Intrigue and irrationality. Fantasy review of the Champions League matches played on April 5 and 6.

2016-04-08 10:39:59 Author: Oleg Smolerov (awd2) Rating: +8

TimeToDraft analyzes the crazy matches of the Champions League quarterfinals and highlights the bottom lines for fantasy managers.

The first legs of the quarterfinals delivered so many sensational results that everyone will be eagerly awaiting the return matches. All teams can still qualify for the semifinals, while the favorites are under real threat.

Bayern Munich was expected to thrash Benfica after surviving a huge scare against Juventus. Bayern’s ambitions got a boost in the second minute when Arturo Vidal netted an opener, however, the German side went on to miss a number of great chances and were close to conceding a goal in the second half as their defending didn’t seem too convincing.

In the meantime Atlético Madrid managed to put in another powerful performance at Camp Nou, albeit losing 1-2 again. If Fernando Torres had been a little more composed, Barcelona could have lost the second home match in a row. The Colchoneros attacked vigorously and showed solid defending, but it’s quite a task to fight against Barcelona for one hour with one man down even for feisty Diego Simeone’s side.

PSG experienced problems at home stadium against another English team, with the match reminding of a recent clash with Chelsea. The hosts were clear favorites before the game and faced an opposition struggling to find their best form. However, we’ve seen another match of equal opponents with several goals scored. Naturally, PSG were pushing for a win and everything could have gone the other way had Ibrahimović scored from the spot. But Manchester City succeeded in converting their away chances and will be waiting for the return clash at Etihad in good mood.

Wolfsburg had only won 3 of their last 15 Bundesliga matches, and faced Real Madrid who had just beaten Barcelona at Camp Nou. The majority of pundits, analysts and amateurs had no doubts about the outcome of the game at Volkswagen Arena before kick-off. Yet Real Madrid failed to win or even to score and conceded twice. The Germans were lit up, could have scored even more and will now have great chances to disappoint Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu and move on to the semifinals.

Let’s have a closer look at the most important things we’ve learned fantasy-wise after the first legs of the Champions League quarterfinals.

Luis Suárez’ efficiency

Lionel Messi and Neymar managed 12 shots and 5 key assists between them but failed to score a goal or make an assist. Suárez made three shots, no key passes and netted two goals. The Uruguayan played closer to the goal than the other two players of Barcelona attacking trio and his potential was fulfilled against Atlético who were defending very deep. Traditionally Neymar manages a large number of dangerous shots while Messi is a master of set pieces and penalties. However, in the game against Atlético Suárez looked the best part of the famous Barcelona link up front.

Benfica’s power

Benfica put in solid defending against Bayern Munich and showed teeth in the second half. The Eagles had plenty of chances for an away goal and can hope for a place in the Champions League top four considering Bayern’s away form. Jonas and Gaitán are the top candidates from Benfica for your fantasy team. They are already among the main jokers for return legs.

Ibrahimović and Aurier

Aurier completed a ban for his obscene jokes and returned to PSG’s starting lineup. He wasn’t too notable at Parc des Princes but should get back to full fitness before the return leg at Etihad. He will definitely be the best fantasy choice from the defensive line of the French team.

Ibrahimović is desperate to win the Champions League, so he is extremely motivated and hyperactive. Penalty failure didn’t look good, of course, but the Swede was still the most active forward of the first legs. His presence in your fantasy team for the return legs is almost mandatory.

Kevin De Bryune comeback

Kevin De Bryune recovered from an injury and scored in his two first matches after the comeback, while Manchester City didn’t look like a bunch of unmotivated players for the first time in quite a while, putting in the second straight solid performance. It’s hardly a coincidence and it looks like the Belgian can drag his teammates for the rest of the season. You can check this thesis in the next round of the Premier League. But don’t get too excited about Fernandinho as the Brazilian found himself in the right place at the right time twice, which didn’t seem to be part of some plan.

Real Madrid aggression

Real Madrid will need to score three times and try to keep a clean sheet. However, the latter seems very unlikely judging by their performance in Wolfsburg. The Spanish side will definitely be playing attacking football at home and it will most probably be an open match, so you’d better gamble on forwards.

Statistical leaders

Here is a table with a couple of most active attacking players from each team.

Winning teams

When most results are sensational and hard to predict, it is the adventurous players who manage to win. Let’s have a look at FanTeam platform winners and analyze the teams that won the main tournaments of the week.

Proper Bayern Munich stacking and picking the right captain from Barcelona stars proved to be the winning strategy in Tuesday’s €1,000 GPP €10 CL. This team finished four points above the runner-up and had Bernat been selected ahead of Alaba, the team would have finished miles above the rivals.

Defensive stacking based on Wolfsburg players, including Ricardo Rodriguez, was everything that was needed for Wednesday’s €1,000 GPP €10 CL victory. This team finished six points above the runner-up even with the wrong captain.

The biggest two-day €300 GPP €10 CL Full Roundtournament with eleven-man teams was won by players who had made the odd choices and were lucky to see them score many points. The winner reaped the benefits of picking Fernandinho and Vidal, while the runner-up (the author of this article who was one point short of victory) was spot on with Luis Suárez and Ricardo Rodriguez. The third team finished five points behind the first two.

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