Had it not been for Alessandro Schöpf's double for FC Schalke 04 against SV Werder Bremen on Sunday, my Official Fantasy Bundesliga XI would have ended Matchday 10 without a goal. Not for the first time this season, however, my team’s ability to come out on top in duels saved my bacon.
In total, 47 of my 109 points last weekend came from won duels - that’s 43 per cent. This might sound like an awful lot - and it is - but once you know what constitutes a "challenge" in official DFL terms, you begin to realise just how valuable a source of points they can be.
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1) Successful duel
According to the DFL’s official catalogue of definitions, a challenge is "an action involving two players from opposing teams who have an opportunity to gain or retain possession of the ball, and make a deliberate attempt to do so."
This may sound straightforward enough, but the catalogue goes on to describe different "types" of successful challenges which can all earn you points in the game. Some of them may surprise you…
4) Getting fouled
Yes, if a player is fouled by an opponent, he also wins a duel. Dario Lezcano and Tobias Levels might be struggling with FC Ingolstadt 04 this season, but they are also two of the most fouled players in the game - and have therefore accumulated plenty of Fantasy points already in 2016/17.
5) Blocks, shots and passes
This one is arguably the most complicated of the lot. A player is deemed to have won a duel if he successfully gets a shot or pass away "while tussling with an opposition player on the ground".
Conversely, if a defender successfully blocks an attempted shot or pass by an opponent, he has also won a challenge.
With all of the above in mind, you have no excuse not to do well on Matchday 11!
Happy gaming and good luck,