This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
- 3:00 pm: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Both clubs started their Champions League campaigns by winning their respective groups, fairly easily. Liverpool pulled off the full sweep of Group B by a combined 17-6 margin, while Real Madrid won every game except their shocking home defeat to Moldovian side Sheriff Tiraspol. Additionally, while Liverpool seemingly cruised through the knockouts, Real Madrid needed extra time twice in order to advance, though a lot of that had to do with matchups. The two sides also boast elite attacking options with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Real Madrid's Karim Benzema scoring eight and 15 goals, respectively, in Champions League. Liverpool enter the match as the presumptive favorite with a win percentage nearing 45 percent, but the implied goal total (almost at three) would indicate this matchup could be closer than it seems and should provide for a fantastic final.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, LIV ($12,300 captain; $8,200): There are three options in cash games with the Liverpool defenders, which involves captaining either Alexander-Arnold or Andrew Robertson ($11,100 captain), or captaining someone else and using both of them as non-captains. The duo leads the field in crosses per 90 minutes at 9.20 for TAA and 6.48 for Robertson, which is why most lineups (especially in cash games) will need to get a share of the Liverpool defenders. As usual, Alexander-Arnold will be the most popular captain in cash games with Robertson close behind, though because of price, there are reasons to consider someone cheaper.
Toni Kroos, RMA ($7,800 captain; $5,200): The main advantage with captaining Kroos is that he'll allow you to roster two of the high-end forwards with both Liverpool full-backs. Similar to the Liverpool defenders, Kroos leads Real Madrid in crosses per 90 minutes and also serves as their primary set-piece taker. He has a higher per-90 floor than Luka Modric ($6,800) and he's considerably cheaper, helping his case further. If you hate Real Madrid, guys like Naby Keita ($8,400) and Fabinho ($7,500) are worthy spend-down captains.
GPP TOURNAMENT CAPTAINS
Karim Benzema, RMA ($15,900 captain; $10,600): Considering the forward leads the Champions League in goals with 15 and has almost the same odds as Salah to score, he should be decently popular. Including his La Liga performances, Benzema has racked up five goals on 20 shots (nine on target), two assists and four crosses (one accurate) in his previous five outings. Benzema probably won't be as popular as Salah in terms of captaincy in tournaments because he's an underdog, which gives him a slight edge, assuming you think Real Madrid will score.
Sadio Mane, LIV ($14,400 captain; $9,800): Mane is cheapest of Liverpool's projected starting forwards, but that's for a reason. Playing as more of a false nine in a central role, he doesn't have the same floor as Luis Diaz and isn't as likely as Salah to score. While cheaper, he may also be the least popular of the Liverpool forwards in terms of captaincy, which is good enough reason to give him the armband. There have been plenty of times this season when Mane scored and finished with more points than Salah. Fellow Red Luis Diaz ($9,800) is slightly more expensive and similar to Mane, he won't be as popular as Salah.
Vinicius Junior, RMA ($12,900 captain; $8,600): If you're using a forward at captain, the decision likely comes down to whether you are backing Liverpool or Real Madrid to win, though a 2-2 result with Benzema bagging a brace and Salah not scoring is in the realm of possibility. As for Vinicius, he has the second-best odds among Real Madrid players to score at 26 percent and has racked up 20 goals across both UCL and La Liga competitions this season. More so, he's going to be a menace for Liverpool's back line, as he operates mostly on Alexander-Arnold's side, who conveniently plays up the field a ton. If Real Madrid are to have a chance, Vinicius will need to see the ball in the attacking third.
Alisson, LIV ($9,900 captain; $6,600): This may not be the best slate to utilize either Alisson or Thibaut Courtois ($9,000 captain; $6,000) given the offensively-gifted talents on the pitch, but that also means neither goalkeeper will be overly popular. Alisson has the better clean-sheet percentage (28 percent) of the two and is more likely to win and secure a clean sheet, but Courtois will probably be forced to make more saves. As seen in the FA Cup final two weeks ago, utilizing either goalkeeper at captain is viable, especially if this match goes to extra time. On the downside, neither one is overly cheap, so they aren't a massive advantage in terms of who else you can get in the squad. For example, Naby Keita ($8,400), Toni Kroos ($7,500) and Dani Carvajal ($6,900) are all reasonably cheaper and would allow you to get more of the top forwards.