Telegraph Fantasy Football Europe 17/18 tips: Hunting for value in the Champions League knockout stage

Roma's Alisson kept three clean sheets in the Group Stage.
Roma's Alisson kept three clean sheets in the Group Stage. Credit: AFP Contributor

The brand new version of Telegraph Fantasy Football Europe gets underway next Tuesday, February 13, to coincide with the start of the Champions League knockout stage.

With £5,000 up for grabs for the winner, now is the time to start thinking about who you want to line-up in your team.

If you want to include the likes of Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar, you'll definitely need to make sacrifices across the rest of the pitch. To help you do just that, we've identified a handful of more budget-friendly targets that could still rack up the points and help you chase down the big cash prize. 

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What's more, you can back your selections to be the leading point scorers at, Telegraph Fantasy Football Europe's official betting partner who will be running an exclusive market for the remainder of the competition.

Goalkeeper: Alisson (Roma) - £3.0m

Of the goalkeepers featuring in the Round of 16, Alisson is probably the best value option available that is likely to progress through to the Quarter Finals.

Roma topped a difficult Group C, above both Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, and have been drawn against Shakhtar Donetsk, playing the first leg away from home.

The Brazilian kept three clean sheets in the Group Stage, coneding just six times, and is also a rather shrewd selection as he's only been chosen in 2% of all teams so far.

Defender: Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) - £2.4m

It's been a break-through season for 19 year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold who has been phenomenal at right back while filling in for Nathaniel Clyne.

At just £2.4m he's a real steal, and should help Liverpool progress against a leaky FC Porto side.

The flying full-back has the propensity to rack up points at both ends - he scored and produced a key contribution in the Group Stage, as well as picking up two clean sheets all the while. 

Midfielder: Marco Verratti (Paris St. Germain) - £3.7m

Hunting for a high point-scoring midfielder around the £3.0m - £3.5m mark isn't easy, especially as we're looking for longevity with only 20 transfers to play with from now until the final. 

Besiktas' Talisca (£2.5m) and Shakhtar's Marlos (£2.9m) both enjoyed fruitful Group Stages, scoring a combined total of six goals between them, but they've been drawn against Bayern Munich and Roma respectively and so might not make any more than two appearances.

Paris St. Germain have also been dealt a tough draw against Real Madrid, but Zinedine Zidane's side were beaten by Spurs and have been struggling in La Liga as of late. 

Marco Verratti is only £3.7m and he's been phenomenal so far this season. He scored twice and set up five goals in the Group Stage and is in 18% of all teams so far. Don't fall behind those managers, select the Italian maestro in your midfield.

Striker: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) - £5.0m

Strikers are by some considerable distance the most expensive players in Telegraph Fantasy Football Europe, and your eyes can't help but light up at the array of options available. The golden trio of Ronaldo (£7.0m), Messi (£6.9m) and Neymar (£6.8m) will take up £20.7m of your £50m budget, while Kane (£6.2m) and Higuan (£6.3m) have difficult draws against each other.

Robert Lewandowski (£6.6m) generates appeal as Bayern face Besiktas, as does Sergio Aguero (£6.2m) who should lead the line for Manchester City against Basel.

But £5.0m for Roberto Firmino is a bargain and he'll definitely make his way into my starting XI. Liverpool should progress against FC Porto and Firmino was devastating in the Group Stage, scoring six times and adding four assists. If he can continue that form into the knockout stage, he'll be one of the top TFF point-scoring players in the game.

Pick your free team now - £5,000 up for grabs for the winner >>