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How I plan to win €20,000 with Fanteam’s €100,000 Champions League fantasy tournament

With another huge fantasy tournament on the way, 90MAAT have once again partnered with Fanteam, bringing you their latest tournament with the chance to win some SERIOUS cash. With a monster prize pool of €100,000, and a grand prize of €20,000 for the winner, Fanteam are quite literally changing lives.

This article will showcase their new Champions League Group Stage fantasy tournament. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then I suggest you click here to read a preview of the event, and click here to learn more about all the different rules and regulations you need to know on your road to potential glory.

It’s fantasy football as we love it, but instead of just picking Salah, Sterling and Kane, we can pick Salah, Sterling, Kane, Messi, Ronaldo and Ryan Babel. What a time to be alive.

In a nutshell, £100 million, 15 players (two GKs, five defenders, five midfielders, three attackers), no more than three players from one club and two free transfers every gameweek – something I cannot wait to make use of. Of course, there are a few other rules, but they are the essentials. The rest of them and the point scoring system (very similar to the traditional FPL game with a couple of minor changes) can be found here.

Picking a new squad is always one of the most exciting parts of fantasy football. It’s like pre-season on Football Manager or using the Transfer Takeover chip on FIFA Career Mode. An infinite wealth of opportunities at your disposal. And instead of playing for fifty quid in your office’s annual tournament, you will be playing for your share of €100,000.

Given the high rewards on offer, I spent hours poring over each team and their respective players, fixtures and statistics. I can now present to you the team that I hope will win me big money.

Goalkeepers

Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus – £5.5m)

Danijel Zagorac (Dinamo Zagreb – £4.0m)

It goes without saying that Juventus’ stopper will beat Dinamo Zagreb’s Danijel Zagorac to the starting berth in my team. While Szczesny seems an interesting choice, given that Juve have a very tough test away at Atletico Madrid in the first gameweek, I hope to stick with the Pole between the sticks for the rest of the tournament. Given his vastly improved form in recent seasons, the formidable defence in front of him and his two other opponents being Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow, I expect clean sheets aplenty for Szczesny in the group stages. A good goalkeeper will never win you a fantasy tournament, but a bad goalkeeper can certainly lose you one.

And why Daniel Zagorac, I hear you ask? Because he’s cheap, won’t cost me any points, and I have no need to spend more than £4.0m on a second choice goalkeeper. Also, we share the first name.

Defenders

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool – £6.5m)

David Alaba (Bayern Munich – £6.0m)

Stefan Savic (Atletico Madrid – £5.0m)

Andrea Masiello (Atalanta – £4.5m)

Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiacos – £4.0m)

Where else to begin other than the recently crowned UEFA Player of the Year. Virgil van Dijk has been imperious ever since signing for Liverpool in January 2018. At the end of last season, he added a Champions League winner’s medal to his PFA Player of the Year award for being the Premier League’s best player. His Champions League pedigree is outstanding, and after a tricky trip to Napoli, he will be looking for successive clean sheets against Genk and RB Salzburg. On the front foot, he also bagged for the Reds against FC Porto and Bayern Munich in last season’s tournament. Oh, and did I mention that he was part of the defence that kept more clean sheets than any other team in last season’s tournament?

David Alaba has the benefit of not only being a world class left-back, but also one of the best central midfielders in the world. With a group featuring a leaky Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade, look for big points from Bavaria’s favourite Austrian. Watch out for his free kicks too, something he perfectly exemplified during Bayern’s 6-1 drubbing of Mainz before the international break. Decent fixtures, goalscoring potential and being on set pieces equals a must buy.

An absolute bargain in my view is Stefan Savic. A consistent fixture in Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side, his game time seems even more assured given Diego Godin’s departure over the summer. Once he gets through Juventus in the opening gameweek, matches against Leverkusen and Lokomotiv should provide Savic with ample opportunity to pick up defensive returns. All this for £5.0m? No brainer.

Andrea Masiello and Pape Abou Cisse will only play supporting roles in my team, unlikely to break into the starting XI. I believe the latter in particular represents excellent value. £4.0m for a regular starter makes me believe he is the Champions League version of Crystal Palace’s Martin Kelly. Get him in your team! With the exception of Manchester City, Masiello has decent fixtures against Shakhtar and Dinamo Zagreb. However, he is only there as a cheap alternative if one of my starters misses out.

Midfielders 

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City – £11.0m)

Mason Mount (Chelsea – £8.0m)

Memphis Depay (Lyon – £8.0m)

Luis Pizzi (Benfica – £7.0m)

Konrad Laimer (RB Leipzig – £4.0m)

It is hard not to pick Raheem Sterling. Last year he was brilliant, and he looks even better this campaign, starting the season in electric form. A guaranteed starter, five goals in his first four league games before excelling for England, easy fixtures against Shakhtar, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta and playing for arguably the best team in Europe – it isn’t a difficult choice at £11.0m.

My next three options are slightly more left-field choices. However, high risk brings high reward and I hope my three other starting midfielders can prove to be differentials. Mason Mount has, alongside teammate Tammy Abraham, set the Premier League alight with a series of dazzling displays. Goals, assists and a relatively easy group makes Mount a very interesting option at just £8.0m.

Memphis Depay at £8.0m was another no brainer. Not only does he feature in the easiest Champions League group in history (Lyon join Zenit, Benfica and Leipzig in Group G), but he also takes penalties, corners and free kicks. Every fantasy football manager’s dream. Watch Depay lead the French club to the Champions League knockout stage.

Another differential choice, Luis Pizzi partners Depay in the group of life (opposite of the group of death?). While everyone was talking about Joao Felix at Benfica last season, Pizzi quietly scored 13 goals and picked up 18 assists in 34 league appearances from midfield. What is even more exciting is that he bagged five goals and notched two assists in his four August appearances. And he scored in his first game after the international break. Baller.

Konrad Laimer will join Mr. Cisse and Mr. Masiello on the bench.

Forwards

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich – £10.0m)

Timo Werner (RB Leipzig – £8.5m)

Tammy Abraham (Chelsea – £7.5m)

A front three that would even cause Virgil van Dijk some degree of stress, I am hopeful this attacking trident can lead my charge for Fanteam glory. Spearheaded by Robert Lewandowski and his nice run of fixtures, the 31-year-old needs little introduction. So I will just highlight some of his key stats. His last seven Champions League campaigns see goalscoring returns of: 8, 5, 8, 9, 6, 6, 10. He has seven goals in his opening four Bundesliga matches this term. 111 goals in his last four league seasons. £10.0m in Fanteam’s event. Enough said.

Timo Werner is another who has started the Bundesliga on fire with five goals in his opening four fixtures. The German speedster is a deadly finisher and joins Pizzi and Depay as my Group G representatives. As you can probably imagine, I am hoping for goals, goals, goals in that group.

I won’t lie, I did have Diego Costa in my team for a few days. At just £7.5m, he seems like a decent bargain choice. However, the aforementioned Tammy Abraham has scored seven Premier League goals already, and I back him to continue his fine domestic form onto the European stage. At the same price as Costa, I simply had to take into account current form and the fact that Chelsea begin their campaign at home to Valencia, while Atletico entertain Juventus on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Real Sociedad.

So, there you have it. I think having two free transfers each gameweek will add an interesting new dynamic to this event. For example, I will be looking to bring in at least one of Liverpool’s front three after their away match at Napoli, which is why I have left an extra £0.5m in the bank to help facilitate that. With just six gameweeks to compete in, every transfer will be vital!

Remember – the sign-up link is here. With over €100,000 to fight for, alongside weekly cash prizes, the €25 entry fee is a bargain. I look forward to seeing 90MAAT readers on the battlefield!

Dan Walker

21. Spanish and Economics student at University of Leeds. Jurgen Klopp worshipping Liverpool fan passionate about all things sport. Sub-editor and part of the 90MAAT analysis and transfers sub-teams.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Liverpool 8 8 0 0 24
2 Manchester City 8 5 1 2 16
3 Arsenal 8 4 3 1 15
4 Leicester City 8 4 2 2 14
5 Chelsea 8 4 2 2 14
6 Crystal Palace 8 4 2 2 14
7 Burnley 8 3 3 2 12
8 West Ham United 8 3 3 2 12
9 Tottenham Hotspur 8 3 2 3 11
10 AFC Bournemouth 8 3 2 3 11
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 8 2 4 2 10
12 Manchester United 8 2 3 3 9
13 Sheffield United 8 2 3 3 9
14 Brighton & Hov… 8 2 3 3 9
15 Aston Villa 8 2 2 4 8
16 Newcastle United 8 2 2 4 8
17 Southampton 8 2 1 5 7
18 Everton 8 2 1 5 7
19 Norwich City 8 2 0 6 6
20 Watford 8 0 3 5 3

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