Welcome to a sample CL/Europa article!

This is the CL and Europa anaylsis that I updated after each round of group games in 2020/21. 

The first thing you’ll see for each team is my preview from before the groups – highlighting key players.

In the Green Box is the match report following the last match day (this was updated after every single group game for all teams). 

To keep the Sample to a reasonable size, I’ve only included groups A-D but all groups were covered in the full analysis.

Champions League - Groups

Group A - Bayern, Atlético Madrid, Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moskva

Bayern and Atletico should have no problem coming through this group, heavy favourites in both betting and algorithm (see here)  

Salzburg can be a good source of future transfer picks so good performances for young players may get interest, even if they don’t do that well in the group. 

Bayern – Group Preview

A true performance powerhouse and I couldn’t imagine not covering at least a few of their players this season. The hardest part is predicting which of them will win and the only good solution I’ve found is to own a good spread of them.

Key Players: Gnabry, Kimmich, Lewandowski, Goretzka, Pavard, Neuer  

Punts: Costa, Muller, Coman (If starting), Choupo-Moting (If Lewandowski injured), Tolisso, 

Youth: Richards, Zirkzee, Kouassi,  

Last Group Game Review

Heavy rotation for Bayern as expected as they are qualified already. Decent result with a 1-1 draw away with Atletico. 

Muller, from the bench, was fantastic. He did a lot in just 33 minutes including scoring a penalty. Underlines his credentials as a real contender. The market is sleeping on him at £1.02 to £1.17 – so likely to be one of those bounce back players who turns up with a huge score and I don’t think holders will have to wait too long.

Sané got a full game, neither terrible nor brilliant. Definitely struggling for minutes particularly with Coman in form and he’s losing that battle but things can change – there is a heavy fixture calendar ahead. He’s not looking particularly close to wins and the price is still quite high. I think for a long term holder though £2.18 right now is probably over negative – he’s still adapting and he wouldn’t have to improve much to contend.

I earmarked Costa as a possible punt pick but he was pretty poor here. No real chances. But then Bayern did not get many in total. Has showed better previously and if he starts against Locomotiv next week that will be his best chance to do some damage.

Likewise Choupo-Moting – not exactly bad but he was nowhere near the goal this time. 

In the next match we will definitely see rotation but I would expect it to be better game against opposition they can dominate. Someone like Costa or Choupo-Moting could look a lot more relevant there.

Atletico Madrid

The opposite of Bayern – the Wanda Metropolitano is where hope for big performance scores go to die. Still, should progress comfortably.

Key Players: None

Punts: Suarez, Thomas Lemar, Koke

Youth: Joao Felix (as per scouting he has been improving recently… if that continued I might get interested but I’m not totally convinced yet for the price). 

Last Group Game Review

That draw with Bayern sets up a play off for the CL spot between Atletico and Salzburg. Atletico still comfortable favourites and they only need a draw. Traders won’t care – in fact it’s better if Atletico go into the Europa where they can dominate.

Potential disaster if they lose to Salzburg and Bayern lose to Lokomotiv but… surely that won’t happen right? Right?

This wasn’t the dominant stuff we’ve been observing in recent games in Scouting. But to be fair… it’s Bayern so we can forgive that. Atletico holders will want to see them continue that high possession play in the next two though.

Again Felix was the man here, scoring the opener and clearly the best player. Huge turn around for him in recent games. As long as Atletico continue to improve you can see him winning, and there are softer games than this to come. Does remain pricey though as per scouting.

Carrasco was not as dominant as he was last time but numbers of the last 10 in general are solid. Could do much better vs Salzburg, decent cheap punt.

Koke was close too with 2 reasonable efforts. High base. Definitely improving and we can see a big score every 6-8 games in this form. For 38p to 53p he could be a forgotten man that seems to come back from nowhere. Except it would have been possible to see it coming. 


Should go out and opportunties to score big are probably limited to playing Locomotive Moscow. They do have the home leg of that tie first so it may be better to own sooner rather than later if you are going to.

Good candidates to finish 3rd and drop into the Europa though and this is no bad thing. 

Key Players: Szoboszlai, Daka. (Both likely to get transfer rumours, Daka is more IPD where as Szoboszlai is more likely to win – a genuine potentially FI suitable player). 

Punts: Mwepu (Capable of a monster score maybe 1 in 10 games? Cheap though could work). Sekou Koita (IPD/for potential transfer rumour mainly).

Youth: All the above players would also fit here!

Last Group Game Review

Much needed 3-1 win for Salzburg who now have a strong chance at securing the Europa spot which would be the perfect outcome for any holders. They just need Bayern to beat Locomotiv or they could beat Atletico to seal it.

Szoboszlai is their main asset, he was really quiet in this game. Recent form is generally good though and he can win but probably not in the next round vs Atletico. If Salzburg get into the Europa as expected though it’s a boost for him as he may get some soft games. 

More about the transfer but Europa League football will help keep him bouncing. Does need that to continue because he’s not exactly a secret at £2+.

It was probably Mwepu who was a punt pick in my original group preview who was closest here. 6 shots on goal and really good chances, combined with a ton of possession. Should have scored arguably twice versus Bayern too. Really does look a solid punt. 

Atletico is probably the wrong game to go for but for later Europa rounds maybe. 39p blue button and no bid price, just 22 years old. Gets some decent transfer links. Actually a really good patient pick.


Locomotive Moscow

The expected whipping boys. Don’t hope for big performance scores – but some do have transfer rumours. 

Key Players: None. 

Punts: Anton Miranchuk, Fedor Smolov, 

Youth: None. 

Last Group Game Review

Miranchuk the only real interest – he scored a penalty. Could well follow his brother out of Moscow and get a reasonable transfer at some stage. Don’t think it’s urgent though!

Group B: Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Internazionale, Mönchengladbach

A tough group but Real and Inter are expected through. Shakhtar and Gladbach should fight it out for 3rd and the Europa spot. Shakhtar the weakest side by some way.

Real Madrid

As per Scouting – really hard side to pin down with rotation and injuries and frequent tactical changes. Not the side they used to be but are still grinding out results. Hopefully we see more selection consistency in the coming games.

Key Players: Hazard, Kroos, Vinicius Jr, Carvajal, Ramos

Punts: Benzema, Asensio, Isco, Marcelo (if starting)

Youth: Rodrygo, Odegaard, 

Last Group Game Review

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. This loss to Shakhtar is abysmal.

This should have been a stroll for Real given Shakhtar’s recent displays. And a golden chance for Real players to shine goes begging. Zidane out?

It is actually such a tight group that, perhaps amazingly, they remain favourites to top the group in the betting and the algorithm makes them 68% likely to make the round of 16. And if they don’t they could go into the Europa as a fall back.

They’ll need something from the final game vs Gladbach at home and normally you’d call them strong favourites but they are so unpredictable right now.

It’s a testament to Kroos however that he almost won whilst losing 2-0 and without a goal, only Payet’s monster score beating him. Still, it’s good for confidence to see him up there for a second time in a short space of time. 

Been close to wins in all of the last 3 and he’s definitely improving. Had to sit back a bit more in this game with Casemiro out but that should be temporary. He just needs Real to improve with him.

Odegaard gets some credit – good performance in general. Had good chances to score and his baseline player is usually decent, although this wasn’t his best game but then it was never going to be in a poor team performance.

I’ve said it before recently – people are too negative on him these days at £1.47 to £1.80. Just like 6 months ago when they were far too optimistic at £4.50+. Silly.

Much better from Asensio. Has had anonymous performances recently (although in FI terms not so bad as most would think). He was influential here. Hit the post early and was also denied by the keepers fingertips. When I said in pre-season he has the potential to be one of the best forward’s on FI it was for a reason.

Great start on comeback from injury initially, then faded really badly. Last night we saw his true potential. Holders will welcome that because we haven’t seen a good performance since late October. Well worth watching as consistent form like this would warrant a £3-4 price tag with ease. Languishing under £1 right now. He has a lot to do to convince though particularly in this erratic Real side.

Return for Benzema after an injury layoff. Looks close to scoring already with 3 efforts. Another great rotation option for IPD – and he’s not particularly dependant on good Real form either. Before injury he racked up 5 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 games. Or to put that another way just under 18% of his current lowest bid price. Kaching.

Rodrygo got a start. Really, really struggling lately. For minutes and even when he plays he looks a shadow of what he used to produce. Worrying.

Shakhtar Donestsk

Group whipping boys. Limited interest beyond a transfer choice.

Key Players: 
Teté. (Looks genuinely performance suitable and as a young Brazlian has a little stardust. Gets big transfer rumours. Could be rotated or only appear off the bench in the Europa. Cheap right now I quite like him as a longer term hold.)  

Punts: None

Youth: None

Last Group Game Review

Teté was the player I picked out in the group stage preview and he’s definitely been the most interesting as the games have unfolded. Was pretty close to a very respectable points haul last night had one of his two chances gone in. 

Solid stuff. Don’t expect a win vs Inter next but if they somehow make it to the Europa he could stay in contention. Mainly the interest is for the transfer where he gets EPL links (which may be started by himself as much as anything!). I quite like him as a longer term hold he’s value.


Strong bet for a good run in either the CL or Europa if they drop down. Plenty of good players to choose from.

Key Players: Sanchez, Lukaku, Barella, Hakimi (see scouting – little concerned about his initial performances for Inter). 

Punts: Martinez (Still not super keen as per scouting because he’s so poor for FI performance but it looks a lot better after the price drop). Eriksen (if he ever starts), Perisic, Sensi, Kolarov, 

Youth: None (Esposito left on loan). 

Last Group Game Review

Entertaining game and a vital win for Inter which keeps them alive especially given that shock result for Real.

I had written their chances of CL qualification off in the last Match Day review – it felt like they needed a miracle. This is pretty close. The Europa is no disaster for them though even if they don’t make the CL.

They just need to beat Shakhtar and they at least have some European football. And they are overwhelming favourites to do so. That would be a big deal as they have a lot of attractive players.

Lukaku with the Forward win. I mention him a lot and for good reason. He can nick wins and even if he doesn’t his IPD is solid anyway. Pretty much a shot for nothing. Very unlikely to be going anywhere and fairly easily tradeable. 

Can keep winning and he’s still great value at £1.70 or anything £2 or under. It’s a blow if they do go out of European competition but… not a disaster and the odds of that are low so it doesn’t put me off.

Martinez feels unlucky at the moment. 6 shots on goal here but nothing went for him. Blanked in 3 but the threat is huge – near inevitable we see him returning to the scoresheet before long. The price had to drop a lot for me to get on board with this but at £1.51 or thereabouts now I think he’s steal for IPD and a possible big transfer hype later on.

Barella another one I track closely. Pushed forward here and had a couple of chances. Creative too. Puts in a shift defensively too which pumps the baselines. Definitely a contender and he’s 23, plays for Italy, 80p to £1.01. Really nothing to dislike here it’s just a great pick.

Brozovic returns to the side. Excellent stuff. Provided an assist. Big baselines. Chance to score. Close to winning. Has been out of favour and may transfer. Or he could start more for Inter on the back of good displays like this. Or maybe even Conte goes and he stays.

Lots of potential outcomes but at 57p to 67p I’m very sure people are too negative on him at just 27 years old. Sits at a potential 4 out of 5 stars in my ratings and I’d stand by that at any decent club. For the money even if he underperforms at 3 out of 5 stars it’s still a steal. 

When I said yesterday that it will be some of the most unpopular players right now who end up the most profitable 3-6 months from now? Here’s a candidate.

Hakimi benched but got 30 minutes and managed an assist. Exposed a bit defensively though and Conte won’t like that. Pretty poor numbers. Really struggling as covered a lot this season. Doesn’t show many signs of improving. But as the price crashes there might come a point where he looks attractive again. He’d need to do more to convince on the pitch first though. 



This group should be a struggle for Gladbach – best thing that can happen for them is to drop into the Europa most likely.

Key Players: Plea, Hofmann, 

Punts: Bensebaini, Thuram

Youth: Neuhaus, Hannes Wolf, 

Last Group Game Review

Narrow loss to Inter. Had a good group stage overall though and they can’t fail to get at least a Europa spot which may actually be the best outcome for them FI wise. Away at Real next is tough but they do have soft fixtures domestically.

Plea strong here. Scored two, another disallowed. Really not far away from beating Lukaku here at all. That would have been his second win lately. Really good player and I see him as quite similar to Lukaku. Consistent goalscorer and occasional winner. Added bonus of the transfer. Not quite as good as Lukaku but then he’s near enough half the price to compensate.

Neuhaus was decent again. Really strong basline play. No real threat just one long range punt. I like him though as per recent Scouting and think him a solid pickup for a patient trader. And holders may not need to be that patient – if he turns up with a big score soon it should be no surprise at all. 

Group C: Porto, Manchester City, Olympiacos, Marseille

If City do not qualify from this soft group it’s a disaster. 2nd is more competitive – on paper it should be Porto but Marseille could challenge. Either way – one or the other should drop into the Europa. Olympiakos the weakest team. 

Manchester City

Should be a walkover and City players could put up some strong scores in this group. 

Key Players: Sterling, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Cancelo, 

Punts: Jesus, Rodri, Gundogan, Laporte, Zinchenko

Youth: Foden, Torres, Garcia, 

Last Group Game Review

Dominated Porto but could not finish their chances.

Zinchenko didn’t mind. Monstrous here to win the defender dividend without winning the game. Absolutely top, top level stuff for an FI defender. Could have been even better he had a couple of long range cracks but not great chances. Didn’t need them in the end his baseline was more than enough.

In the Match Day 3 review he showed good stuff too so there was a little warning. The FI talent has never been in doubt we’ve known that in Scouting for years now. The consistency of starts is the major problem. He didn’t even make the squad for last EPL game vs Burnley.

Marseille next and City have comfortably qualified so we may see him again. He could win again there. Beyond that you may really struggle for minutes. Still he’s just 23 and for just 55p to 70p you can make a case as either a short term punt for the next CL game or as a long term patient hold. 

Would be a big deal if he ever established in the first team he’d become one of the best defenders on FI no question.

Both Dias and Garcia were in contention too in defence. Big involvement as you expect from City CB’s and both got forward and could have scored. Garcia in particular was close.

Both decent players at value, Dias the easier trade of the two as he establishes at City.

Garcia is probably on his way out but for under 50p that doesn’t really matter, Barcelona is not a bad destination. 

Sterling is doing better recently than his 6 game goal drought might suggest. Could have had 2 goals last night. Fine margins. 

I think poor form in a downturn has made traders overly negative – the odds of him doing something to get back on the radar are high. Good pick right now at £3.03. 

Torres back in the middle – garbage for FI baselines when played here. Much better out wide usually. However the threat was good and should have scored.  Doing well just to get this many minutes really though and having a good season to date.


A real struggle to find suitable targets outside of a long shot cheap punt. However, given Porto could win a game or two those who do that may get rewarded at least with some decent IPD. 

Key Players: None

Punts: Corona, Anderson, Marega, 

Youth: None


Tough group – perhaps the best thing is for them to drop to the Europa. 

Key Players: Payet, Thauvin, 

Punts: Rongier (if desperate for a punt, I would wait perhaps for an easier knockout game with less competition before trying too hard on long shot punts like this). 

Youth: Cuisance

Last Group Game Review

Huge result for Marseille – are they back from the dead? Domestically they have been doing ok but the CL form has been abysmal. Fun fact – prior to this they have lost 13 back to back CL matches! This is their first CL win since February 2012. 

They now have a shot at getting into the Europa knockouts. Still tough though – they need something from a trip to City (although City will be resting players). And Olympiacos would have to fail to beat Porto who have already qualified and may not care too much. 50/50 at best? 

In the scoring Payet blows it away with a 300+ to take Star Man. 

It’s well known he is capable of this kind of thing. But with Marseille so dismal in the CL it was hard to big him up for that. 

I did cover him in the Scouting this weekend as a decent punt at 49p to 64p after his goal vs Nantes broke his 5 game goalless streak. But that’s primarily for the decent domestic form. 

66p to 74p now plus a dividend – shows again the progress a trader can make if he’s willing to be a bit braver and go for some of these unpopular but strong players.

Other key man Thauvin disappointingly subdued here. But he was decent in the last Ligue 1 game as covered in Scouting. Mainly about his transfer – if he ends up somewhere decent like AC Milan or even Leicester this £1.16 to £1.35 price will start looking very cheap very quickly.




Can’t see anyone worth going for here for any reason.

Key Players: None

Punts: None

Youth: None

Last Group Game Review

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