Fantasy Focus: The gunmen to guide your team to glory in the Champions League
The UEFA Champions League (UCL) returns this week, which means it’s time to fine-tune your fantasy side ahead of the second half of the group stage fixtures.
The UCL has seen plenty of goals this season, with each game averaging 3.25 goals, but if your fantasy side is struggling to rack up the numbers, we have five suggestions that will fix your team's goalscoring woes in a jiffy.
Player: Erling Braut Haaland
Team: Borussia Dortmund
Match: Borussia Dortmund vs Club Brugge
Europe’s hottest striker, Erling Braut Haaland had a career-night against Hertha Berlin at the weekend, scoring four goals in Dortmund's 5-2 rout of the side from the capital. The Norwegian has already scored 15 goals in just 11 matches for the German giants, including three goals in four in the UCL. He scored a brace in the reverse fixture at the start of the month and few can bet against Haaland adding to his tally on Wednesday. A no-brainer to include this gunman in our side.
Player: Ciro Immobile
Match: Lazio vs Zenit Saint Petersburg
The other match in Group F will pit Italian giants Lazio against the group’s whipping boys Zenit Saint Petersburg. The Russian side sits at the bottom of the group with just one point in three matches, and the game away to Lazio in Rome is also likely to end in another defeat for Zenit. With Lazio scheduled to play Zenit and Club Brugge in their next two matches, it could be a wise move to draft in striker Ciro Immobile in your fantasy side. With four goals in six Serie A games and a goal in his only appearance in the UCL, the Italian striker has started the season exactly where he left off last season, where he struck 39 goals. Immobile has been incredible since joining Lazio and the 33-year-old will be keen on adding to his tally in the UCL against two fairly weak opponents that he and his side will face over the next seven days.
Player: Ferran Torres
Team: Manchester City
Match: Olympiakos vs Manchester City
Their league form may have been abysmal so far, but Manchester City have been steamrolling teams in the Champions League. The English side have scored thrice in all three matches with summer signing Ferran Torres finding himself on the scoresheet in all three games. The young Spanish winger is yet to open his account in the Premier League but has been brilliant in the UCL. Torres made headways when he struck the first hat-trick of his professional career for Spain in their 6-0 rout of Germany and with the winger seemingly a regular starter in the UCL for City, expect him to continue his terrific recent form against a pretty mediocre Olympiakos side.
Player: Marcus Rashford
Team: Manchester United
Match: Manchester United vs Istanbul Başakşehir
Such is the inconsistency of Manchester United, that they have so far managed to thrash RB Leipzig and score a win over Paris Saint-Germain but somehow managed to fumble a game against one of the weakest sides in the UCL - Turkey's Istanbul Başakşehir. But, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have no time to cry over spilt milk and will have to focus on getting the job done at home on Wednesday and the team will be hoping that forward Marcus Rashford can continue his sizzling form in the UCL. Rashford is the competition's joint topscorer with four goals in three games and will be hoping to add to that tally against Istanbul. The Englishman struck a hat-trick in his last outing at Old Trafford in the UCL and a repeat of that dazzling performance could see United take a giant step towards the round-of-16 of the UCL.
Player: Alvaro Morata
Match: Juventus vs Ferencvaros
It is quite inexplicable to what magic the Juventus jersey does to Alvaro Morata every time he dons it the UCL. The Spanish striker has a terrific record for the Old Lady in the Champions League and has scored nine goals in his last 14 appearances in the competition for Juventus. The Italian champions will be up against Ferencvaros in the fourth match of their UCL campaign and expect Morata to add to his tally against the Hungarian side on Wednesday.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Alberto Pizzoli