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FiT Champions League 13/14
Chelsea should top this one so I expect plenty of investment in their players. Schalke should qualify in 2nd and their players look great value for money. Schalke Captain Benedikt Howedes is a bargain at just 4.8m. Draxler and Farfan are relatively cheap and very promising midfielders that should score well. Huntelaar looks set to miss the first few group games through injury, so Szalai could be a great choice. He is only 8.0m and has scored 4 goals in 7 appearances this season. I don’t know enough about players from Basel or Steau to include any in my iTeam just yet. That might change if after a few games qualification looks odds on for either team.
This is probably the toughest group to get out of. Napoli currently sit on top of Serie A, Dortmund are on top of the Bundesliga and Marseille are 2nd in the French Ligue. Then we have Arsenal who have recorded 4 wins in a row since the defeat at the hands of Aston Villa. Dortmund have some great players. Even though Weidenfeller is a decent goalkeeping option at just 5.9m, I can see a lot of goals being scored in this group. I will probably try and avoid defenders from all of these teams. Reus is my favourite Dortmund player, he should provide a lot of assists but he is expensive at 7.8m. Then there’s Mkhitaryan who comes in 800k cheaper than Reus and has scored 2 in 4 so far this season. Up front Aubameyang has also started the domestic season well. 3 goals for him compared to 2 for Lewandowski. Napoli have only played 2 domestic league games so far but their star midfielder Marek Hamsik has scored 4 goals. With a FiT valuation of just 6.5m he will prove to be popular. Higuain has also started the season well with a goal and an assist. At 9.8m he is priced a little lower than some of the other big name forwards. Another ex Real Madrid player Jose Callejon should warrant our attention. He has also started the season well and is nearly a million pound cheaper than Higuain. We then have the underdogs Marseille. They are playing very well and could surprise us all. Payet and Gignac have started the season off very well, both have scored 3 goals apiece.
Zenit St Petersburg
I’m not sure which team will stand out in this group but I know it won’t be Austria Wien. Atletico have started their season off very well. 3 wins out of 3 puts them on the same points total as Real Madrid and Barcelona. Their midfielders have been very busy. Koke, Garcia and Turan have all provided good attacking returns domestically. Then they have Costa and Villa looking very good up top. Atletico players are not very expensive, so definitely consider one of the above mentioned for your iTeam. Zenit have some wonderful and inexpensive players. Danny, Shirokov and even Arshavin have shone in the qualifying rounds. Witsel is another decent option. Then there’s the Hulk and Kerzhakov up front. The latter isn’t the best finisher in the world but he does get in the right positions and could still be one to watch. I don’t know much about Porto but their stand out player is Jackson Martinez. He has scored 37 goals in 46 appearances for them. So if anyone is going to score for them it should be him.
To finish off we have group h. Barcelona and Milan should go through but anything can happen. Celtic at 8/1 could be worth a little flutter. The big thing that jumps out at you when looking at Barcelona defenders is Mascherano FiT value. He is nearly 1 million cheaper than the other big names. With Puyol suffering from constant injury problems Mascherano could be regular starter and a real bargain. Fabregas should be looking at a lot of Champions League game time and tops the La Liga assist charts so far this season. Then we have the forward line, drool. Messi Neymar and Pedro. The latter will probably be ignored by most, but at 9.1m Pedro could be a real differential. Then we have Milan and the return of Kaka. At 7.0m he is still to much of a risk for me, at least until we see a little of what he can do. Montolivo could be the better option. Milan will probably rotate their forward line a lot so I will probably stay away from the likes of Balotelli, Matri, Robinho and El Shaaraway. I don’t fancy anyone from Ajax so that leaves Celtic. I just can’t see Celtic keeping many clean sheets and with the exception of Samaras I can’t see any other player getting many goals or assists. I hope I’m wrong…
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