Group E consists of three relevant clubs out of four, with CSKA Moscow of Russia the only club not covered in Euro Fantasy League’s game. Inevitably, therefore, there was another “derby” as Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich took on English champions Man City in arguably the biggest game of the first round of fixtures. The Germans were able to take the 1-0 win thanks to a late, late striker from, ironically, former Citizen Jerome Boateng. The German international finished last season with 255 points, so it was a solid campaign for him rather than an outstanding one. He has 30 points already this season, and his ability to find in the Champions League is a good sign. Expect the World Cup winner to more than justify his €8.00m price tag.
The other Group E game saw Serie A side Roma toppling the aforementioned CSKA Moscow 5-1, with a brace from ex-Arsenal striker Gervinho contributing alongside goals from Juan Iturbe (0 points, €5.00m) and Maicon (30 points, €7.50m), and a second-half own-goal from Ignashevitch putting the game beyond doubt before Musa’s late consolation. Gervinho’s 20 points from one start and one sub appearance with one goal so far in Serie A is encouraging, but doesn’t really inspire a true desire to get him into your squad immediately. He will be a solid investment though, almost sure to turn a profit on points so he is worth bearing in mind – he’s enjoying life in Italy by the looks of it.
Group F saw Paris Saint-German travel to the Netherlands for a game against Ajax which finished in a 1-1 draw, Edinson Cavani putting the French champions ahead before Schöne’s equaliser for the Dutch. Cavani has done well so far, with 40 points from five games, thanks to two domestic goals. His asking price is €11.00m, though, and so in much the same respect as Carlos Tevez previously, his pedigree in undoubted but he is yet to prove that he will have a memorable season. It is still a decent start though, so look to him to almost definitely add considerably to that total over the next few months.
La Liga runners-up Barcelona snatched a 1-0 home win against Cypriot side APOEL FC, with a Gerard Piqué goal just before the half hour proving enough for a Spanish win. The former Man Utd defender has had a storming start to the season, with 60 points from a single start and one sub appearance – little wonder, then, that 9% of managers have him in their defensive line. Goals may not prove his strong point this season, but clean sheets surely will – Barca have a renowned defence, so look to getting the Spaniard into your side if and when you are able to make room and budget.
In Group G, Premier League favourites Chelsea played host to Bundesliga’s FC Schalke, with the 1-1 draw ultimately proving a fair result on the night that the Blues were denied their fifth straight competitive win, with Didier Drogba in their starting lineup for the first time since returning to the club in the summer. Former Barcelona and Arsenal favourite Cesc Fabregas scored his first goal for Jose Mourinho’s side before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s 62nd minute equaliser. Fabregas has 65 points this season with a value of €8.00m – if those stats don’t convince you enough, his early season form certainly should. He is playing for a new club and has been simply sensational since the season kicked off, much like team-mate Diego Costa. He is one that certainly seems worth recommended for inclusion.
To round things off, La Liga side Athletic Bilbao were also the home side, against Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk. A goalless draw proved uninspiring for attacking football, but defensively both sides were sound – and Bilbao keeper Gorka Iraizoz would have improved on his 25 point tally had this been a league game. He is only valued at €4.50m and so doesn’t fall too far short of potential inclusion in our own “Bargain Basement” series.