The second leg of the UCL Q-F begin today. If all goes as expected, Messi’s Barcelona and Ronaldo’s Juventus will march on through. But, international football is riddled with surprise endings. Here are some of the fringe players that could set them off. You may want to consider them for your fantasy team.
Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United)
Yes, it’s doubtful he will even play, given a recent injury. Even more so, it’s doubtful manager Solskjaer would even risk sending him on if he was fit. Frankly, Sanchez’s transfer from Arsenal to United has been one of the most disappointing big transfer dealings in decades. He’s managed only 381 points in FootballCoin all season.
But, imagine the triumph if, by some miracle, Sanchez does come on and scores. Maybe the goal even sends United through. It would not be unlike Solskjaer;s most famous moment in that infamous 1999 UCL final. And, it would be quite the redemption story from a player that has so far disappointed at Old Trafford.
Philippe Coutinho (FC Barcelona)
Speaking of transfers that haven’t quite worked out, Coutinho is in danger of losing his spot in Barcelona’s squad. It’s been less than two seasons since he arrived. Seen as a replacement for Neymar, the Brazilian’s performances have been unremarkable. And, he has lost his starting place in the line-up to the perpetually irreconcilable Ousmane Dembele.
However, it’s nights like these that legends are built on. Coutinho could make a surprise start, find his swing and propel Barcelona to victory. Celebratory scenes of him and Messi would no doubt loiter the magazines tomorrow. More than anything, it could be enough to convince the Barcelona hierarchy to invest one more year in the player’s development. Alas, if this turns out to be a pipe dream, surely there’s a job for Coutinho in the EPL.
Daley Sinkgraven (Ajax Amsterdam)
Everybody loves a debutant that manages to create a surprise the regular order of things. To say that there’s pressure on Sinkgraven’s young shoulders is an understatement. The 23-year-old has made few appearances for Ajax in the Eredivisie and none in the UCL. But, today he is expected to start.
Now, the left wing-back has his work cut out for him. Not only will he be expected to dominate the left flank and offer passing opportunities to the likes of Dolberg and Tadic. He will also have to move fast and defend against players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala. But, Ajax’s scouting department has shown abilities above almost any other European club. And, fantasy managers may want to take a risk on Daley Sinkgraven for tonight’s contests.
The Champions League fantasy contests return today. Enter your free team to earn a post among the world’s top managers and be rewarded with cryptocurrency for your efforts.