Fantasy Football Blog

Euro update: Wizard of Ozil

Fantasy Football Blog

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Gameweek Two of Fantasy Europe Cup is almost upon us, and The Fantasist is here to give you some tips on where the value lies.

You have 200 million euros to spend to compete with Europe's best, choosing from all squad players at the 32 clubs who have qualified for the group stages of the Champions League.

You may fancy Arsenal to win on their trip to Partizan Belgrade, but if they do it will be no thanks to goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, who is injured. If you brave enough to plump for cut-price replacement Lukasz Fabianski then you may be rewarded.

Cluj return to Roma, the scene of their historic 2-1 win in 2008, but surely after beating Inter at the weekend the Giallorossi will be too strong this time round, right? Goalkeeper Julio Sergio looks good for a clean sheet at 14m.

Valencia keeper Cesar Sanchez has been in inspired form this season, and is a decent 8m if you expect him to frustrate an out-of-form Wayne Rooney and co at the Mestalla.

The Mourinho effect is writ large on defenders, with four of the eight most expensive coming from Real Madrid and Inter. But rather than go for the pricey Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Maicon or Lucio, why not pick the half-price Ricardo Carvalho or Cristian Chivu?

Tottenham will likely only have Vedran Corluka and Sebastien Bassong fit to play at centre-back when Twente visit, while Gareth Bale's earning potential may be curtailed by his filling in for Benoit Assou-Ekotto at left-back.

Bayern Munich have struggled for goals so far this season, so if there was ever a time to include a Basel defender - such as David Abraham (2.25m, two goals already this season) - then it's now.

Chelsea host Marseille without midfield duo Frank Lampard and Yossi Benayoun, while frontmen Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou also miss out. Still, they have 20m man Florent Malouda in their ranks.

Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil has carried his World Cup form into La Liga, and could be this season's Wesley Sneijder if you can spare 25m.

With the rest of Milan's midfield having a combined age of about 250, Kevin-Prince Boateng has added some much-needed dynamism to the team, and could be worth a look at 15m, while the decent Ivan Rakitic (7m) is the most expensive of Schalke's midfielders.

Ryan Giggs has been ruled out for "a couple of weeks" by Manchester United.

With regards to forwards, Lionel Messi has been included in the Barcelona squad for the trip to Rubin Kazan, but has not yet been cleared to play. For the Argentine's 50m price tag you could have Samuel Eto'o, Cristiano Ronaldo or a pairing of Marouane Chamakh and Mirko Vucinic.

Last season's star man Diego Milito is a major doubt for the champions. Sulley Muntari replaced him against Roma, and at 4m could prove a canny addition to your squad.

Luis Suarez (27m) has already banged in six goals in four Dutch league games this season, while Benfica's in-form Oscar Cardozo (12m) could add to his tally against Schalke.

Rubin Kazan (5m) bought Sergei Kornilenko off the back of 11 goals in 15 appearances for Tom Tomsk, so he's due one having fired blanks in his two matches for the Russian champions thus far.

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