The long wait between the Champions League group stage and knockout rounds is almost over.
It has been 3 months since the biggest European competition has been seen and UCL fantasy managers will need to scramble to find their passwords to make their changes.
Among a number of big name clashes, there are plenty of one-sided looking ties in the upcoming round of 16.
So, with such a gap, now is a great time to recap what’s happened in UCL Fantasy 2022/23 so far.
UCL Fantasy Round of 16
The Champions League round of 16 fixtures are as follows:
- AC Milan vs Tottenham
- PSG vs Bayern Munich
- Club Brugge vs Benfica
- Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea
- Liverpool vs Real Madrid
- Frankfurt vs Napoli
- RB Leipzig vs Manchester City
- Inter Milan vs Porto
For each team’s likelihood of progressing, check out our Champions League cheat sheet!
Best Players From Champions League Fantasy 2022/23 So Far
After 6 Matchdays and 96 matches, here are the best performers so far in UCL Fantasy:
Kylian Mbappe – 62 Points
Mbappe and PSG face a very tough tie against Bayern Munich in the round of 16.
This is a rematch of the 2020 Champions League final in which the German side came out on top.
However, over a two-legged tie, there is plenty of opportunity for Mbappe to continue his outrageous form in Europe’s top competition – if he is passed fit!
The French international scored 7 goals in his 6 appearances during the group stages.
He is clinical in the Champions League as he has scored 40 goals in the competition from 60 appearances since his debut in the 2016/17 season.
As the highest-scoring player in UCL Fantasy this year so far, injury news aside, you’d be taking a risk leaving him out.
Mohamed Salah – 58 Points
Mohamed Salah tends to be a safe bet in UCL Fantasy and this proves to be the case once again as he joins Mbappe at the top of the scoring charts after the group stages (7 goals).
This puts him only one goal behind his record for last season with at least two games left in the competition.
The Egyptian continues to be the main man at Anfield despite his recent poor performances.
Liverpool face a rematch of last year’s final as they take on Real Madrid in the round of 16.
The reds and Salah will be looking for revenge but their record against Los Blancos is far from ideal having lost to them in two finals under Jurgen Klopp.
Jude Bellingham – 49 Points
Jude Bellingham is enjoying a breakthrough season in 2022/23 and has announced himself on the Champions League stage.
The young England international scored 4 goals in the group stage. This included an away goal against one of the favourites to win the competition, Manchester City.
Bellingham has represented great value (€7.5m) so far as he has outscored midfielders such as Sadio Mane (€10.7m) and Vinicius Jr (€10.0m).
With a game against Chelsea coming up for Dortmund, it is yet another opportunity for the 19-year-old to impress against a side from his homeland.
Chelsea are also in poor form at the moment. Following a lot of new signings they are still trying to settle on their strongest team and formation.
This could be a chance for the Bundesliga club to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since the 2020/21 season.
Diogo Costa – 48 Points
Diogo Costa has been a very busy man so far in the Champions League this season.
The shot stopper has kept 3 clean sheets over the course of 6 games with some hard opponents such as Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen in their group.
Not only that but he also saved 3 penalties to help his side through the group stages.
Porto are outsiders to win the Champions League and therefore Costa is likely to face more shots which is a chance for more points.
Costa may even provide an attacking threat as the goalkeeper registered an assist during a chaotic group stage for him.
Alejandro Grimaldo – 47 Points
The first defender on the list is Benfica’s attacking left-back, Alejandro Grimaldo.
Largely down to the two goals he scored against the weakest side in the group, Grimaldo finished with an impressive points tally.
To be the highest scoring defender in the game so far is impressive as Benfica were only able to keep one cleansheet.
He even scored more points than fantasy football legends such as Joao Cancelo and Trent Alexander-Arnold. So he must be doing something right!
Facing Club Brugge in the round of 16 sees two of the underdogs in the competition battle it out.
Grimaldo stands more chance of getting more points on the board in this tie compared to just about any other draw his club could have got.
Mohamed Simakan – 46 Points
RB Leipzig are the unfortunate team to have drawn Man City in the round of 16 this year.
The toughest fixture possible looms for a team that did cause an upset during the group stages.
A win over Real Madrid will have slightly worried Guardiola about his side taking on Leipzig. The Germans kept two clean sheets in the group games but only have a 19% chance of doing so in MD7.
Mohamed Simakan was named player of the match in that win over the Spanish giants and even bagged himself an assist.
The full-back showed his attacking prowess throughout the group stage as he registered a goal and 3 assists on the way to progression.
Not only was he a threat going forwards but he also managed 4 or more ball recoveries in 5 of the games he played.
Brandon Mechele – 44 Points
Another defender on the list and it no surprise as Mechele helped his club to 5 clean sheets from the 6 group games.
The Belgian club even stopped Atletico Madrid from scoring in both games between the sides.
Mechele won his side a penalty in the only defeat they suffered as he was an ever-present in the side for each matchday.
Defensively, he was a monster, with 8 or more ball recoveries in 4 of the matches he played in.
At 30 years old, he finds himself in the knockout rounds for the first time in his career. A tie against fellow underdogs Benfica won’t put UCL Fantasy managers off owning him.
Sadio Mane – 43 Points
The former Liverpool forward has been a mainstay at the top of UCL Fantasy in recent years and this does not look like changing in the near future.
Mane has continued to contribute regularly in front of goal since his move to Bayern Munich.
Scoring 3 goals in 6 games is a decent return for most players but Mane himself will know he can do even better.
The Senegalese attacker has previously scored in a Champions League final and will be looking to achieve this once more in his career.
Impressively, Mane was able to gain points as he pressed from the front and made 9 ball recoveries against Barcelona during matchday 5.
He did miss the World Cup at the end of 2022 through injury. It will be touch and go whether he will make it for the first leg against PSG.
Lionel Messi – 43 Points
It comes as a surprise to see Lionel Messi so low down in a top 10 list.
The PSG forward did miss Matchday 4 and has only made 5 appearances in the tournament so far while every other player on this list has played in 6 games.
Of the 4 goals he scored in the stated 5 games, 2 were from outside the box which provides an extra point in UCL Fantasy.
The little magician also set up his teammates on four occasions which is the joint most so far.
A player of the match performance against Maccabi Haifa did increase Messi’s points total.
Messi is reportedly facing a race against time to be fit for the round of 16 Bayern Munich clash.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo – 42 Points
A defender from the most impressive side in the Champions League so far makes up the last name on the list.
Napoli have won 5 out of 6 games with their only loss coming at Anfield against last year’s runners-up.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo played in all 6 games and helped his side to 2 clean sheets along the way.
He even scored a goal and was named player of the match in his side’s biggest win against Ajax in Amsterdam (1-6).
Napoli are the form team of Europe at the moment. They also sit on top of Serie A and will be hoping to challenge for the Champions League, too.
A tie with Europa League champions, Frankfurt, should be an easy one to navigate as the German side are the second least favourites to win the competition.