Alphonso Davies in defence, Jude Bellingham holding down the midfield and Jamal Musiala and Sadio Mane banging in the goals - it's the stuff of Fantasy Manager.
Ahead of Borussia Dortmund's meeting with Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker, bundesliga.com picks the top-scoring Fantasy players from both clubs and unites them in one all-star ensemble...
Manuel Neuer (Bayern)
Arguably the greatest goalkeeper the game has ever seen, it’s perhaps surprising to the uninitiated that Neuer is usually not the ideal man in Fantasy. That’s mostly down to the fact he has less to do than your average goalkeeper, but he’s almost always there when needed for the big moments. His 51 Fantasy points this season is nine more than Dortmund counterpart Gregor Kobel, while he’s also made four more saves (22 to 18), but the Bayern skipper has also played in three more games due to the BVB No.1’s recent injury. Based on average points, Kobel comes ahead with nine to eight. But average means nothing if you’re not playing, so Neuer makes the cut in this XI.
Watch: A Manuel Neuer highlight reel
Benjamin Pavard (Bayern)
After a difficult season last year and recently discussing difficulties with his mental health during lockdowns, Pavard has re-emerged as one of the Bundesliga’s top defenders. In fact, the Frenchman is the best defender in Fantasy, joining Mitchell Weiser on 81 points, but doing so from fewer appearances. The full-back has one goal as a result of his 13 shots – the most in the division by a defender, while also averaging almost 10 challenges won per game.
Dayot Upamecano (Bayern)
Upamecano has played the most minutes of any Bayern outfield player in the Bundesliga this season, earning eight more points than the best Dortmund defender, Nico Schlotterbeck. The latter has been selected by 20 per cent of managers compared to just six per cent for Upamecano. The bulk of the hulking centre-back’s points comes from winning defensive duels, given he’s not that involved in play at the other end.
Alphonso Davies (Bayern)
Sweeping from right to left across the defence, Davies completes this all-Bayern back three. More hybrid winger than full-back, the Canadian also earns the majority of his points for winning challenges – almost 12 per game – but you need to remember that includes attacking one-on-ones and not just defensive tackles. His status as a defender means he gets even more points for those successful duels. It also means he’s still a huge asset, despite only providing one assist all campaign.
Julian Brandt (Dortmund)
Midfield is where Dortmund dominate in Fantasy, but the inclusion of Brandt looked rather unlikely at the start of the season when he found playing time limited. However, the 26-year-old has proven to coach Edin Terzic and a number of Fantasy managers that he deserves a place in the Borussia team. Two goals and assists each make him BVB’s joint-biggest goal threat together with Marco Reus and an invaluable asset to Die Schwarzgelben.
Jude Bellingham (Dortmund)
If Brandt is invaluable, then Bellingham is absolutely priceless. The England midfielder does it all for Dortmund. Although he only has an assist this Bundesliga campaign – his goals have all come in the UEFA Champions League and DFB Cup – he’s involved in everything BVB do from back to front. He leads the division for challenges won (137), is the league’s most fouled player, in the top 10 for both distance covered and sprints, while his 20 shots on goal is the most for Borussia and the same amount as the more attacking Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig).
Watch: Jude Bellingham vs. Jamal Musiala - friends turned Klassiker rivals
Joshua Kimmich (Bayern)
There are only five Bayern midfielders in Fantasy and Kimmich has 30 points more than the other four combined, placing him joint-second for midfielders in the division alongside Nkunku and only behind Florian Kainz (Cologne). He is the heart and soul of Bayern’s game, both creating and scoring goals for the Bundesliga’s meanest attack. The Germany international is also on set-piece duty for the champions, who are one of the leading teams for goals from dead balls. Some may have had doubts about picking Kimmich this season after a bit of a dip last term, but he’s silenced any doubters.
Marco Reus (Dortmund)
Reus’s return to midfield in Fantasy has seen his popularity increase dramatically after being squeezed out as a forward. It means the two goals and two assists he’s got this term – both the joint-most among BVB players – are even more valuable than they would’ve been last year. Bellingham is also the only person in black and yellow to have had more attempts on goal. The simple fact remains that a Reus on form means hometown club Dortmund getting results. His value is underlined by the fact both goals this season have been in 1-0 wins. He has scored the opening goal of a game 60 times in his Bundesliga career.
Leroy Sane (Bayern)
No player in the Bundesliga this season has had more shots than Sane, who’s peppered the opposition goal 31 times in eight appearances. That fact alone has accounted for a third of his 75 Fantasy points. Three goals, an assist and plenty of passes to a shot have also bolstered that total with the Germany attacker thriving in Bayern’s fluid front line. Nominally playing on the right wing, he doesn’t look to beat his man on the outside but drift in and open up a direct line to goal.
Sadio Mane (Bayern)
Mane comes with a hefty price tag, but has generally proven his worth so far, sitting 10th for points among forwards. He netted three times over the first three matchdays to get Bundesliga life off to a great start. A frustrating spell for him and Bayern saw numbers drop, but he returned to scoring ways last time out with his first home goal in Munich in the 4-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen. The African Player of the Year will always get chances – even if several goals have been ruled out – and looks worth sticking with.
Watch: Bayern's front three all scored against Leverkusen on Matchday 8
Jamal Musiala (Bayern)
The same obviously goes for Musiala as well. Many managers were unsure about his switch from midfield to forward, but that is now long forgotten. The teenager is joint-second in the Fantasy standings – just one point behind Kainz – and leads the Bayern scoring chart with five league goals. Add in a further three assists and only Sheraldo Becker has had a direct hand in more goals across the Bundesliga (nine). Bambi’s slaloming runs have been mesmerising, constantly taking on defenders and earning points in the process – only Jordan and Niclas Füllkrug have won more challenges among forwards.
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