- Leverkusen lead the way in the challenges department.
- Ingolstadt and Augsburg joint-second.
- Konstantinos Stafylidis has won more duels than any other player.
I may have failed to break the 50-point barrier in Project 50 - just - but I was still very pleased with my team’s efforts on Matchday 8. My choice of captain in particular has been key these past two weeks - don’t underestimate how big a role your skipper can play in your side!
I’ve spoken plenty of times about the importance of successful challenges in the Official Fantasy Bundesliga. With at least two points awarded for every five ‘won duels’ (three points for defenders), they are one of the steadiest sources of points in the game. But which teams have won the most challenges so far this season? Let’s take a look…
Leverkusen lead the way
They have been struggling for form of late, but there is no faulting Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s efforts in the challenges department. Die Werkself have won more duels in the Official Fantasy Bundesliga than any other side, with Kevin Kampl, Benjamin Henrichs (both 38), Jonathan Tah (36) and Wendell (30) among only a handful of players to have earned 30 points or more in that category.
Despite their struggles in the league, FC Ingolstadt 04 are just behind Leverkusen in joint-second. Mathew Leckie (34), Dario Lezcano (28), Pascal Groß and Lukas Hinterseer (both 20) are all on at least 20 points, but none of them has garnered more points through successful duels than Tobias Levels: 39 - two more than his current overall tally in the game! A stats man’s dream…
FC Augsburg, level with Ingolstadt in second, also have five players who have broken the 20-point barrier in won duels. Konstantinos Stafylidis has picked up the most points in the game in this category - an eye-watering 42 - while Dong-Won Ji (28), Martin Hinteregger (27), Ja-Cheol Koo and Daniel Baier (both on 26) all have 20 points or more.
RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund complete the top five, but with those two flying high near the top of the Bundesliga - and therefore more likely to pick up points in other categories - let’s focus on the top three and how their ability to come out on top in duels could affect my selection on Matchday 9.
Duo face tough away trips; Augsburg tackle Bayern
With Leverkusen and Ingolstadt both playing away from home this weekend, their ability to come out on top in duels could come in handy. Bayer travel to a VfL Wolfsburg side playing their first home game under interim head coach Valerien Ismael. Despite their disappointing away record this term, I expect Leverkusen to get at least a draw at the Volkswagen Arena and am tempted to bring in one or two of their challenge masters on Matchday 9.
Ingolstadt go into their game at 1. FSV Mainz 05 off the back of an impressive 3-3 draw with Borussia Dortmund. It’s worth remembering that Die Schanzer did the double over the Zerofivers last term, with Hinterseer scoring the only goal of the game in the teams’ first league meeting in 2015/16. If he can find the net again, and continue his fine form in the duels department, he might just register double figures at the Opel Arena.
Stafylidis has made my starting XI in both the last two Matchdays, but with Augsburg playing host to FC Bayern München on Saturday, I’m afraid the likelihood of Stafylidis or any of his team-mates making my squad on Matchday 9 is slim, no matter how many challenges they have won so far this season. Now that I’ve written that, you can expect Augsburg to romp to victory at the WWK Arena!
Don't forget, you can always count on me!
About Matt: Official Fantasy Bundesliga Expert Matt has always been a bit of a numbers geek. As a kid he had a giant poster of Sesame Street’s The Count above his bed, while his current ringtone is Hip To Be Square by Huey Lewis and the News. Our resident number cruncher will provide you with key facts and stats throughout the season.