The round of 16 is perhaps the stage of the UEFA Champions League where the importance of the squad is most keenly felt; four matchdays mean four chances for substitutions and a change of captains. The first legs produced a mixed bag for The Scout, so let’s hope for better this time.
Home advantage favours the two goalkeepers in the Scout squad for matchday eight; Iker Casillas (€5.7m) will seek to help Porto turn round a 2-1 first-leg deficit as Roma visit Portugal, having kept one clean sheet in three group-stage matches at the Estádio do Dragão. The back-up option is Ederson (€5.5m), whose Manchester City side will bid to finish off Schalke having won 3-2 in Germany last time out.
Man. City also supply a player in defence, Kyle Walker (€5.4m) offering a valuable option in both penalty boxes. Paris Saint-Germain are well placed to progress and one of their first-leg scorers, Presnel Kimpembe (€4.7m) is an excellent budget choice, while the attacking role of Raphaël Guerreiro (€5.8m) also appeals – especially with Borussia Dortmund needing goals against Tottenham. At the more expensive end of the price bracket, Barcelona’s Jordi Alba (€6.6m) could benefit from home advantage and is picked for potential defensive AND attacking returns.
Leroy Sané (€8.8m) came off the bench to score in the first leg at Schalke and may well have earned a start in the home match, while City team-mate İlkay Gündoğan (€6.3m) could also feature and looks an intriguing potential differential. With Porto required to score at home to Roma, Jesús Corona (€6.9m) could add to the 17 home points he gained in the group stage, while Paris Saint-Germain’s Ángel Di María (€8.5m) delivered a fine display away to former club Manchester United and will want to repeat the trick on home soil. Finally, Jadon Sancho (€4.9m) has been a strong budget option this term and may be heavily involved at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
Lionel Messi (€11.6m) drew a blank at Olympique Lyonnais but Barcelona’s main man has eight goals in his last eight games at Camp Nou and will be eager to continue that scoring form when OL come to Spain. In the ongoing absence of Neymar and with Edinson Cavani also likely to be absent, Kylian Mbappé (€10.0m) should once again lead the Paris line against United at the Parc des Princes – he registered a goal in the away leg – while Porto hopes could depend considerably on Moussa Marega (€8.0m), who netted in all three of their home group matches.