It speaks volumes that the predicament for FPL managers when it comes to Liverpool is not whether or not to triple up on them, but which 3 of their assets to triple up with. Three of the top scoring players in their respective positions last season played for the Champions League winners, which means this Liverpool FPL team guide will likely end up focusing more on the players not to pick.
If the 18/19 preseason was one of strengthening Liverpool’s depth with some savvy purchases, the 19/20 preseason is surely one of developing the talent that already resides at Anfield. Whether Liverpool can emulate last season’s remarkable performances both domestically and in the Champions League remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: it’s been a long time since Liverpool were as feared as they are now.
What style of football do Liverpool play?
Jurgen Klopp originally built a team capable of hurting opponents by playing almost exclusively on the counter-attack and with dynamic, quick patterns of play in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1.
Last season, however, the team improved their output against deeper opposition, with Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold showcasing their diverse crossing abilities to feed the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Sadio Mane, in particular, has undergone a role change in the last year. He now alternates between a wide dribbler or an inside forward who roams into the box to finish chances. This change has seen an upturn in goalscoring output. Indeed, Mane reached 22 goals last season to finish joint top-scorer.
Virgil van Dijk’s influence has been well documented for a while now, both in and out of possession. His 1v1 defending, leadership qualities and aerial prowess alone have seen Liverpool turn into the strongest side defensively in the league, conceding the least goals last season.
Midfield is where things get a bit interesting for The Reds. Every midfielder in their ranks is physically capable of high distance coverage, which suits Klopp’s counter-pressing style. Fabinho has also added midfield protection, acting as a shield for the back 4.
Last season’s key statistics
Liverpool ranked first for clean sheets (21) and goals conceded (22) last season. Alongside Man City, they were also a level above the rest going forward with the second-most goals (89) and big chances (108).
However, they did comfortably dislodge Man City from top-spot for goals from set plays (22 to 12) and also goal conversion (15.5% to 13.9%). Trent Alexander-Arnold’s delivery might have been the determining factor, although Kevin De Bruyne’s return could balance this out.
FPL fixture difficulty
The table above shows the fixture difficulty of Liverpool’s opening six matches, as determined by our clean sheet tracker and attacking tracker. These difficulty trackers are based on last seasons home/away specific performance statistics. Newly promoted sides statistics have been weighted according to their transitional value.
Who takes penalties for Liverpool?
Accordingly to our data, Mohamed Salah is designated penalty taker for Leicester. James Milner could be the designated penalty taker when he’s on the pitch.
Which Liverpool players to pick on FPL?
Where do we begin. The danger of Liverpool’s £7.0m fullbacks is well documented, but less has been said about Liverpool’s 4th defender position. 1 of Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren or Joel Matip will pair Virgil van Dijk and, with all of them coming in at an affordable £5.5m, they represent the cheapest – albeit least reliable – way into that Liverpool defence.
Mohamed Salah (£12.5) will be the highest owned midfielder in FPL by Gameweek 1, barring any injury. This might’ve been predictable prior to the price reveals, but it became a near-certainty when it was revealed his starting price would be cut by £0.5m. With so much value tied up in Liverpool’s defence, Sadio Mane (£11.5m) becomes a little surplus to requirements. Such is the FPL apathy towards the Senegalese that you could almost be forgiven for forgetting that he shared the golden boot last season. Could he be a game-changing premium differential for those who invest early?
Budget-wise, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£6.5m) is an interesting option. If he can re-establish himself as a mainstay in Liverpool’s XI, his penetration and pace will inevitably yield FPL returns.
As discussed on the Fantasy Weekly podcast’s differential special, Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) is being criminally overlooked at the moment. His current 8.7% ownership speaks volumes about the fantastic Liverpool options available elsewhere, but his consistency more than justifies his £9.5m price-tag.
Helpfully, Liverpool will play the Charity Shield against Man City 5 days prior to their opening fixture against Norwich. Though not conclusive, that should prove to be a useful litmus test to weigh up their assets; particularly in those positions that still remain uncertain.