Fantasy UEFA Champions League 2017/18 – 5 under-priced/under-selected gems
1. Dries Mertens - €10.0 - TSB 0%
Last season, Mertens racked up an astonishing 28 goals and 9 assists in only 28 league starts for Napoli in the Serie A. In these matches, he average over 4 shots per game, which demonstrates how he managed to find the back of the net so much. He also netted 5 goals and provided 2 assists in 6 Champions League (UCL) starts last season. He has carried this form into the new season, picking up 2 goals in 2 starts in the Serie A so far, as well as bagging a crucial goal in the UCL play-offs against Nice. It is worth noting that Mertens may also be Napoli’s go to penalty taker having scored 2 last season, and is also an astute free-kick taker. A central figure in the Napoli side, Mertens is a player who knows how to find the back of the net regularly, as well as assist his teammates.
2. Luis Muriel - €7.0 - TSB 1%
The Colombian flyer quietly went about his business for Sampdoria last season, registering 11 goals and 5 goals in 25 starts. This earned him a move to Sevilla. Expect Muriel to use his blistering pace, as well as exquisite dribbling and finishing ability to devastating effect. Muriel could well be this season’s Mbappe (only 8 years older). Also, Sevilla did not have a designated penalty taker last season, with 5 players each taking 1 each (3 of these players have now left the club). In contrast, Muriel was Sampdoria’s go to man, netting 4 penalties last season, so he should assume these duties at his new club. This boosts his appeal.
3. Jeremain Lens - €6.5 - TSB 1%
It’s fair to say that Lens failed in the Premier League with Sunderland. However, the 34 time capped Dutch international returned to his best last season for Fenerbahce. In 25 league starts, he registered 4 goals and provided a highly impressive 11 assists. This season, Lens will revel in the quality Besiktas side, with Tosun and Negredo clinical finishers up front for him to provide to.
4. Djibril Sidibé - €5.5 - TSB 4%
The marauding right back is one of the best attacking fullbacks in the world. His attacking capabilities are highlighted by his attacking returns in the past 2 Ligue 1 seasons, where he has netted 6 goals and provided 8 assists. Sidibé has continued this form into the new season too, already picking up a goal against Marseille, and an assist whilst on international duty with France. He has also averaged around 2 shots per game so far this season. In an highly capable defensive side who shut out their opponents 18 times in Ligue 1 last season, Sidibé could be one of the top scoring defenders in UCL Fantasy this season, with regular defensive and attacking returns likely.
5. Bernardo Silva - €8.0 - TSB 1%
Following a superb 2016/17 season, the classy Portuguese attacker earned himself a move to Manchester City in the summer. What makes him such an appealing fantasy asset is that he is an extremely well rounded play, registering 10 goals and 10 assists for Monaco in all competitions last season. Although he is yet to nail down a regular spot in the Manchester City starting line up in league matches, expect Silva to be afforded starts in the UCL, and it is here where he will make his first mark in a City jersey.
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Good luck to all UCL Fantasy managers for the season ahead.