​The UEFA Champions League. Preview of the matches scheduled for April 5 and 6.

2016-04-05 04:00:36 Author: manager Rating: +5

TimeToDraft speaks about everything you need to know ahead of the quarterfinal stage of the main European cup competition.


Bayern Munich vs. Benfica

The Portuguese side approaches the clash with Bayern having won six consecutive games, yet there is not much optimism about the Eagles’ chances. Victories over Tondela and União Madeira are one thing, but the trip to Allianz-Arena is a completely different experience, requiring a much higher level of performance compared to ordinary games in Primeira Liga. Bayern Munich are clear favorites and are expected to secure the place in semifinals in the first leg. I think few people will be surprised to see a rout like 5-0 as the Rekordmeister loves to inflict disgraceful defeats on Portuguese teams…

Draft as much players representing Bayern Munich as possible. Only pay attention to Benfica players in case of severe budget shortage.

Barcelona vs. Atlético Madrid

Blaugrana are preparing for another tough clash with an inconvenient opponent in the Colchoneros in bad mood. The Catalan side blew El Clasico at Camp Nou on the night dedicated to the memory of Johan Cruyff. Mind you, Barca were leading. The 39-game unbeaten run came to an end, which can hardly endanger their leadership in La Liga, but could easily affect the club’s morale ahead of the Champions League quarterfinal. The energy draining vampires guided by Diego Simeone head to Barcelona after crushing Betis comfortably and could build on the situation.

Anything can happen in the game between Atlético Madrid and Barcelona. For example, the wounded Catalans could crush the annoying opponent. They could equally fail to recover after the Saturday knock down and lose the second match in a row. However, a tough game with few goal attempts and a modest final score like 0-0 or 1-0 looks like a more probable outcome.

Anyway, the clash is far from being predictable so you’d better scout for fantasy candidates in other teams.

Wolfsburg vs. Real Madrid

The outcome of this quarterfinal is all but fixed. Wolfsburg have fallen to pieces since Bas Dost’s injury sustained before the New Year. The Wolves only managed to record three victories in the last 15 games of home championship and earned just one point in the last three matches. Honestly speaking, they aren’t any good at this moment of time even by Bundesliga standards and there is little chance of radical change against mighty Real Madrid who travel to Germany after the inspiring win at Camp Nou. Los Blancos will hardly be confused by playing away from home as they haven’t lost in the last eight games on the road.

We expect a comfortable win for Real Madrid, hand the captain’s armband to Cristiano Ronaldo and try to include Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in our fantasy team.

PSG vs. Manchester City

This is arguably the most unpredictable pair in the quarterfinals. The champions of France seem to have advantage on paper, however, it is clear PSG will not cruise over the two legs. The Citizens are not consistent in the Premier League but will definitely set up for the clash with PSG, whose favorite status will definitely be an additional advantage for the English team. City need to dominate during Premier League games but can afford to experiment with tactics in Paris. Another tiny reason for Manchester City to be optimistic is PSG’s early won Ligue 1 title that could have unsettled the Parisians. Hopefully that will not put Zlatan’s teammates out of tune before the decisive games of the top European club tournament.

  • Players set to miss the game

Confirmed: Adriano, Mathieu, Sandro (all – Barcelona), Ferreira Carrasco, Tiago, Giménez (all – Atlético Madrid), Badstuber, Jérôme Boateng (both – Bayern Munich), Júlio César, Luisão, Lopes, Nuno Santos (all – Benfica), Dost, Seguin, Jung (all – Wolfsburg), Varane (Real Madrid), Aurier (PSG), Delph, Nasri (both – Manchester City).

Doubtful: Lucas, Savić, Ñíguez (all - Atlético Madrid), Robben, Javi Martínez (both – Bayern Munich), Benaglio, Draxler, Kruse (all – Wolfsburg), Verratti, Matuidi, Pastore (all – PSG), De Bryune, Yaya Touré (both – Manchester City).

  • The perfect captain

There are two matches in the quarterfinals that seem easy to predict: Bayern Munich vs. Benfica and Wolfsburg vs. Real Madrid. Hence, we should pay special attention to the attacking leaders in the lineups of these two clubs. We are talking about Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo in the first place. It’s not easy to pick a more promising player between them: Ronaldo is more consistent, but Real are playing away from home, while Bayern host Benfica.

Here is a hint for you: if you want to refrain from risk and keep up with most other managers, then pick Cristiano. If your ambition is to risk in a bid to leapfrog the rest of the managers by picking an odd manager, go with the Pole. Besides, Robert is a slightly cheaper option on most popular platforms.

  • Jokers

There are plenty of candidates for captaincy (keep in mind Muller, Bale, Benzema!), but the choice of jokers is limited. Most of the first squad players are very expensive. So today we are not going to talk about the players who can deliver a lot of points despite low price tags, but about the inexpensive ones who can score at least some points for your fantasy team.

Naturally, you should only pick the team after the starting lineups have been named.

Isco (Real Madrid) – 8,0

This platform traditionally doesn’t offer a good choice of jokers. Even Isco, who is set to start on the bench, is valued at 8,0 million. On the other hand, if he manages to make it to the starting lineup, you won’t regret about spending this amount on the Spaniard.

Lucas Moura (PSG) – 8,0

The Brazilian has higher chances of starting and is also valued at 8,0 million. The problem is that Moura could find it difficult to score points as his team is meeting the dangerous Manchester City, not the fragile Wolfsburg.

Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) – 5,0

If Pep Guardiola grants the young lad a place in the starting lineup again, it will be a true present for fantasy managers. Not only Kimmich has a cheap price, but he will probably record a clean sheet too.

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – 9,4

Of course, someone with such price tag can’t be named a classic joker. With one exception: Real Madrid will likely beat the humble Wolfsburg and Bale is set to be one of Real Madrid best attacking players in the game, based on his performance in El Clasico. Still, his price is almost twice as low as that of Cristiano Ronaldo. So every manager faces a tough question: is it not wise to save 8 million and gamble on the Welshman?

Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid) – 7,9

Barcelona are certainly no Betis. Obviously, the Frenchman is not going to put in similar performance with two goals and a couple of assists. Nevertheless, he could easily take part in one goal attack. Nothing better can be desired from someone of his price.

Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid) – 6,8

At first glance, it seems crazy to pick Oblak ahead of the trip to Camp Nou. However, if you think about it, there is no better option given the circumstances. The rest of goalkeepers are too expensive and give no guarantee of a shutout. Naturally, Oblak provides no guarantee either, but he is almost twice as cheap as Neuer and should not concede many goals as Atlético Madrid never get thrashed by anyone. Besides, there is a big chance of a stalemate in the match.

David Luiz (PSG) – 6,2

The Parisians will hardly keep their goal shut, but Luiz is not someone we love for his defending. The guy loves to score and is good at it, proving it once again in the Saturday game against Nice. We wouldn’t mind gambling on the curly Brazilian, expecting a goal against the Citizens.

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) – 6,5

Ramos wasn’t the best player of El Clasico on Saturday night, but the Champions League quarterfinal is a different story. The Spanish side could easily leave Germany with a clean sheet, while the skipper could make an assist or score a goal. You can’t ignore a cheap and promising player.

Luciano Vietto (Atlético Madrid) – 6,5, Ángel Correa (Atlético Madrid) – 5,0

Their place in the starting lineup at Camp Nou is not guaranteed, but if you do notice anyone of them among the eleven players named by Diego Simeone, don’t pass by. They are too cheap for players with their potential. Correa, for instance, made two assists in the game against Betis on Saturday.

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) – 5,4

The Spaniard might not be the one we used to know but it’s a crime to miss out on Iniesta valued at such a pittance.

Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) – 4,6

The same arguments as in the abovementioned FantasyBet section apply here.

Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) – 4,5

The author of City’s best goal in the previous round of Premier League is valued at ridiculous 4,5 million and we can’t miss the opportunity to snap him. Even considering that the Citizens will likely concede at Parc des Princes.

Kevin De Bryune (Manchester City) – 4,5

That absolutely looks like an incorrect price. If Kevin De Bruyne makes it to the starting lineup, he will definitely be more useful than you might expect from a player worth at 4,5 million.

Edinson Cavani (PSG) – 5,9

The Uruguayan is not in his best form these days, but he will definitely get some playing time against Manchester City. The previous Champions League game in Paris against Chelsea proved he doesn’t really need much time to score a goal.

You can try your hand in €30 Champions League freeroll from TimeToDraft right now.

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