NEW SIDE GAME – FFUK CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

anyone for 12 hours of the Champions League anthem?

Hello and welcome to the FFUK Fantasy Champions League!

Update 20 September – we have 13 paid up players so we are paying out top two. 1st gets £100 and 2nd £30!

After a successful trial run last year we hope to grow the game this year as we think it’s a fun addition to the bread and butter of FPL. It can also clarify your FPL thinking and help with evaluating players so there isn’t much downside. Plus it gives a newfound appreciation of what’s great about FPL while showing loads of ways that the game really hasn’t evolved, highlighting some of the more inflexible rules.

Below you can find out how to join the FFUK mini league before I take a look at how it works and how it differs from FPL.

HOW TO JOIN THE FFUK MINI LEAGUE

You can click here to join the FFUK league

Alternatively the code to join is 59GFEPOO10

HOW TO PAY

The FFUK Champions League mini league is £10 to join, prizes to be announced when we have the numbers and you can pay by the usual methods, if you need a reminder check out the new season post which contains the payment info.

Please ensure your name that appears is obvious as if we don’t know who someone is they will have to be removed.

GUIDE TO THE GAME

For a full list of official rules click here.

Anyone who played Fantasy Euros or even Fantasy Bundesliga should be familiar with the format. Perhaps the main difference from FPL is that you can make substitutions during a gameweek and this in effect changes (or should change) how you build your squad. Instead of focusing on a few heavy hitters and filling in your squad around that you really need a more balanced 15. Even a half decent, or at least starting, second goalkeeper is usually of benefit. The important thing to note is you cant sub in a player after they’ve played so you need to start the players with the earliest fixtures first and then sub them out if they don’t perform. Similarly you can change the captain armband up until your last player plays. This is where the fun comes in because if your player has performed you have to decide whether to stick or twist. For this reason it’s useful if you can balance your squad so that not all your players are playing at the same time. If all this seems a bit confusing don’t worry you’ll pick it up soon enough and we’re always there to talk you through it if you’re a member of our WhatsApp group.

The scoring is a little more nuanced than FPL. For a full breakdown of how points can be scored see below: While there isn’t a bonus point system it does reward the Player of the Match and with points for things like “Balls recovered” making defensive midfielders a more enticing prospect. You’ll also find certain players, usually defenders, are a magnet for them.

In terms of team composition its roughly similar to FPL but as the table below shows you can focus on certain clubs as the competition progresses with the obvious risk that they could get knocked out so it’s about balancing how much you want to focus on one team while not painting yourself into a corner.

StageMaximum number of players per club
Group stageThree
Round of 16Four
Quarter-finalsFive
Semi-finalsSix
FinalEight

The number of transfers you can make also increases as the competition advances and the player pool to pick from dwindles. You can even find yourself struggling to field a team if you’ve put too many eggs in one basket so it’s worth keeping an eye on the draw and planning ahead a little once you enter knockout stage.

MatchdayNumber of free transfers
Before group stageUnlimited
During group stage2 per matchday
Before round of 16Unlimited
Before round of 16 second leg3
Before quarter-finals5
Before quarter-finals second leg3
Before semi-finals5
Before semi-finals second leg3
Before final5

Finally, the chip system is a little different with a wildcard as we’re used to but you also have a limitless chip. Given you essentially get a wildcard before the knockout stages, as shown in the table above, it’s all about timing when to use these. The limitless allows you to pick any player you like with a limitless budget for one week and then your team resets. Ideally you want to use this when the most big players have the most easy games so sometime in the group stages. I made the mistake of hanging on to mine last year and used it in the final but it was pretty redundant given everyone would be picking the same players anyway.

Thanks for reading – and good luck.

Justin (Escape at Donnarumma)

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