The Champions League semi-final first leg matches will be played out this week with Liverpool travelling to Barcelona, whilst Ajax become the first European club to visit Tottenham’s new stadium.
With just four teams remaining in the competition, pickings are slim from a UCL fantasy perspective. Nevertheless, we’ve returned with the all-important odds to help advise your selection in season-long and daily fantasy games.
UCL Fantasy Semi-Final Odds As Implied Probabilities
|Team||Clean Sheet||2+ Goals|
Liverpool to surprise heavily favoured Barcelona?
With a 59% chance of scoring two or more goals at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, at least one of Barcelona’s attacking assets seem to be crucial for your fantasy team this week, with a limited pool of players to pick from, Lionel Messi is the sensible premium pick.
The flip side is that Liverpool have the best defensive record in the Premier League and part of that defence is newly crowned PFA Player of the Year, Virgil van Dijk.
The Reds have only conceded two or more goals three times in their Champions League campaign so far, so they won’t be the pushovers the bookies are suggesting.
Tottenham’s Lack of Attacking Flair Makes Defence Preferable
As if Harry Kane’s injury hadn’t stretched Tottenham’s threadbare squad enough, Heung-Min Son’s disciplinary issues mean the South Korean will miss Spurs’ first leg tie with Ajax.
That leaves the likes of Fernando Llorente and Lucas Moura to lead the line on Tuesday, and whilst Lucas is given a 43% chance of scoring this week, he’s wildly inconsistent for the North London side.
With a 32% chance of keeping a clean sheet, the defence may be the place to look for Spurs assets in this instance, and Kieran Trippier stands out for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. The Englishman was rested at the weekend and is the second most likely defender to score in the Champions League at 9%, he’s one to keep tabs on.
Top 5 Anytime Goalscorers per Position
|Virgil van Dijk||DEF||8%|
Messi favourite to score, nothing Nou
Lionel Messi has the highest implied chance of scoring any time (58%) and will no doubt be the ownership pick and captain this round. But it’s worth contemplating other Barcelona options in order to spread the wealth around your team. Luis Suarez – who is given a 49% chance of scoring – needs no bigger incentive than the chance of scoring against his former club.
Considering their goalscoring exploits this season, Sadio Mane & Mohamed Salah have been handed surprisingly low odds of 35% to score at the Nou Camp. A tough time is expected for the visitors, but unless you’re backing a Barcelona clean sheet then at least one should be in your plans.
Premium Defenders to Provide Crucial Source of Points
At this stage of the competition, it’s time to stop saving money at the back. The likes of Jordi Alba, Virgil van Dijk and Kieran Trippier are players who play as part of a solid defensive unit but also offer an attacking threat.
With a reduced budget and just five outfield spots to fill, there’s no reason to neglect your defence, an area where the points earned could make all the difference.