It seems that, with the lack of fully fit natural central defenders at least, the 4-3-1-2 formation has established it’s preference among BWRAO readers. It was selected in 68% of teams, one of the highest for any formation in a game so far this season.
Between the posts, Gianluigi Buffon takes back his rightful spot, after being rested against Dinamo Zagreb midweek.
In front of him, Daniele Rugani and Alex Sandro were locks with 94 percent each, while Stephan LIchtsteiner beat out Juan Cuadrado, and Giorgio Chiellini beat out Mehdi Benatia.
Lichtsteiner, because our 3 CB aren't quite as stable defensively, Lichtsteiner will add to that rather than the alternative Cuadrado who is more suited to attacking football.
In the midfield, Sami Kehdira, Claudio Marchisio and Miralem Pjanic were voted in almost every team, as they usually are in big games. Mario Lemina beat out the rest.
Lemina the most overlooked talent in our roster... potential through the roof... deserves starting spot all season
Lemina from the start. Is time to give the kid some minutes and confidence. He can defend, create passing routes and dribble. Let's not forget what that dribble allow us in the last match.
Up front, Gonzalo Higuain was selected alongside Paulo Dybala who is thankfully now available for selection. Mario Mandzukic did get a significant amount of votes though, due to his great form as of late.
Zukic is undroppable at the moment so let's pair him with Dybala up top in the 4-3-1-2
My team this week is the same as the one selected by all of you. I decided it was best to put Lemina in the team now that Licht is back, and time to bring Chiellini back in for the big game. Mandzukic will be quite the bench option at full energy late in the game, whether we need a goal, or need to defend a lead.
For our toughest possible Champions League opponent, Bayern Munich was selected the most often, with 57 percent of votes, and Real Madrid was basically the only other team selected, with 39 percent. There were a few votes for PSG, Manchester City and Bayer Leverkusen.
For our easiest possible Champions League opponent, Benfica led with 41 percent of votes, followed by Bayer Leverkusen and Porto who had 24 percent each. Fun fact: Manchester City got more votes as the easiest possible team than the toughest possible team.
BWRAO/Anthony’s Starting XI (4-3-1-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Alex Sandro, Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele Rugani, Stephan Lichtsteiner; Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, Mario Lemina; Miralem Pjanic; Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain