Fantasy Football: Five budget defenders
Before the start of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, UEFA.com singles out five budget friendly defenders for #UCLfantasy.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City) – €5.0m
With Benjamin Mendy yet to work his way back into Josep Guardiola’s plans, Zinchenko has been given a chance to nail down the left-back spot at City. The Ukrainian has started the opening four Premier League games and has performed well in the early stages of the season. Last season, Zinchenko started four games in the UEFA Champions League, securing two clean sheets and an assist. He offers a cheap route into the City back line, while also providing the potential for attacking returns.
Nicolás Tagliafico (Ajax) – €5.0m
The defender with the most #UCLfantasy points in 2018/19 among those priced €5.0m or less, Tagliafico proved a threat at both ends of the field last season. His three clean sheets in ten appearances were matched by the number of times he found the back of his opponents’ net. Not just a goalscoring threat, the Argentinian left-back has already recorded an assist in Ajax’s opening four Eredivisie matches.
Ismaily (Shakhtar Donetsk) – €4.5m
Despite Shakhtar Donetsk not recording a single clean sheet in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League campaign, their marauding left-back Ismaily made up for it through his attacking displays. The defender scored two goals, also contributing three assists on his way to 21 #UCLfantasy points via attacking returns. If the Brazilian can keep up his proficiency going forward and Shakhtar can start keeping a few clean sheets, Ismaily will represent excellent value for money.
Yaroslav Rakits’kyy (Zenit) – €4.5m
Back in the UEFA Champions League after a three-year absence, Zenit will be looking to carry over their excellent defensive record from the Russian Premier League. They sit second in the table after eight matches and have kept five clean sheets already. Rakits’kyy signed for Zenit in January earlier this year and scored three goals in the second half of the campaign.
Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge) – €4.0m
Following their defeat of LASK, Club Brugge qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the second season running and third in the last four. They performed well defensively in 2018/19, keeping three clean sheets in a group that included Atlético Madrid, Dortmund and Monaco – one against each side. He is also one of the lowest priced defenders in #UCLfantasy and will enable funds to be allocated elsewhere.