Win up to $20,000 in the Draft11.com Champions League fantasy game

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After a break of 69 days, the UEFA Champions League returns on Tuesday, February 17 with the prospect of several exciting number of Round of 16 1st leg games to be played through February 25. Take your pick from Chelsea against Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona versus Manchester City, Juventus vs Dortmund or any of the other 10 teams who will play across Europe.

While many of the games will be enjoyable to watch, the games can take on an extra-added incentive when you decide to play Draft11.com, one of the daily fantasy soccer games where you can put your expert soccer knowledge to the test and win cold, hard cash prizes.

Draft11.com works in a different format to classic fantasy soccer, in that you pick a team — in this case — for each Round of 16 1st leg rather than on a season-long or tournament-long basis. Simply pick a team under the salary cap and watch them collect points for goals, assists, passes, crosses and a host of other stats as the plays happen. The points system is different to all other fantasy games, and games are available for the Champions League, Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and Bundesliga.

Draft11.com has several different UEFA Champions League contests to choose from where they’re giving away up to $20,000 in prizes.

But before we play the game, first comes the fun task of selecting from the rosters of the best teams in Europe to find the 11 players who are going to be your winning team. There are no substitutes in Draft11.com, so here are my picks for the 11 star players I’ll be entering into the Draft11.com Champions League contest (as well as tips on why I selected the players):

Goalkeeper

Is there anyone else that could possibly fill this spot other than Manuel Neuer? The Bayern Munich man will be looking to bolt the back door as Bayern Munich go in search of their second Champions League win in three years.

Neuer is not only an adept shot stopper, but he’s a goalkeeper who commands his area superbly too. With points given for “punches” in this particular competition, he should rack up the numbers with his aggressive style of goalkeeping and of all the stoppers in the competition, he’s the most likely to save a penalty kick—worth five points—just like he did at this stage against Arsenal last season.

Bayern have only conceded eight goals in the Bundesliga this season and their dynamic brand of football makes them a very hard team to break down. That means you won’t have to worry too much about Neuer being beaten often—your keeper loses five points for every goal conceded—but when the German champions are breached, Neuer is typically on hand to nullify danger.

Defense

In this position, it’s vital to get a blend of point-scoring attributes. While a player who rampages forward and makes an impact in the opposition third is desirable, if that compromises the team defensively then points won can quickly be offset against points lost.

John Terry and Jerome Boateng are both solid options that should be at the crux of excellent campaigns for their respective teams. The Chelsea skipper is an uncompromising defender and with one point awarded for every tackle, Terry will keep your score ticking over throughout the Blues’ last-16 tie.

Boateng has similar attributes and as the pair has shown already this season in the Champions League, are capable of bagging the odd goal from set pieces.

The same goes for the other defensive choices, Bayern Munich’s David Alaba and Real Madrid’s Marcelo. Alaba is a player regularly on penalty and set piece duties for the Germans—he’s occasionally deployed further forward in midfield too—while Marcelo loves to burst forward, creating or scoring goals for his team on a regular basis.

Midfield

Again, a blend of attributes is vital here. Gareth Bale has shown throughout the infancy of his Real Madrid career that he is capable of making a big impact on the grandest of stages, while Eden Hazard has blossomed under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho this season and grown into talismanic status for Chelsea.

Bayern will face Shakhtar in the last-16 and while the Ukrainian side is energetic and vibrant, they don’t have the defensive cohesion to keep out Bayern’s irresistible array of attacking talent. That’s why Mario Gotze—a player in superb goal scoring form this season—is in the XI and why the evergreen Arjen Robben has been chosen as skipper.

It’s also worth noting that all the aforementioned players are diligent workers and with points aplenty on offer for the defensive attributes—including tackles, clearances and interceptions—they could all add a sweetener to the scores accrued for their attacking exploits.

Attack

It would have been easy to pick Cristiano Ronaldo here, but for a premium of $11,500 I decided to opt for a more balanced first XI. With that in mind, Chelsea’s Diego Costa and Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller are the best pairing to spearhead the attack for this team.

Both Chelsea and Bayern are packed with intricate and incisive midfield talents, meaning the aforementioned pair should be supplied with plenty of ammunition. Costa in particular has been in wonderful form for the Blues this season and he’ll give Chelsea the edge they need to get past a very capable Paris Saint-Germain team.

Muller may not be quite as rumbustious in his play, but the German international has a patent for bagging for Bayern at vital times. He’s a creative forward too and if Pep Guardiola decides to play him alongside Robert Lewandowski, Muller could be afforded the luxury of mixing both the clinical and creative sides of his game.

Again, both of these players are willing to put a shift in and should pick up points on the back of their work-rate even if they don’t make an attacking contribution.

While the above picks could be winners, it’s entirely possible that you may have your favorite players you want to play, or you want to use the tools on Draft11.com to help you find the players that are the best fit for your team.

To enter the game, visit Draft11.com and register for free. Then look for the Champions League contests that are listed on the homepage. Create your team, hit save and then you’re set! It’s free to play and it’s easy to register.

 

Play Draft11.com today for your chance to win cash prizes!

 

Resources:

• Learn how to play Draft11.com, the daily fantasy soccer game

• Read our UEFA Champions League preview featuring predicted lineups, TV schedules, team predictions and features on key players.

 

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