UCL Fantasy Tips for Matchday 1: Prepare your team for success

Fantasy Champions League returns for 2021/22 season. We have a lot of talk about regarding the first matchday of UCL Fantasy.

Let’s dive into our UCL Fantasy Matchday 1 Tips. 

Also, JOIN our UCL fantasy league by clicking this link or use league code 82C8X1QX01, we are looking forward to compete with you!

Fantasy Champions League Matchday 1 Tips

1. Tips for success

I decided to put together a few tips for UCL Fantasy success, so we will start with them. Tips are basic, but I hope very helpful.

They were a vital part of my strategy that got me 3 excellent finishes in the last three seasons (23rd, 216th and 494th). They helped me to rank 5th in the UCL Fantasy Hall of Fame of top managers.

ucl fantasy rank

Would you like to know my opinion on your UCL Fantasy squad? Drop me a message on FPL Reports Twitter or FPL Reports Facebook! I will happily advise you on your team!

Anyway, you can read my UCL Fantasy tips for success here.

2. Budget picks

All fantasy games are about optimization. And when you are optimizing your ucl fantasy team, you need to include some cheap budget players in your squad. 


  • Stekelenburg (4,5m, Ajax) – with Onana suspended for one full year, Stekelburg should be the no.1 goalkeeper for Ajax
  • Kobel (4,5m, Dortmund) – should be number one Goalkeeper for Dortmund


  • Mazraoui (4,5m, Ajax) – 1 goal and 2 assists in first 3 matches of Eredivisie this season. Could be “a new Tagliafico”, great at balls recovered
  • Maehle (5m, Atalanta) – 0,5m cheaper than Gosens, amazing form at EUROs, great first two fixtures
  • Savic (4,5m, Atletico) – cheap defender for a team with great defensive capabilities
  • S. Roberto (5,0m, Barcelona) – 2 goals and 1 assist for Barca this season, however, not a certain starter
  • Sule (5,0m, Bayern) – Cheap route into Bayern defense
  • Matip (5,0m, Liverpool) – Cheap route into Liverpool defense
  • Wan Bissaka (5,0m, Manchester United) – Cheap route into Man United defense
  • Militao (5,0m, Real Madrid) – Cheap route into Real Madrid defense
  • Wober (4,0m, Salzburg) – Great at balls recovered, good group, but do not be surprised if benched
  • D. Carlos (4,5m, Sevilla) – good at balls recovered, good group


  • Edson Alvarez (Ajax, 4,5m) – perfect 4,5m midfielder, a regular starter for Ajax, occasional goal threat, could recover few balls to score extra fantasy points
  • De Roon (6,0m, Atalanta) – great at balls recovered
  • Correa (7,0m, Atletico) – amazing form from LaLiga, 3 goals and 1 assist in first 3 matches
  • Jorginho (6,0m, Chelsea) – good at balls recovered, but we are not sure he is still on penalties, as Touchel wants his strikers to take penalties
  • Lang (6,5m, Club Brugge) – solid form from Jupiler League
  • Ferran Torres (7,5m, Manchester City) – playing up front, solid form, but rotation risk
  • Casemiro (6,5m, Real Madrid) – amazing at balls recovered


  • Dusan Tadic (8,5m. Ajax) – amazing form in Eredivisie, a key man for Ajax, could get few MOTM awards
  • Braithwaite (6,0m, Barcelona) – solid form, 2 goals and 1 assist in first 3 matches of LaLiga
  • Depay (8,5m, Barcelona) – could be a new talisman of blaugranas, solid form, 2 goals and 1 assist in first three matches
  • Džeko (7,5m, Inter Milan) – 1 goal and 1 assist in first 2 matches in Serie A
  • Jota (8,0m, Liverpool) – superb for Liverpool, but rotation risk
  • B. Yilmaz (8,0m, Lille) – amazing last season for Lille, solid form this season, good group for Lille
  • Gabriel Jesus (8,5m, Manchester City) – started the season very well for City playing on the rightwing
  • Greenwood (8,0m, Manchester United) – great form at the start of the season, but rotation risk after Man United signed Ronaldo

3. Matchday 1 captain

Picking the right captain is an important part of fantasy Champions League success. Because we have matchday divided into two days, the best captain strategy is to select two players with the very high expected output, each one playing on a different day.

When your Tuesday captain score, great, you leave the armband on him. If he blanks, you move it to the one who is yet to play on Wednesday.  

We always select a reliable player that has easy fixture as our captain.

Standout captaincy fixtures for Tuesday:

  • Young Boys vs. Manchester United (Man. United has 65 % chance of winning the match)
  • Chelsea vs. Zenit (77 % probability of Chelsea winning the match)

Cristiano Ronaldo is our number one captain pick for Tuesday. We will know whether he starts or not before the deadline, because the lineup for this match will be known one hour before the MD1 deadline. If Ronaldo does not start, Lukaku would be our pick.

Standout Captaincy fixtures for Wednesday:

  • Besiktas vs. Dortmund (60 % probability of Dortmund to win)
  • Club Brugge vs. PSG (76 % probability of PSG to win)

Erling Haaland is our backup captain for Wednesday if our Tuesday captain blanks. If you do not want to go with the Dortmund striker, look at PSG trio Messi, Neymar, Mbappe, and captain one of them.

4. Best UCL fantasy picks for recovering balls

Awarding a point for every three balls recovered is a new feature that UCL Fantasy added to the game before the start of the 2019/20 season. And it completely changed our view on center-backs and defensive midfieldersplayers who are recovering balls most often.

There are fiew players in the game, who are constantly recovering more than 6 balls per game. That is extra two points. And these players cost only around 4.5-5.5 million.

Extra two points per game, that is 12 extra points per all six games in the group stage. 12 points are equivalent to a midfielder scoring 2 goals + 2 points. And which midfielder for 4.5 – 5.5 million will score with absolute certainty two goals in the group stage?

That cannot be easily predicted. Maybe none.

Predicting which players will be recovering balls very often is a much easier task when we have two seasons of data available.

You just pick some of these players, play them every week, and do not worry about them. At the end of the matchday, they will likely score 4-5 points (appearance points, potential clean sheet point + balls recovered points) for you without an attacking return.

In the separate article, we calculated which players are recovering balls most often per 90 minutes. These are players that have the highest potential of scoging a 2+ extra points in every match.  

You can find these balls recovering heroes here.

5. The most MOTM awards

There is a new scoring feature for 2021/22 UCL Fantasy season. Player that gets awarded the MOTM (man of the match) will score 3 fantasy points! 

Scoring Points UCL Fantasy

The question is, which players have the highest potential of getting these awards?

We think it will boost the appeal of talismans – the key players of teams, like Kevin De Bruyne or Lewandowski.

We looked at which players got the MOTM award most often last season. You can check it here in a separate article.

6. Bookies odds

As usual, we looked at what bookies think about the Matchday 1 of UCL Fantasy.

We checked the clean sheet odds to determine which teams are most likely to keep a clean sheet in the MD1 and goalscoring odds to determine which players are most likely to score a goal in MD1.

Clean sheet odds for MD1

Bookies favor Chelsea, Atletico and PSG to do well defensively in MD1. You can find the full Champions League clean sheet odds table here.

Goalscoring odds for MD1

Goalscoring odds for Champions League MD1 are available here.

7. Scout picks for Matchday 1

Now, it is time to show our scout picks, our squad for matchday 1. Just as we mentioned in captaincy section, we have two armband contenders in our squad, one for Tuesday, the other for Wednesday. 

The same applies for our bench. All bench players play on Wednesday, so we will substitute them in for players who will have blanked on Tuesday.  

We paid special attention for players good at balls recovered, because it increases their expected points potential. We think that including some of players great in recovering balls in your team could play important role in your Fantasy Champions League success.  

UCL Fantasy MD1 Team 1


The first Matchday of the new Fantasy Champions League campaign starts in just a few days. Make an informed decision about your UCL Fantasy team and prepare it for success.

Good luck!

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Matej Šuľan

Fantasy Football enthusiast with two top 1k finishes in FPL. Best FPL overall rank: 119th in 2019/20 season. Four top 500 finishes in UCL Fantasy, best overall rank: 23rd in 2018/19 season. Founder of Fantasy Football Reports.