UCL Game Breakdown: October 18th

Champions League action is back with a vengeance this midweek with 16 games split across two nights. On Tuesday we get a look at Group E to H with a couple of sides in a position where they can go on to nine points to all-but secure a safe passage into the knockout phase. This article looks at each matchup in some more detail, going into recent form, picking out the set piece takers for every team and providing one or two player picks for each side.

REMEMBER: This Tuesday there is a live blog running to coincide with Champions League contests on DraftKings. To find out more go to this link.


Group E

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CSKA Moscow v AS Monaco

Stadion CSKA Moskva, 19:45 BST (14:45 EST)

CSKA Moscow

CSKA Moscow Breakdown

Manager Leonid Slutsky has had mixed results since the 1-0 loss to Spurs, CSKA going down 2-0 to fellow Champions League side FC Rostov before recovering to beat Ufa 1-0 on Friday night. They sit in third place in the Russian Premier League are struggling to score goals, CSKA managing just 11 strikes in the league so far. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has now not kept a clean sheet in 39 Champions League games and CSKA have a similar run that stretches to 22 games. Roman Eremenko is serving game one of a two-game suspension and there are still questions as to whether Alan Dzagoev will be fit to appear for CSKA.

CSKA Moscow Set Piece Takers

Corners – Bibras Natcho, Zoran Tosic

Penalties – Sergey Ignashevich, Bibras Natcho

CSKA Moscow Player Picks

Zoran Tosic ($5,900) – The absence of the likes of Eremenko and Dzagoev means a bigger role for Tosic, who has two assists in the Russian Premier League and averages three shots per game.

Pontus Wernbloom ($4,400) – The huge Swedish central midfielder is averaging 7.5 tackles per game after two outings in the Champions League and that translates to 9.4 fantasy points per game (FPPG).

AS Monaco

Monaco Breakdown

Like CSKA, Monaco were afforded the pleasure of playing on Friday night but fared far worse than their Champions League opponents as they were soundly beaten 3-1 by Toulouse. Monaco went 1-0 up in that match courtesy of Valere Germain and the result leaves them in third place, four points behind Nice. Their 23 goals is more than any other team in the French top flight but Monaco are still without Radamel Falcao, who is recovering from a concussion, and Nabil Dirar, who has not travelled.

Monaco Set Piece Takers

Corners –Thomas Lemar, Joao Moutinho

Penalties – Fabinho

Monaco Player Picks

Fabinho ($5,800) – Fabinho plays as a holding midfielder and averages 5.5 tackles won per game, the most of any Monaco player. He had an assist in the opening game against Spurs and his fantasy potential only grows when you realise he already has six goals this season, five of them from the spot.

Djibril Sidibe ($5,100) – Sidibe averages 10.6 FPPG in three Champions League games this season and is an attacking full back who already has one goal and one assist in Ligue 1.


Bayer Leverkusen v Tottenham Hotspur

BayArena, 19:45 BST (14:45 EST)

Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen Breakdown

Leverkusen were losers at the weekend as they went down 2-1 to Werder Bremen, Hakan Calhanoglu scoring their only goal. That ended a four-game unbeaten run in all competitions that included a 2-0 win over Dortmund on October 1st. Bayer are formidable on home soil and unbeaten in 10 games, a run that goes back to March when they lost 4-1 to Werder. In both Champions League games this season Leverkusen have gone ahead early only to be pegged back first by CSKA Moscow (2-2) and then Monaco (1-1). Julian Baumgartlinger and Aleksandar Dragovic both sat out Saturday’s loss due to thigh problems but were on the bench and therefore should be fit to return. Two players who won’t be playing any part are long-term absentees Joel Pohjanpolo and Karim Bellarabi.

Bayer Leverkusen Set Piece Takers

Corners – Hakan Calhanoglu

Penalties – Hakan Calhanoglu, Chicharito

Bayer Leverkusen Player Picks

Hakan Calhanoglu ($8,500) – In games scored by DraftKings, the Turkish midfielder has 17.4 FPPG and that includes one goal and one assist in just 45 minutes on matchday one.

Lars Bender ($4,400) – Bender will be required to do the dirty work in midfield once again and leads the team in the Champions League with six tackles and five interceptions. Bender has suffered injury problems this campaign but was rested on Saturday and could start.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur Breakdown

Spurs remain unbeaten in the Premier League after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at West Brom, a Dele Alli goal giving them a share of the points and maintaining their unbeaten away run in all competitions (five games). Mauricio Pochettino’s men have also scored at least once in their last 21 games away from home. Toby Alderweireld sustained an injury in Saturday’s draw at West Brom and will not play, Eric Dier expected to step into the breach. Harry Kane is still out.

Tottenham Hotspur Set Piece Takers

Corners – Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son

Penalties – Vincent Janssen

Tottenham Hotspur Player Picks

Son Heung-Min ($7,800) – Formerly of Leverkusen, Son has four goals in five games this season, the same number that he managed last campaign in 28 appearances. He was rested for the trip to West Brom and should continue his fine form at his old stomping ground.

Christian Eriksen ($9,300) – Eriksen had the only assist in Saturday’s draw at West Brom and picked up 23 fantasy points across a number of different categories. He is always dangerous thanks to his ability from set pieces and is linking nicely with Dele this season.


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Group F

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Sporting CP vs Dortmund

Jose Alvalade, 19:45 BST (14:45 EST)

Sporting CP

Sporting CP Breakdown

Sporting have only played one league game since the last Champions League win against Legia Warsaw and that was a 3-3 draw at Vitoria, Lazar Markovic, Sebastian Coates and Elias all registering a goal before the home side scored three times in the closing 16 minutes. It means Sporting are third in the Portuguese Liga NOS with a perfect home record of four wins from four games. Sporting have also scored in all of their last 19 games in all competitions. Captain Adrien Silva is out of the back-to-back games against Dortmund, but there are no other injuries affecting the side.

Sporting CP Set Piece Takers

Corners – Bryan Ruiz

Penalties – William Carvalho

Sporting CP Player Picks

Bas Dost ($7,600) – Dost has experience of facing Dortmund in the Bundesliga and already has five goals in six games since moving over to Portugal from Wolfsburg at the end of August.

Dortmund

Dortmund Breakdown

Thomas Tuchel’s team have not won since their 2-2 draw against Real Madrid and could only draw 1-1 against Hertha Berlin at the weekend, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang equalising in the second half. They are on four points after two Champions League games and drawing here would be a good result, especially with the injury crisis enveloping the club. Whilst Sokratis and Lukasz Piszczek have travelled, there are seven others out injured including Gonzalo Castro, Neven Subotic, Andre Schurrle, Adrian Ramos, Raphael Guerreiro, Marcel Schmelzer, Sven Bender, Erik Durm and Marco Reus.

Dortmund Set Piece Takers

Corners – Mario Gotze

Penalties – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Dortmund Player Picks

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($10,100) – With so many injuries, Aubameyang is one of the only relevant attacking threats left. The centre forward has six goals in six Bundesliga games and averages five shots per game in the Champions League.

Ousmane Dembele ($8,000) – Dembele had a huge game on matchday one against Legia Warsaw, where he managed seven crosses and two assists on a 24 fantasy point day.


Real Madrid vs Legia Warsaw

Santiago Bernabeu, 19:45 GMT (14:45 EST)

Real Madrid

Real Madrid Breakdown

Real Madrid ended a four-game run in all competitions without a win by beating Betis 6-1 at the weekend, Raphael Varane, Karim Benzema, Marcelo, Isco (2), and Cristiano Ronaldo all scoring. Even without winning they are still unbeaten in all competitions this season and, when you include last season, the run is at 22 games. James Rodriguez returns from injury to make the squad here, but Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro are all out.

Real Madrid Set Piece Takers

Corners – Toni Kroos

Penalties – Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid Player Picks

Cristiano Ronaldo ($11,700) – Ronaldo has nine goals and two assists in nine games for club and country this season and has had eight shots per game over his last two La Liga games. There is no better cash game pick than this.

Toni Kroos ($7,900) – Kroos had two assists in Saturday’s win over Betis and it moved him on to one goal and five assists for the season in La Liga.

Legia Warsaw

Legia Warsaw Breakdown

Legia are on a torrid run of eight defeats in 13 games in all competitions including a 3-2 defeat on Friday night against Pogon that leaves them 12th in the Polish top flight. Miroslav Radovic scored both goals, Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe and Guilherme getting the assists. They have lost both games in the Champions League group stage, scoring zero goals and conceding a total of eight.

Legia Warsaw Set Piece Takers

Corners – Thibaut Moulin, Steeven Langil

Penalties – Nemanja Nikolics

Legia Warsaw Player Picks

Thibault Moulin ($4,700) – Moulin is one of the few Legia players worth a look and tops the team with three tackles won and two interceptions per game.


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Group G

Liverpool v Leicester City - Premier League

Leicester City v FC Kobenhavn

King Power Stadium, 19:45 BST (14:45 EST)

Leicester City

Leicester City Breakdown

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri will be glad to have a break from Premier League action after his side fell to a third consecutive heavy defeat on Saturday, this time 3-0 to champions Chelsea. It means their only away win this campaign has come in the Champions League (3-0 v Club Brugge). They are also one of just four teams that has maximum points after two Champions League matches. Danny Drinkwater returned from injury in Saturday’s loss but Shinji Okazaki was not fit enough to play.

Leicester City Set Piece Takers

Corners – Riyad Mahrez

Penalties – Riyad Mahrez

Leicester City Player Picks

Riyad Mahrez ($9,400) – The Algerian has had two huge performances in the Champions League so far and, after scoring 28 fantasy points on matchday one, added 18 fantasy points against Porto last time out.

Islam Slimani ($8,200) – Slimani has three goals in three home games since moving to Leicester City and will be rested up after warming the bench with his countryman Mahrez against Chelsea.

FC Kobenhavn

FC Kobenhavn Breakdown

Kobenhavn are another side that has a long unbeaten run, the streak stretching to 23 matches in all competitions following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Silkeborg that was secured by goals from Rasmus Falk Jensen and Andreas Cornelius. They are also unbeaten in this season’s Champions League (eight games) and second in the group behind Leicester City. Jan Gregus is now available for selection following a one-game ban and, despite having a broken cheekbone, Federico Santander played at the weekend and will be considered for selection.

FC Kobenhavn Set Piece Takers

Corners – Ludwig Augustinsson

Penalties – Ludwig Augustinsson

FC Kobenhavn Player Picks

Ludwig Augustinsson ($5,300) – One half of the dynamic full back duo, Augustinsson takes most of the set pieces for Copenhagen and has averaged 11 crosses per game in the group stage.

Peter Ankersen ($5,100) – Another player who loves to cross, Ankersen picked up an assist against Club Brugge and had eight crosses in the same game. If you stack both full backs, it should be a good way to reach a nice floor in cash games.


Club Brugge vs Porto

Jan Breydelstadion, 19:45 BST (14:45 EST)

Club Brugge

Club Brugge Breakdown

Since losing 4-0 to Kobenhavn on the last matchday, Brugge have won one and lost one in the Belgian Jupiler League. In the Champions League the Belgian side are rooted to the foot of the group following successive heavy defeats to Leicester (0-3) and Copenhagen (0-4). Jose Izquierdo and Laurens De Bock are both out of this one due to injuries, Lior Refaelov also sidelined until November.

Club Brugge Set Piece Takers

Corners – Ruud Vormer

Penalties – Jelle Vossen

Club Brugge Player Picks

Stefano Denswil ($3,100) – With so many injuries affecting the Brugge ranks, Denswil looks a strong pick thanks to his modest two tackles won and 2.5 interceptions per game. He is very much a GPP pick and should only be trusted as a money saving option to allow more cash to be spent elsewhere.

Porto

Porto Breakdown

Porto remain second in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, their latest win a 4-0 success at Nacional, Diego Jota notching a hat trick and Andre Silva getting his fifth goal of the season. Jesus Corona is the only major doubt for Porto as they look for a first win in this season’s Champions League group stage.

Porto Set Piece Takers

Corners – Otavio, Alex Telles

Penalties – Andre Silva

Porto Player Picks

Andre Silva ($8,000) – Silva scored four times for his country during the recent international break and already has five goals in six league games this season. Brugge’s defence is porous enough to suggest he will get his first goal of the group stage.

Otavio ($6,100) – After four Champions League games including two qualifiers against Roma, Otavio is averaging 12.4 FPPG. That includes one goal and one assist, something he will be confident of building on against Brugge.


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Group H

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Argentina at USA

Dinamo Zagreb vs Sevilla

Stadion Maksimir, 19:45 BST (14:45 EST)

Dinamo Zagreb

Dinamo Zagreb Breakdown

New coach Ivalyo Petev gets his first taste of Champions League action as Dinamo host Sevilla and he will be looking for the Croatian side’s first goal of the group stage. Since taking the reins on September 27th, Petev has overseen a pair of clean sheets and he had his first win as boss on Friday night, a 1-0 success over Slaven Belupo thanks to a Junior Fernandes goal. Even so, they have still won just three of the last eight games but many of them were under the old manager. Davor Lovren is serving a one-match ban for this one, however, there is better news when it comes to Ante Coric and Ivan Fiolic, who are both expected to be fit.

Dinamo Zagreb Set Piece Takers

Corners – Paulo Machado

Penalties – Junior Fernandes

Dinamo Zagreb Player Picks

Soudani ($6,600) – The Algerian forward has five goals in 10 games in the Croatian top flight and also had two goals in Champions League qualification. Soudani helped himself to 11 fantasy points on matchday one against Lyon and looks the Zagreb player most likely to put up a decent points total.

Sevilla

Sevilla Breakdown

The Spanish side are joint top of the group with Juventus after two fixtures and have won both games since the victory of Lyon. Their current three-game winning run includes a rare away win, the 3-2 triumph at Leganes achieved thanks to goals from Franco Vazquez, Samir Nasri and Pablo Sarabia. Sevilla sit third in La Liga after eight games having lost just once and it leaves them a point ahead of Barcelona. They have no new injury worries, Timothee Kolodziejczak, Benoit Tremoulinas and Daniel Carrico all still out. Adil Rami is fit to travel as is Hiroshi Kiyotake.

Sevilla Set Piece Takers

Corners – Samir Nasri, Sergio Escudero

Penalties – Pablo Sarabia

Sevilla Player Picks

Wissam Ben Yedder ($7,400) – Ben Yedder scored his first Champions League goal for the club, against Lyon, and now has three goals in three games for Sevilla since moving in the summer.

Sergio Escudero ($5,000) – Scorer of 17 fantasy points against Lyon, Escudero is part of a defence that has kept two clean sheets in the group stage. In La Liga no one averages more than his four tackles per game and he also has 2.8 interceptions per game. That’s before you take into account his attacking prowess.


Olympique Lyonnais vs Juventus

Stade de Lyon, 19:45 BST (14:45 EST)

Olympique Lyonnais

Lyon Breakdown

Lyon lost 2-0 to Ligue 1 leaders Nice at the weekend and the team sit in a disappointing eighth place after nine games. That’s as a result of four losses, three of them away from home. Since moving to their new home stadium, Lyon have scored in all 15 games and won 12 of them, giving them plenty of enthusiasm that a victory against Italian opposition could be on the cards. Alexandre Lacazette made his return on Friday and scored six goals in his first three Ligue 1 games of the season before sustaining an injury. Maxwel Cornet and Rafael may also be back to play but Gedeon Kalulu serves the final game of a three-game ban.

Lyon Set Piece Takers

Corners – Nabil Fekir, Maciej Rybus

Penalties – Alexandre Lacazette, Nabil Fekir

Lyon Player Picks

Alexandre Lacazette ($9,600) – Lacazette is back from injury and his goal glut at the start of the campaign cannot be ignored. If he starts, consider him.

Maciej Rybus ($5,500) – The left back has put in two double digit performances in the Champions League and both times produced scoring across a number of categories.

Juventus

Juventus Breakdown

Juventus are so dominant in Italian football that it’s no surprise they have won their last two games since the 4-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb. The latter victory, a 2-1 over Udinese, saw Paulo Dybala grab a brace to move on to three goals and two assists for the season. They have won their last five games in all competitions, scoring 14 goals and conceding that solitary strike against Udinese. Juve have lost only one game this season and that was away at Inter a few weeks ago. Giorgio Chiellini and Mario Mandzukic are both out injured for the away side.

Juventus Set Piece Takers

Corners – Paulo Dybala

Penalties – Paulo Dybala

Juventus Player Picks

Paulo Dybala ($9,800) – All four of Dybala’s goals this season have come in the previous four games and his scoring across various categories makes him a big shout for cash games.

Dani Alves ($6,500) – Alves will look to exploit a three man back line employed by Lyon and has 23.5 FPPG in the Champions League this season.