In our final UEFA Champions League Fantasy article of the season, Louis (aka FPLReactions) looks at some difference-makers for managers in the Liverpool v Real Madrid final.
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We all know who the obvious selections are in tonight’s Champions League final.
Mohamed Salah, Karim Benzema, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Vinicius Jnr will all be widely backed in Madrid, with Benzema the safe captaincy play if you’re defending a lead or consolidating a rank.
But what about if you’re trying to peg back a rival or boost your overall position?
Firstly to clarify differentials can be structural (a formation not owned by the template), single players not widely owned, a combination of the two, or a differential captain.
- Price: 8.1m
- 4% owned
- 5 goals and 2 assists in 10 matches in the UCL so far (he only started 4)
- 7 goals and 2 assists in his last 10 matches in all competitions
A differential because most will go for a Liverpool striker with Bemzema + Vinicius.
- Price: 5.8m
- 5% owned
- 3 assists and 3 clean sheets in his 9 UCL matches
- 3 clean sheets, 1 goal and 2 assists in his last 10 matches for Real Madrid in all competitions
Most will go for Thibault Courtois as their representative from the Madrid defence, so Mendy could be a great differential.
- Price: 8.5m
- 11% owned
- 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 penalty won in 8 UCL matches
- 3 assists in his last 10 matches for Liverpool
Even if we see that Luis Diaz starts as expected, Jota often shares minutes with the winger. With there being five substitutions, the Portuguese will surely get on the field at some point – and this is a tight-looking game that could be settled late on.
- 14% owned
- 5 goals in his 12 UCL matches so far
- 7 goals and 1 assist in his last 10 matches in all competitions
Salah and Vinicius, despite being widely owned, will be differentials of sorts for the armband as Benzema will be the go-to captain.
But with eight goal contributions in his last 10 matches, Sadio Mane is worth a shout.
The Senegal international is Liverpool’s most in-form attacker and this is potentially his last match for the club, with an announcement on his future coming after tonight’s final.
The template will definitely be 4-3-3 so going with five in midfield would be a structural differential to the template.
Backing against the most popular personnel at the rear is also a make-or-break move. Three Liverpool defenders and one Real asset will be a popular play so choosing to opt for a Real Madrid majority backline and one/no Liverpool defender will be a difference-maker either way.
Alternatively, going for five members of the Liverpool defense (including a goalkeeper) would also be a differential combination.
CHASING POINTS DEFICITS
- Chasing 4 points: Pick a singular differential like Rodrygo ahead of Diaz
- Chasing 4-8 points: Pick a structural differential like a back five or even an all-Real Madrid defense
- Chasing 8+ points: Back against Benzema with a different captain like Mane or Vinicius
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