SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: Champions League DFS Helper for 3/16/21

Kevin De Bruyne is in a good spot versus Gladbach. Which other players are worth rostering on Tuesday's two-match slate?

The Champions League, the best soccer competition on the planet, is back, and FanDuel is offering plenty of contests for Tuesday's and Wednesday's knockout stage matches. This article will focus on the main Tuesday slate, which starts at 4 p.m. EST.

Round of 16 - 2nd Leg
Tuesday, March 16th
Gladbach at Manchester City
Atalanta at Real Madrid


Per FanDuel Sportsbook, Manchester City (-450) is the slate's biggest favorite, with Real Madrid (+110) in second. Atalanta (+230) and Gladbach (+1100) round out the two-game slate as underdogs. From an odds perspective, this slate centers on Manchester City, who have an implied win probability of 81.8% and are playing at home.

Manchester City enters Tuesday up by two goals on aggregate after goals by Bernardo Silva ($14) and Gabriel Jesus ($19) in the first leg powered them past Gladbach on the road. They are large favorites to advance, and with just one loss and 23 wins over their last 24 fixtures, few could argue differently. Gladbach will have their work cut out for them. They are winless in their last eight fixtures, including six losses in a row, and need a drastic reversal in form to pull off an upset on Tuesday.

Real Madrid enters Tuesday with a one-goal lead after Ferland Mendy ($12) scored a crucial away goal in the 86th minute during the first leg back in February. After a rocky start to the season, Madrid has turned things around recently and is undefeated in their eight, with six wins during that span. Atalanta has just two losses in their last 10 fixtures and certainly has a shot to pull off the minor upset on Tuesday. A 17th-minute red card knocked them off their path in the first meeting, and they still managed to hold Madrid to a single goal. This should be a good one.

Here are some players to target at various salary ranges.

Forwards/Midfielders

Kevin De Bruyne ($22) and Raheem Sterling ($20), Manchester City -- Following a nearly month-long stint on the bench due to a hamstring injury, De Bruyne has rediscovered his fitness and form in March, starting and playing at least 90 minutes in three straight before a 72-minute appearance against Southampton on March 10th. The only thing missing from his game this season has been goals, as he has just five in 25 appearances, but he is coming off a brace against Southampton and will have an excellent chance to capitalize against a Gladbach side that will need to press to make up their two-goal deficit. De Bruyne has FanDuel totals of 48.0 and 30.3 points in his last two appearances, and after being rested for Saturday's win over Fulham, he should be good to go on Tuesday.

Sterling's recent "slump" might make him less popular than he should be on Tuesday. He has just one goal in his last six starts, with just 8.0, 10.6, and 2.6 FanDuel points in his last three. Tuesday's game against a struggling Gladbach offers the perfect opportunity for him to get back on track. He was dropped from the squad for Saturday's match, but Pep Guardiola confirmed on Monday that he expects him to be involved against Gladbach. Sterling produced seven shots in his last two starts combined, and his upside in City's high-flying attack is apparent. If his recent play leads to him being overlooked at all on this short slate, he is well worth consideration.

Karim Benzema ($22) and Toni Kroos ($10), Real Madrid -- Benzema has the second-highest salary on the slate, but it could be easily argued that he has more upside than the only player above him, Kevin De Bruyne. While De Bruyne's game is weighted more heavily on assists and playmaking, Benzema has the shot numbers to provide slate-breaking upside. He has FanDuel point totals of 47.3, 39.3, 30.0, 26.3, 21.3, and 50.0 in his last six fixtures, with a combined 36 shots, 20 on target, and 5 goals during that stretch. If he fails to find the back of the net, floor performances are always lurking, but his upside shouldn't be ignored.

Kroos' role on corners and free kicks gives him an edge over Real Madrid's other midfielders. He is heavily involved in the final third, with a solid mix of chances created and shots taken. His recent FanDuel performances leave something to be desired, failing to score over 20.0 points in his last four appearances, but the peripheral stats are there, he just needs the goals/assists to come. Kroos has a combined 7 shots, 1 on goal, and 9 chances created over his last four appearances. For a less popular, lower-salaried option, consider Luka Modric ($13), who is less involved on set pieces but equally as likely to produce a goal or an assist.

Defenders

Cristian Romero ($14) and Joakim Maehle ($8), Atalanta -- Operating at the heart of Atalanta's three-man backline, Romero should be busy on Tuesday. The Italian side are the best to pull off an upset on Tuesday, and he fits in perfectly with a lineup that centers on Manchester City while fading Real Madrid. In addition to his defensive opportunities, Romero has upside as a target man on set pieces. He has three goals already this season and should go overlooked on Tuesday as the third-highest salaried defender on the slate. Maehle offers decent value given his role as a midfielder in the Italian side's preferred 3-4-1-2 formation. His floor is low, but he has produced a combined five shots and five chances over his last four appearances, with one assist and one shot on target.

Oleksandr Zinchenko, Manchester City ($8) -- Zinchenko figures to be one of the more popular value plays on the slate, given his role in the final third and his low salary. He was rested on Saturday and should be good to go on Tuesday. With City listed as a heavy favorite, Zinchenko should be afforded plenty of opportunities to get forward and operate around Gladbach's penalty box. He has produced double-digit FanDuel point totals in each of his last six appearances, providing a very stable floor for his salary. He has two chances created in each of his last four matches to go along with a combined four shots. Simply put, his salary is mispriced for his expected role with City as a large favorite in this contest.

Goalie

Ederson, Manchester City ($13) -- Goalie selection on Tuesday should once again align with lineup decisions in your other roster spots. Ederson is the highest-salaried and safest option on the slate. He has kept a clean sheet in five of his six appearances in the Champions League this season. City had been in a bit of a defensive slide, conceding in four straight matches, but they righted the ship with a clean sheet against Fulham last week. In lineups opting to fade Real Madrid, whoever gets the start for Atalanta between Marco Sportiello ($9) and Pierluigi Gollini ($9) makes for a good correlation play. Gladbach's Yann Sommer ($7) should see the most save opportunities on the slate, but that is expected to come with multiple goals conceded to City.