Courtois, Gnabry, Håland and Hateboer make for a very attacking 4-2-4 lineup in the AlphaStack Champions League – Last 16 First Leg XI.
Thibaut Courtois – total payout 63p; base payout 48p
In a game where we expected Manchester City to have a fair few attacks, it came as no big surprise to us that Courtois was the highest ranking GK in the first leg of the last 16.
He made 6 saves and 6 ball recoveries, as well as registering around 50 passes. The two late Manchester City goals were by no means Courtois’ fault.
Hans Hateboer – total payout 84p; base payout 34p; 2 goals
For those who have watched Atalanta over the last couple of seasons, it should come as little surprise that their defenders contributed heavily against Valencia. Hans Hateboer bagged two goals to earn a monster 85p payout, built on a solid 34p base payout. There were higher base payouts in this round of fixtures, but Hateboer did have a yellow card to his name.
Gerard Piqué – total payout 51p; base payout 31p
High scoring centre backs were in short supply this round, but Piqué did his job well, and as always ended up in the opposition area on a number of occasions. As expected Barcelona controlled possession, which is evident from Piqué’s 14p in passes made. We expect more of the same in the return leg, with Barcelona in control of the tie.
Eliaquim Mangala – total payout 23p; base payout 18p
Now, we’re not all about the big payouts, and Eliaquim Mangala suffered dearly from Atalanta’s ruthlessness in front of goal. He had a disappointing base payout of 18p, and his total payout was only 5p higher. Atalanta took their chances well, and Mangala just didn’t have much to do otherwise.
Renan Lodi – total payout 63p; base payout 38p
Lodi didn’t really put a foot wrong against Liverpool, as his only negative payouts came from one offside, one shot off target, and once being tackled. Lodi earned 12p from CBIs, 3p from passes, 10p from ball recoveries and 8p from dribbles. It’ll be very interesting to see how he does at Anfield in the return leg, where Liverpool need to score will be piling on the pressure.
Saúl Ñíguez – total payout 69p; base payout 29p; 1 goal
While the early stab home from Ñíguez gave Atlético the lead at the half way point in the tie, this was the cherry on top of a solid performance, as he was involved pretty much everywhere on the pitch. Saul had five dribbles, five ball recoveries and five CBIs. These numbers aren’t huge, but they demonstrate Saul’s valuable contributions at both ends of the pitch.
Bruno Guimarães – total payout 66p; base payout 41p
Now if you were smart enough to listen to episode 9 of our Podcast, you’ll be aware that putting Bruno Guimarães into our Starting XI may rub some salt into Dave’s wounds. Guimarães didn’t put a foot wrong all game, breaking up play with 8 CBIs against Juventus. He also had a shot on target and two dribbles, showing that he could be an attacking threat going forward.
Yep, you read that right – Moussa Dembélé had a 5p base payout. He was tackled twice, caught offside, took a single shot that was off target, and gave away two free kicks. He no doubt suffered from being isolated during a game where Juventus dominated the ball but were unable to make a breakthrough. He rescued himself a little with his five CBIs and three ball recoveries, but this was an average performance for a man who is currently being touted as a target for Manchester United and Chelsea
The Gnabry we see now is a far cry from the Gnabry we knew at Arsenal all those years ago. Not only did he bag two goals at Stamford Bridge (and had a chance to get his hattrick); he also had some defensive involvement, with four tackles, four ball recoveries and two CBIs. The question now, is whether Bayern Munich will go all guns blazing to humiliate Chelsea over two legs, or will they sit back and cruise into the quarter-finals?
Would you honestly bet against this man scoring, or at least having some goal involvement? His base payout is incredibly poor, but for his ability in the final third, Lewandowski perhaps deserved to be the highest priced player on SportStack pre-kick off (70p buy). He and Gnabry have all but sent Bayern to the quarter-finals with the second leg still to come.
There is no way this man wouldn’t make our lineup; another player who caused quite the stir in the market with traders questioning whether he could produce against the bigger sides. Haland scored two goals, one of which was an absolute rocket. Like Lewandowski, his base payout was poor, as he was tackled five times, missed the target on a couple of occasions and gave away two fouls.