gained momentum only in the final 20 minutes, while most of the time teams were running around the boxes with no promise to score or to thrill. Real had his chances at the end, and one goal might have put the Madrid-based club in pole position for the final, but the Citizens stood strong and kept their chances alive. City delivered great performance in his previous visits to Kiev and Paris, so the English side can make history in Spain.

Bayern showed the third lousy result in last three Champions League play-offs, facing a cocky opponent that might create problems for the Germans, but should not really stop the tournament’s favorites to reach the final. The matrass makers delivered 1:0 result in their classic style, but other scenarios could have emerged. Alaba was unlucky to hit the crossbar after a powerful distant shot, and Torres was close to doubling the lead. Atletico has the same cards we’ve already seen with a decent home result and predictable and standardtactics for the away match.

First semis highlights

Real tactics without Ronaldo

Zinedine Zidane decided to pull Cristiano Ronaldo away from the match, and closer to the end substituted Benzema, resting the forward before the key clash in Madrid. With two essential players missing, Real started playing in energy-saving mode, taking no risks and keeping the score. Man City was not strong enough to change the course of the play, so largely Zidane’s tactics payed off.

Bale’s energy and focus

As Ronaldo watched the game form the stands, Gareth Bale decided to lead the team in the game. The Welshman was the constant threat for Atletico;receiving most passes near the box and making most shots on target. Bale recorded five attempts, while the average for the team was no more than one. Gareth did not really impress at the Etihad, but fantasy-managers should put into their notes the fact that without Ronaldo Bale creates more danger than any other player in the side.

Guardiola and his dubious experiments

Josep Guardiola started the Lisbon clash without Robert Lewandowski in the line-up, than he put Thomas Muller to the substitutes’ bench in Madrid, inserting the midfield with the attacking pool of Vidal – Alcantara –Alonso. The team gained the result in the fixture against Benfica, while at Vicente Calderon the strategy flopped with two most dangerous shots coming from the central zone. First Saul created his bit of magic and opened the score with his great dribbling, and after that Griezmann with Torres hit the goalpost.

Atletico is a quiet favorite in this Champions League

The matrass makers crashed Barca’s Champions League dreams and played in their best manner in the first match against the German powerhouse. If Real takes the grip in the game against City and reaches final, Atletico might celebrate, as Diego Simeone’s side is the only one that captured points at Santiago Bernabeu in Zidane era. Atletico outplayed Bayern in many aspects, winning the ball in tough moments and closing most chances to score. The Spaniards come to the second game in a great spirit, but the guys are hardly underdogs right now. Atletico has more chances to win the trophy than Real and Bayern, and their job is to make that happen.

Stats leaders

The table with the stats leaders after the first semi-finals looks like this.

Winning teams

To find the winning strategies for the Champions League mid-week matches, let’s get a look at the winners in the most expensive fantasy tournaments at two most popular European fantasy sites.

The successful strategies for one-day campaigns at FanTeam were simple – you could win on Tuesday putting strong defensive stack, giving captaincy to one of the defenders and catching a bonus. The game €500 GPP €10 CL Tuesday MCI vs RMAended with Kura Maasela winning the run with two bonus points from Otamendi and Clichy’s captaincy.

On Wednesday Batista showed how to pack a perfect squad for €500 GPP €10 CL Wednesday ATM vs BAY. With all three players that received bonuses in the team and a captain with most points earned, it is not a surprise the guy was simply unbeatable.

The most expensive two-day tournament €250 GPP €10 CL Full Round proved to be different as two opposing teams from different fantasy managersdervogel and zooyorktook the prizes. The first team won due to a huge bet on Atletico with Saul in the line-up, but no captain. The second team was a great mix lead by Oblak, the most effective captain.

FantasyBet saw less Champions League action, and the most expensive tournament was SEMI-FINAL UNLIMITED BUDGET with £22.00 buy-in limited in budget. The winner was the player called sonova who managed to collect a defensive stack with several bonuses and Saul at the lead. The team finished first even with Vidal (1 point), Silva (0 points), and wrong captaincy decision.

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Rating: +3

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