Duke’s UCL DFS Preview for Tuesday’s Showdown slate…
THESE ARE THE CHAMMMMMPPPPPIOOOOONNNNNNSSSSSS!!
Guys, we only have 5 games left in the Champions League. FIVE. That makes me so sad but also so happy because we are truly down to the best of the best from a tournament that features the best of the best.
To say I’m shocked to see Real Madrid and Chelsea still alive at this stage of the contest is an understatement. You have to respect their respective leadership with correct decisions regarding their managers. Chelsea made the bold move to fire their legend. Real Madrid went against public sentiment to retain theirs. They were both so poor early in the season. It’s great to see them still competing for Europe’s most important trophy.
Champions League Semi-Finals are two legged contents. They will each play a home match. The away goal rule is in place. Can we expect goals? Let’s look at the last 7 years of semi-finals:
19/20 – COVID YEAR. Only 1 match.
-RB LEIPZIG 0 PSG 3
-LYON 0 BAYERN 3
-TOT 0 AJAX 1
-AJAX 2 TOTTENHAM 3
-BARCELONA 3 LIVERPOOL 0
-LIVERPOOL 4 BARCENOLA 3
-BAYERN 1 REAL MADRID 2
-REAL MADRID 2 BAYERN 2
-LIVERPOOL 5 ROMA 2
-ROMA 4 LIVERPOOL 2
-MONACO 0 JUVENTUS 2
-JUVENTUS 2 MONACO 1
-REAL MADRID 3 ATLETICO 0
-ATLETICO 2 REAL MADRID 1
-MAN CITY 0 REAL MADRID 0
-REAL MADRID 1 MAN CITY 0
-ATLETICO 1 BAYERN 0
-BAYERN 2 ATLETICO 1
-JUVENTUS 2 REAL MADRID 1
-REAL MADRID 1 JUVENTUS 1
-BARCELONA 3 BAYERN 0
-BAYERN 3 BARCELONA 2
-REAL MADRID 1 BAYERN 0
-BAYERN 0 REAL MADRID 4
-ATLETICO 0 CHELSEA 0
-CHELSEA 1 ATLETICO 3
FIRST LEG = 33 GOALS IN 14 GAMES or 2.36 Goals per Game
SECOND LEG = 47 GOALS IN 13 GAMES or 3.62 Goals per Game
With nothing to lose, teams certainly are a bit more open and expansive in the second leg but that’s not to say goals are hard to come by. You also have years where defensive managers like Mourinho and Simeone intentionally tried to get through the first leg scoreless.
Real Madrid make the semi-final A LOT.
Let’s get to the desert…
You’ve seen that there are more goals scored in the second half than the first but my goodness this total is low…
Real Madrid have been a force at home in the Champions League. They beat Atalanta 3-1 in the second leg of the round of 32. They beat Liverpool 3-1 in the first leg of the quarter finals. At home in the group stage there were 12 total goals in 3 games OR 4 goals per game. Now we have a total of 2.25 essentially? What am I missing?
The stakes are higher! Sure.
It’s the first leg and they won’t want to concede! Sure.
Chelsea are a possession based team that haven’t conceded more than 1 goal when it’s 11 v 11 since Tuchel arrived on January 26th. OK, that’s probably the one that I give the most credence too.
Chelsea held Atletico Madrid scoreless over two legs. They conceded a goal in the 93rd minute of the second leg in a tie they were winning 2-0. They held Porto scoreless for 180 minutes, in essence. In the Prem, they’ve kept clean sheets in 6 of their last 8 matches. They are a good defensive side.
We all know this by now but they play with 5 defenders PLUS N’Golo Kante. That’s like playing with 11 defenders basically. The two wing backs are used to attack but can certainly put in a shift defensively. Tuchel’s goal will absolutely be to keep a clean sheet here.
Zidane will have other ideas. They’ve stumbled a bit domestically and drew against Getafe and Real Betis in 2 of their last 3 without scoring a goal. It’s hard to say they have an eye on this semi-final when they sit 3rd in La Liga, 2 points behind Atletico and 1 behind Barca who also have a game in hand. The Real Betis game saw the return of Eden Hazard to the mix. It’s just the second game he’s played since January and I don’t expect him to feature in this contest.
It very well could be a low scoring but highly entertaining contest. Neither team has been what I would consider European Championship worthy but they’ll get their chance to stake their claim on Tuesday afternoon.
- Modric – RMA – $6.2k
- Maybe a curious choice but the maestro should run the show and has been taking set pieces with Toni Kroos out of commission. If Kroos starts Modric moves to a flex option but he really opens up salary at the CPT spot with some Tielemans type of upside like we saw on Monday.
- Benzema – RMA – $10.8k
- Extremly risky and GPP only type of play but his price is actually a positive in my eyes. He won’t be nearly as owned in the CPT position as people try to jam him in the flex.
- Isco – RMA – $5.8k
- He has been playing for Kroos so obviously if Kroos is back this is a no no but he has the ability and the upside to make this work.
- Mendy – CHE – $5.8k
- It’s a low scoring game, right? They’ve kept a clean sheet in 6 of 8, right? Crazy to get here in the first leg and on the road but it’s viable.
- Chilwell – CHE – $7.6k
- Likely the safest of the CHE options, and cheaper than Mount. There are so many question marks about this first 11 for CHE so we are forced to make a bunch of assumptions.
- Chiwell – CHE – CASH AND GPP
- Benzema – RMA
- Mount – CHE – CASH AND GPP
- Asensio – RMA – CASH AND GPP
- Werner – CHE
- Modric – RMA – CASH AND GPP
- Mendy – CHE – CASH AND GPP
- James – CHE – CASH AND GPP
- Isco – RMA – CASH AND GPP
- Pulisic – CHE
- Casemiro – RMA
- Carvajal – RMA – CASH AND GPP
- Vinicius – RMA
- Courtois – RMA – CASH AND GPP
- Nacho – RMA