FanTeam German €25k Midweek Monster – GW28a – 26 May 2020

Following on from our article last week on the FanTeam German Monster GW27, it’s now time for the Midweek Monster in the German Bundesliga.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€25k prize pool) German 25K Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 1,667 participants. The first 278 will partake in the prize pool and for this particular weekend, the winner will take home a cool €5,000 this weekend. Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and which apply to this weekend’s German Midweek Monster as well.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the German 25K Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead. If your captain or vice-captain don’t start then in Pursuit their replacement will score the 200% or 150% points increase instead so you can be more relaxed about choosing who to captain and vice captain.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the German 25K Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, a new format is being applied to the upcoming German 25K Monster, called Pursuit. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read more Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for the upcoming German 25K Monster is set at 5.30PM (UK time) on Tuesday, May 26th, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups  for the 5.30PM (UK time) games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 5.30PM deadline, but not after.

German 25K Monster matches in gameweek 28Tuesday

(Times: UK+1 hour)

How did our German 50K Monster team fare last week?

Formation: 4-4-2 |  Budget used: 99.9m |  Finish: 1790 / 2600 |  Prize pool: ///

Lewandowski (Bayern) home vs Frankfurt1 goal, Impact+1
Goretzka (Bayern) home vs Frankfurt1 goal, Impact+1
Havertz (Leverkusen) away vs. Gladbach2 goals, Impact+1
Alaba (Bayern (home vs FrankfurtImpact+1

Our team suggestion for the German 25K Monster on Tuesday in gameweek 28

Formation: 2-2-3 |  Budget used: 96.3m

General approach

The German 25K Monster varies from the classic Weekly Monster format in a few ways. Select a team consisting of 7 players from the eight teams playing on Tuesday, May 26th. The 7 players are subject to a maximum 3 Forwards, a max 4 Midfielders and a max 5 Defenders (so you can choose 3 forewards and 4 midfielders if you want i.e. no defenders or a goalie) but no more than 4 players per team and, because this is the Pursuit mode, it means that managers are rewarded bonus points in their score for selecting cheaper assets (so you can pick who you want but the more you spend the more it costs you more in terms of points; in other words you gain 1 point for every 2 million euros underspent). The budget given by FanTeam to select 7 players should equate to the total of the top higest priced 7 players (with captain’s price doubled and vice-captain’s price at 150%) so you can pick who you want (strictly the highest budget you can use is 1.3m under the 106.3m budget due to the restriction on max 4 players per club and max 3 forwards). Both the stacking penalty and the safety net still apply to this tournament.

We have gone all in on two teams, namely Leverkusen (at home versus Wolfsburg) and Gladbach (away against Werder Bremen) and a single Bayern star in support. Budget would have allowed us to go all-in on attacking assets, for example, but considering the active Pursuit mode, we decided to trade in some budget expenditures for bonus point rewards (5). Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz is our captain for 26.2 million (2 x 13.1m) and Gladbach’s Ramy Bensebaini is our vice-captain for 13.4 million (1.5 x 8.9m).

BAYER LEVERKUSEN (home vs Wolfsburg)

Picks: Kai Havertz, Kerem Demirbay, Daley Sinkgraven

The Bundesliga has returned and it has done so with all engines blazing. Since restarting the season on May 16th, we have already had two match days and the third one, gameweek 28, is upon us with the first four games tomorrow. Gameweek 29 is then set to start on Friday, which means a hellish rhythm of four gameweeks within 14 days. In other words, keep this in mind when considering starting line-ups for the German 25K Monster. This is another reason the Bundelsiga allow 5 substitutions per match so players can be rested to help prevent injury.

Leverkusen have come out of the corona-break in good form, taking six points from two games (1-4 at Werder and 1-3 at Gladbach). Super talent Kai Havertz played a big role in these victories with 3 goals that saw him record a total of 27 points on FanTeam. That has been in part due to him replacing usual striker Kevin Volland up top while the former was injured. The forward is said to be fit again, though it remains to be seen if trainer Peter Bosz starts him, considering Havertz’ blistering form. Whether he starts all the way up front or in his more natural number-ten spot, his current 10 goals and 5 assists in the league give us cause to believe that he can be decisive from any position. Therefore, he is also our captain in GW28a.

Our second Leverkusen pick is midfielder Kerem Demirbay, who, at 10.8 million and with Pursuit mode in mind, is 1.2 million less expensive than Bellaraby and 1.4 million less than Diaby. The German-Turkish player is a nailed-on part of Leverkusen’s central midfield and he already has 19 Bundesliga games to his name this season, with 5 assists and a goal to show for it. Since returning after the corona-break, he has recorded 1 goal, 2 assists, and a total of 19 FanTeam points. The fact that he is on plenty of set-pieces for Die Werkself reinforces our hopes of a nice return against Wolfsburg tomorrow.

We considered adding Bellaraby, Diaby, or even Volland to our German 25K Monster selection, but with Pursuit mode in mind, we decided to save a minimum of 3 million and a maximum of 3.3 million by selecting left wing-back Daley Sinkgraven. Besides budget and Pursuit considerations though, it’s also worth noting that the Dutchman is a starter in the league’s third-best defence overall (32 goals conceded in 27 games) and the second-best when looking at home games only (13 goals conceded in 13 games). On the other hand, Wolfsburg are not bad on their travels, but they’re no free-flowing goal-scoring machine either with 20 goals from 13 away games. We’re counting on Sinkgraven and his Leverkusen team mates here to justify picking him over more offensive assets in the form of a clean sheet and some bonus point rewards.


Picks: Alessane Plea, Marcus Thuram, Ramy Bensebaini

Whilst our Leverkusen picks are largely based on current attacking form and the fact that they are playing a home game (albeit against a relatively strong opponent), our Gladbach picks attracted our attention with their decent form, the horrid home game performances of their opponent so far, and the increasingly strong indication that home team advantage has been considerably diminished by the absence of crowds in the stands. In terms of the individual players we have picked, we have taken an approach largely similar to our Leverkusen tactic: two premium attacking assets accompanied by a defensive asset. This results in a bonus points reward, plus Werder is the lowest-scoring outfit in home games by far this season.

Our first pick is French striker Alessane Plea, who already has 24 Bundesliga games, 9 goals, and 8 assists to his name this season. What’s more, in the two games since the end of the corona-break, he has scored a goal (during the 1-3 away win at Frankfurt) and provided an assist (during the 1-3 home loss to Leverkusen), rewarding him with 12 FanTeam points. Die Fohlen are chasing a Champions League spot and last weekend’s loss versus Leverkusen was a deception in that sense, so we’re expecting them to make amends and get back on the right track on Tuesday. If they manage to do so, Plea will more than likely be at the centre of it.

We have chosen to have Plea joined in our attack by a compatriot of his, namely Marcus Thuram. The Gladbach winger and son of former-World Champion Lilian Thuram was bought from French side EA Guingamp in the summer of 2019, and in his first season for Die Fohlen, the Frenchman already has 27 Bundesliga games, 8 goals, and 8 assists to his name. Tuesday’s opponent Werder Bremen boast the league’s second-worst defence, with only Mainz conceding more than Werder’s 59 goals from 27 games. When it comes to home games only, Die Grün-Weißen have conceded a worrying 30 goals in just 12 games, a tally bettered by no less than 15 teams in the league.

Very unfortunately for the home team though, their defending is not the only issue. Werder have also scored just 9 goals in 12 home games, which is considerably less than any other team in the league. That’s also one of the main reason for picking Gladbach defender Ramy Bensebaini instead of midfielders Hermann or Neuhaus, or forward Stindl. This saved us a minimum of 2.1 million and a maximum of 2.4 million in terms of budget expenditures. The Algerian left wing-back arrived at Gladbach in the summer of 2019 and has made an impression since then: 13 Bundesliga games, 5 goals, and 2 assists so far in his first season. Werder Bremen look like the perfect opponent for him to further improve his numbers and for Gladbach to get back on Champions League track.

BAYERN MÜNCHEN (away vs Borussia Dortmund)

Pick: Robert Lewandowski

For our seventh and final pick, we could have picked a fourth asset from either Leverkusen or Gladbach, but instead, we went with Germany’s current top scorer. Since the restart of the Bundesliga, Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski has continued doing what he was doing before the coronavirus put world football on hold: scoring goals. In 25 Bundesliga games so far, the Polish assassin has netted 27 times and provided 3 assists. He will be starting in the stand-out fixture of gameweek 28, when Bayern roll up to the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund for an authentic top-of-the-table clash. Not an easy game by any stretch for the reigning champions, not even when thinking back to their resounding 4-0 home victory over Dortmund in November of last year. Since then, Die Borussen were reinforced with the likes of Emre Can and the phenomenon known as Erling Haaland, leading to a run of 9 victories from the last 10 games. They will be raring to make it 10 out of the last 11 tomorrow and to reduce the current 4-point gap between them and the league leaders, but if there is one man who can rain on this potential yellow-black parade, it’s former-Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Midweek German Monster and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 25,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum where we have a FreeRoll for those that want to learn a bit more about the game.