Champions League Fantasy Analysis – Group B

After already having analysed Group A for UCL Fantasy, we will now continue the Champions League fantasy preparation with Group B.

It consists of the reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid, Serie A runners-up Inter Milan, Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Mönchengladbach, who finished 4th in last seasons Bundesliga.

Madrid and Inter favorites

Even though Gladbach were top of the table in the Bundesliga about one year ago, Real Madrid and Inter Milan are the favourites to qualify from Group B.

Chances of qualifying to the Champions League last 16:

  • Real Madrid: 87%
  • Inter Milan: 68%
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach: 31%
  • Shakhtar Donetsk: 14%

Ramos and Hakimi popular

So let’s have a look at the fantasy options from Real Madrid and Inter Milan first.

Real keeper Thibaut Courtois costs you €6.0m, while Inter Milan’s shot stopper Samir Handanovic comes in at €5.5m. With Gladbach and Donetsk attackers being quite capable of scoring, these are two expensive keepers you can look past.

In defence there are two stand out options available. Real Madrid’s penalty taking captain Sergio Ramos at €6.5m (sharing duties with Benzema) and newly signed Inter wing-back Achraf Hakimi at €6.0m. While the latter is well know for his UCL fantasy heroics during his time at Dortmund, both could still offer significant attacking threat.

Coming in cheaper at the expense of attacking threat is Raphaël Varane for €5.5m. Another choice is Inter Milan’s Stefan de Vrij at €5.0m. Both could prove to be interesting differentials.

Hazard and Kroos not tempting

In midfield, Real Madrid offer a bulk of options but they don’t look too enticing.

Eden Hazard (€9.5m) is currently injured and Toni Kroos at €8.0m looks overpriced. Vinícius Júnior who is also priced at €8.0m, scored in his last two La Liga outings, but it remains to be seen if he will get regular enough starts to become a viable fantasy option.

Over at Inter Milan, the state of their midfielders seem to be quite similar.

Ivan Perisic at €8.5m, Roberto Gagliardini and Nicolò Barella (both €7.0m) all recorded some attacking returns this season, despite getting regularly subbed off around the 70 minute mark. As a result, none of these are particularly appealing.

Benzema an underrated option?

Up front, the options look far more exciting for both clubs.

Real’s 250 goals striker Karim Benzema costs €10.5m. The Frenchman is the 5th all-time highest scorer in the Champions League.

Elsewhere, Inter Milan duo Romelu Lukaku (€11.0m) and Lautaro Martínez (€10.5m) could also be interesting options. Some will consider captaining them on the Wednesday with a home fixture against Gladbach in Matchday 1.

More UCL Fantasy analysis:

Well known differentials

Looking at the options from Shakhtar and Gladbach, it’s a mixed story.

With Gladbach’s opening fixtures being Inter (a), Real (h) and Donetsk (a) their assets are risky at best. One or two of them may still get some returns, but their ceiling in these games doesn’t appear to be too high.

Shakhtar’s schedule doesn’t took to be great either, but they at least have two home fixtures, facing Inter and Gladbach in Matchday 2 and 3. Starting keeper Andriy Pyatov at €5.0m is currently ruled out, while defender Dodô for €4.5m looks their most likely defensive asset to register attacking returns.

In midfield and up front there’s more choice from the Ukrainian side.

Well known UCL Fantasy assets Marlos, Taison (both €7.0m) and Júnior Moraes for €7.5m all could become viable options once again. Far less known Viktor Kovalenko, priced at €5.5m, scored in back to back league starts playing as the teams number ten, and could be one to keep an eye on.

In short, you should be focusing on Real Madrid and Inter Milan here. Although the aforementioned Kovalenko may tempt some riskier managers. The group as a whole isn’t too appealing given none of these fixture seems easy on paper.