Jump directly to the content
the champions

Fantasy football tips: 5 players you simply MUST HAVE for the opening group games of the Champions League 

The group stage of the Champions League is very nearly upon us, with FIVE clubs from the Premier League competing in this season’s competition. 

And this is very good news for Dream Team managers, as players are able to score points in European games as well as in the Premier League.


So let’s take a minute to bang out our favourite operatic tune, shall we?

Chelsea, Man United, Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham are all competing in Europe’s premier club competition this season.

So let’s take a good look at the players from each club you should be seriously considering for your fantasy football team.

1 Gary Cahill – Chelsea

Cahill will be raring to go

Cahill will be raring to go

Chelsea’s year-long absence from the competition is over, as the Blues face Azerbaijani champions Qarabag (read that as  ‘carrier bag’ – it makes them less daunting) at Stamford Bridge this evening.

Manager Antonio Conte has hinted he’ll leave the likes of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata on the bench for the Group C opener, so we’re expecting to see a fairly heavily rotated Chelsea side for this game.

But we wouldn’t be surprised to see captain Gary Cahill make a return to the side.

The England defender lasted just 13 minutes into the Blues opening Premier League game of the season against Burnley before getting sent off.

So he’s had plenty of time to sit around and think about what he did – albeit a couple of England games – and he’ll be more than ready to return to the Chelsea fold for a relatively straight forward Champions League clash.

2 Marcus Rashford – Man United

Will Rashford score on his Champions League debut?

Times Newspapers Ltd
Will Rashford score on his Champions League debut?

Marcus Rashford loves a debut, doesn’t he?

The youngster burst onto the scene back in 2016 when he scored twice in the Europa League against FC Midtjylland to help a beleaguered Louis van Gaal.

He followed that up by scoring on his Premier League debut, Manchester derby debut, EFL Cup debut, England debut… you get the idea.

This kid isn’t easily daunted, so what’s the betting he’ll go into United’s Champions League clash against Basel full of beans and willing to complete his brilliant record of scoring in competition debuts?

3 Roberto Firmino – Liverpool

Firmino has scored three goals in all competitions so far this season

Firmino has scored three goals in all competitions so far this season

Liverpool’s passage into the Champions League came via an impressive two leg display against German side RB Leipzig, with forward Roberto Firmino particularly impressing.

So much so, in fact, that he’s currently the top points scorer on Dream Team with 41 points.

The Reds face a familiar foe in the shape of Sevilla on Wednesday, who beat them 3-1 in the Europa League final back in 2016.

Jurgen Klopp’s side is arguably stronger now, with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane already displaying their brilliance in the competition this season.

But it’s Firmino we’ve got our beady eye on.

4 Leroy Sane – Man City

Sane scored twice against Liverpool on Saturday

Getty Images - Getty
Sane scored twice against Liverpool on Saturday

City will be desperate for success in this season’s competition, after crashing out of their last campaign to Monaco in the round of 16.

Pep Guardiola will be eyeing a place in the semi-finals at least this season, after spending a fortune over the summer on new players.

The Citizens face Dutch champions Feyenoord for their opening game of the competition, and you can expect the side to be in a buoyant mood after their 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool at the weekend.

Don’t expect to see Vincent Kompany make an appearances; he’s out with an injury (what’s new?), while goalkeeper Ederson is a major doubt as he’s still trying to pick his face out of Sadio Mane’s boot.

Leroy Sane was among the goals at the weekend after coming off the bench, so he’ll be relatively fresh and raring to go on the wing.

5 Son Heung-Min – Spurs

Son simply loves playing against Dortmund

Getty Images - Getty
Son simply loves playing against Dortmund

With City’s demolition of Liverpool at the weekend, Tottenham’s 3-0 win over Everton may have gone slightly unnoticed.

But it was safely one of the club’s finest performances in recent times and will put Spurs fan in a great mood ahead of their clash against German giants Dortmund.

And with Dele Alli suspended for three games in the Champions League, we fully expect forward Son Heung-Min to come into the side.

It just so happens that the South Korean maestro loves playing against BVB, having scored five times in six games against them when he was at Bayer Leverkusen.

He could well be Mauricio Pochettino’s secret weapon.


🏆Best bets: Champions League Tuesday🏆

  • Man United v Basel, United to score after 75 minutes: 11/10
  • United and Chelsea to win to nil: 3/2
  • United, Chelsea, City, Liverpool and Spurs to win: 7/1

DREAM TEAM OFFER: Bet £5 on these tips, get a free £20 bet!