With the return of the UEFA cup competitions, some new challenges await fantasy football players. Due to fixture congestion, matches following European adventures tend to throw up some surprises with managers looking to freshen up their sides. This article tries to find out the things to look out for before hitting that confirm transfer button.
UEFA Competitions Aftermath: A Fantasy Football Perspective
Teams in Europe
Four English teams (Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur) are involved in the UEFA Champions League this season, whereas Chelsea and Arsenal will fly the English flag in the Europa League. Unfortunately, the other English team, Burnley, were knocked out in the qualification stage of the Europa League earlier.
Time and Place
Tottenham went to Milan on Tuesday and lost 2-1 at Inter, whereas Manchester United won 3-0 at Young Boys on Wednesday. Liverpool and Manchester City were at home with contrasting fortunes. Liverpool got a memorable late win against PSG on Tuesday whereas City were disappointing in a 2-1 loss to Lyon on Wednesday night. On the other hand, Arsenal and Chelsea both have made away trips. Chelsea have traveled to PAOK Salonika in Greece. Similarly, their London rivals Arsenal have also had to make a long journey. They have travelled to Ukraine to face Vorskla Poltava. Both of these matches will take place tonight (Thursday).
Here are the squad details for the matches-
Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dembele, Dier, Eriksen, Kane (s/o 90’), Lamela (s/o 72’), Son (s/o 64’).
Subs: Gazzaniga, Rose (s 90’), Winks (s 72’), Wanyama, Walker-Peters, Llorente, Lucas Moura (s 64’).
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum; Salah (s/o 85’), Mané (s/o 90’), Sturridge (s/o 72’).
Subs: Mignolet, Fabinho (s 90′), Keita, Firmino (s 71′), Moreno, Shaqiri (s 85′), Matip.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Delph; Fernandinho, Gundogan (s/o 55′); Bernardo, Silva, Sterling (s/o 76’), Jesus (s/o 63’).
Subs: Muric, Kompany, Aguero (s 63′), Sane (s 55′), Mahrez (s 76’), Otamendi, Foden
Manchester United: De Gea, Dalot, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred (s/o 69’), Matic, Pogba (s/o 75’), Martial, Lukaku, Rashford (s/o 69’).
Subs: Romero, Bailly, Sanchez, Mata (s 69′), Andreas Pereira (s 75′), Young, Fellaini (s 69′).
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Caballero, Bulka, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Pedro, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Moses, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Zappacosta, Willian, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Morata, Ampadu.
Arsenal: Cech, Leno, Martinez, Iliev, Hector Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Monreal, Mavropanos, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Ozil, Torreira, Iwobi, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Lacazette, Aubameyang, Welbeck.
Points to Note
- Eden Hazard and David Luiz have not travelled to Greece, so should be fresh for the weekend.
- Benjamin Mendy was left out of the squad and has been rumoured to be carrying a knock. Team news for the weekend will hopefully clarify this issue.
- Sergio Aguero was benched and came on for around half an hour. He seems okay for Cardiff.
- Lucas Moura came on for Son in the 64th minute. He might start at the weekend.
- Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld were omitted from the Tottenham squad
- Firmino seems to be okay as he scored that late winner.
- Alexis Sanchez was on the bench and didn’t come on.
- Arsenal are likely to rest most of the regular starters and give the likes of Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira, Stephan Lichsteiner and Danny Welbeck their first starts of the season.
Rotation will be the dreaded word on every fantasy football player’s mind. Any player carrying a knock could be a candidate for rotation. Hence, everyone will have to keep a close eye on the press conferences ahead of the weekend’s fixtures to try and find out some clues on the starting lineups.