The Champions League semifinals have arrived. Manchester City draws Real Madrid in the first leg of two in Manchester. Manchester City sits atop the EPL, while Madrid is in control of La Liga. Madrid averages 2.37 expected goals while conceding just 0.93 expected per match. In their previous 13 matches, Manchester City has seen just one defeat in the FA Cup semifinals to Liverpool. That same stretch has produced eight clean sheets and eight matches with two-plus goals. Real Madrid have seen a stretch of 13 matches where the recorded just four clean sheets. The results have been favorable thanks to their offense, with the exception of a blowout loss to Barcelona 4-0. The offense has posted two plus goals in ten of the outings in that stretch.
In Champions League play, Manchester City cruised by Atletico Madrid and Sporting CP. Real Madrid came away with two underdog advancements against Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. Manchester City comes into this first leg as a -222 (BetMGM) favorite. Madrid’s inability to keep its opponents off the scoresheet makes it hard to back it, even with a +555 (BetMGM) return on the moneyline. The over/under on the goal total of 2.5 is -150 (BetMGM) to the over. This makes sense with the ability of either side to post three goals on their own and the lack of clean sheets against similar-caliber offenses. This would be the range of Liverpool, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain which have broken through the defense of both sides throughout the Champions League and Fa Cup. The best bet is Real Madrid +1.5, which is -150 (DraftKings). Madrid has been able to match goals with top clubs all season, and they respond well to going down a goal.
Below are the top UCL DFS picks on DraftKings and FanDuel, which consider all aspects of the slate, from Awesemo’s expert UCL DFS projections to pricing to popularity for DFS fantasy soccer. These UCL DFS soccer picks should help with creating highly projected lineups in DraftKings and FanDuel fantasy soccer tournaments and cash games.
UCL DFS DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Soccer Lineups
Riyad Mahrez (DraftKings: $15,300, FanDuel $13)
Kevin De Bruyne (DraftKings: $15,900, FanDuel $14)
Karim Benzema (DraftKings: $14,400, FanDuel $15)
The Captain range is limited to the top scorers of each side. In a match where goals are expected, with this much talent, it is hard to not chase the goal hunters, especially when all are brace plays. Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne contribute on a combined 42% of Manchester City’s scoring. They do this on an even split of goals and assists. Both average above three shots per match and create more than three scoring chances. De Bruyne leads the team with 5.37 per match. Worst-case scenario, were this match to end 0-0, Mahrez and De Bruyne would still provide a floor with the shot and crossing volume via open play and the split set shares. In GPP lineups the split of one or the other make sense, with Mahrez getting a bit more ownership because De Bruyne will garner the highest at the Captain spot and Mahrez is handling the direct attempts at the net in recent form.
Karim Benzema will come far down the Captain list anything outside of MME since Madrid’s imposing attack volume will have Benzema overshadowed. He leads La Liga in goals and has posted hat tricks against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea. His shot volume is 3.95 shots per match, and he hits target at a 40% accuracy clip. Benzema needs to score, but he has done that time after time.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (DraftKings: $5,600, FanDuel $7)
Joao Cancelo is out for this match with a suspension. Oleksandr Zinchenko will get plenty of opportunity as the offensive wingback. His price is too low for his volume in limited outings. He will push up for offense, with Kyle Walker sliding as the wingback set to run back for defensive help on counters. Zinchenko’s 2.05 open-play crosses per match will see a bump without Cancelo, and his 2.95 scoring chances created per match offer upside in the goal contribution department. He is active defensively as well, with an average 3.97 won tackles/interceptions per match.
Luka Modric continues to deliver in big moments. He has contributed on a goal in three straight UCL matches. Despite the goal contributions, his floor is hitting his price with a mix of attributes. He can do it all in the midfield, with an average 2.94 crosses, 3.04 scoring chances created and 2.29 won tackles/interceptions. Modric also draws just under two fouls per match.
Gabriel Jesus (DraftKings: $9,200, FanDuel $11)
Vinicius Junior (DraftKings: $8,800, FanDuel $10)
Two goal hunters that might go overlooked due to the high salaries are Gabriel Jesus and Vinicius Junior. Jesus is coming off a spectacular four goal outing. That was also against the worst defense in the EPL. His presence in front of the net, and willingness to fire away is hard to ignore. The price makes it hard to Captain due to a lack of solid outings, but the Flex role can differentiate a lineup when spotting Jesus over one of De Bruyne or Mahrez.
Vinicius Junior leads Real Madrid in drawn fouls at 2.88 per match. His goal contribution rate trails only Benzema, and he has a nice split of 14 goals and eight assists on the season. Vinicius Junior is accurate on the on-target rate at 51% of his 2.63 attempts per match. His goal creation rate towers his team sheet with 5.63 per match. A Vinicius Junior pivot over Benzema in the Flex would allow an even build to complement Mahrez and De Bruyne as a Captain and Flex pairing.
Other Options: Toni Kroos (DraftKings: $5,800, FanDuel $8), Bernardo Silva (DraftKings: $7,600, FanDuel $9)
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