Two giants of the European soccer world, Real Madrid and Juventus, have been eliminated from the Champions League. Another two will depart on Saturday. Chelsea and Napoli will have the running to do in their games against Bayern Munich and Barcelona, respectively. How will that impact roster construction? We take a look below.
Robert Lewandowski ($10,900)
Lewandowski had the most goals in the recently-concluded Bundesliga. That was not a flash in the pan. He has been one of the best strikers in the world for a while now. In one of the biggest annual competitions in the world, he will be keen to carry Bayern Munich through with another solid performance against Chelsea.
Others to consider: Thomas Muller ($7,600).
Luis Suarez ($8,500)
With this tie currently at 1-1, Suarez should get the start with the Champions League at stake. He has been strong in support of one of the best players in the world, Lionel Messi. This could be a fast-paced game because Napoli will have to score to have any chance. That could leave Barcelona’s exceptional attacking core against a vulnerable defense.
Lionel Messi ($10,700)
Like how Cristiano Ronaldo showed on Friday, it doesn’t take much for the best players in the world to fire up. Messi will be hurting after letting go of the La Liga title far too easily. With Real Madrid out of the competition, this could be a chance for Barcelona to move past this stage and stake a claim for a Spanish winner. For that, Messi will be a key player. He will also take penalties if Napoli makes a mistake in the box.
Serge Gnabry ($8,000)
Chelsea is trailing this tie, 3-0. That is as good an indicator as any that this won’t be a methodical, dull game. Bayern Munich is deadly on the counter attack. When that attack breaks, Gnabry will be there to play the right ball or even receive the pass to convert an opportunity into an offensive contribution. He is also coming off quite a stellar Bundesliga season.
Others to consider: Mason Mount ($4,700)
Alphonso Davies ($6,100)
Bayern Munich finished the Bundesliga season as the best defensive team, conceding the fewest goals in the league. That is quite an achievement considering the pace of play in Bayern Munich’s set-up. Chelsea will find it hard to break down this defense with a depleted team. Even though Chelsea will continually press, I’d still back Bayern to keep a clean sheet in this game.
Jordi Alba ($5,000)
This fixture will be a lot more concerted and the slower-paced of the two on Saturday. Barcelona thrashed Alaves, 5-0, in the last game of the 2019-20 La Liga season. Alba kept a clean sheet, forming a big part of Barcelona’s defense from left back. He will be entrusted with that same duty again in this game. He will be desperate for a clean sheet because that would mean Barcelona goes through.
Manuel Neuer ($5,800)
Most Champions League games are extremely quick, with the ball moving back and forth with a rapid pace. This should be one of those games. However, Chelsea is ravaged by injuries. There just doesn’t seem to be enough firepower in this Chelsea offense to convert half-chances. Neuer will be troubled but he has enough skill and quality to keep most shots on net out.
Others to consider: Marc-Andre ter Stegen ($5,600)
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Nikhil Kalro is the Founder and CEO of Altletics Esports.