Scout Notes

Injuries build for Liverpool as Blank Gameweek 31 fixture confirmed

Liverpool’s defensive injury crisis took a turn for the worst as a rotated side was knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolves.

Jurgen Klopp’s options at centre-back are becoming increasingly limited as he hopes to guide the Reds to a first ever Premier League title win.

However, there were still some encouraging signs to come out of the Molineux tie for Fantasy managers as they eye up future blank Gameweeks.

Wolves 2-1 Liverpool

Dejan Lovren (£4.9m) was added to the injury list at Molineux on Monday night as he came off with a hamstring in the sixth minute. At this early stage, there is no word on how long the Croatian international could be absent for. That is obviously made all the more frustrating by the fact that Joe Gomez (£4.9m) and Joel Matip (£4.9m) are still out of action too, presenting Klopp with some serious potential problems at the heart of his defence.

“Hamstring [is] what I heard. Without any signs before. I asked everybody – no signs, nothing, just out of the blue. Did you ever hear a manager who can tell you that right after the game? No. I don’t know. You have to wait. I want to know, believe me, but I don’t know in this moment.” – Jurgen Klopp

After the game, Klopp said he hadn’t even intended to start Lovren but had his hand forced by other problems, including having to leave Virgil van Dijk (£6.4m) at home for precautionary reasons. Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) and Adam Lallana (£6.9m) were also cited by the German as players who were initially going to be involved before sustaining injuries, with some members of the national press suggesting the former might have been used in defence.

“Yesterday, Adam (Lallana) was in our plans, like Hendo (Jordan Henderson). Dejan was not in the plans – he should have only been on the bench. It happened what happened. We had to make a few changes already, it was clear. Virg cannot play; he is at home and hopefully, it is nothing, but he has played all the games so far.” – Jurgen Klopp

With only little information on the reasons behind van Dijk’s absence, as well as other the build-up of injuries, there is a lot currently up in the air about Liverpool’s back-line. Some Fantasy managers had been considering a double-up on their defence in the coming weeks, Andrew Robertson (£6.6m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.2m) the targetted pair in many cases, but those plans may well be shelved now. The fact that Liverpool were forced into playing most of their FA Cup tie at Wolves with Fabinho (£5.5m) and 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever, Lovren’s replacement, at centre-back may not provide the required confidence in their back-line to justify doubling up.

“I’m not sure what you all would have said if we bring immediately from the beginning, with our centre-half situation, is Fabinho and Ki-Jana. Then probably a few smart people would tell me that I don’t respect the competition or whatever. It doesn’t make sense to bring in a 16-year-old boy (Hoever) from the start. You don’t bring him, you wait until he is completely ready, but he did well. That’s how it sometimes starts – when you are really needed, then it is only about if you are good enough – and not how old you are.” – Jurgen Klopp

However, it is worth noting that teenage debutant Hoever was actually one of the better performers for Liverpool at Molineux. The player is not yet available to sign in Fantasy Premier League, but the next few days could prove crucial as to whether the youngster is required in the first team for league matches, with the Gameweek 22 press conference coming on either Thursday or Friday. If Hoever is subsequently added to FPL because of injuries to other centre-backs, it seems unlikely he will be priced higher than £5.0m, so he could prove a potential bargain at some stage.

In truth, Liverpool’s defence was hardly left exposed on a regular basis in its makeshift state against Wolves. The hosts had offered little threat before Raúl Jiménez (£6.4m) pounced on a James Milner (£5.6m) error in midfield, pushing into the space vacated by Alberto Moreno (£4.1m), and slotting past Simon Mignolet (£4.8m) unchallenged. Meanwhile, Wolves’ second goal was a typical Ruben Neves (£4.9m) wonder-strike from range than swerved and dipped before nestling in the bottom corner. There was little the defence could have done to stop the effort and it would be harsh to blame the defeat entirely on Liverpool’s back-line.

Klopp was especially slammed by portions of the national press for using so many youngsters in the game, 17-year-old midfielder Curtis Jones and 18-year-old right-back Rafael Camacho starting the game. but they actually largely outshone their more senior colleagues. The German seemed especially defiant over the involvement of the young

“We are not here to be new world-record holders for the youngest team. It’s nice. The boys are around, the boys train with us. That’s why they train with us because we think they are good enough. We play 10v10, they are on the other team and believe me, they play much better than they did tonight. Just tonight it was not possible.” – Jurgen Klopp

Where the Reds looked significantly below par was further up the pitch with the front pairing of Daniel Sturridge (£5.7m) and Divock Origi (£5.0m) struggling to gel. They only completed one pass between them in the first half and a combined total of just one touch of the ball in Wolves’ 18-yard-box. In fact, Sturridge and Shaqiri were the only players to have possession in the hosts’ penalty area. Origi’s 51st-minute goal represented Liverpool’s first shot on target in the match. Shaqiri’s free-kick, tipped onto the post by John Ruddy (£4.3m), was the only other real chance Klopp’s men had. Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) and Roberto Firmino (£9.2m) entered the fray for the last 20 minutes but were unable to conjure up a fight-back.

“It’s my responsibility. It’s about rhythm, of course. You know they can’t have rhythm. Div, can he have rhythm? Not really. Daniel? Maybe, a bit more. Alberto? No rhythm. And that doesn’t help against an opponent in Wolves who we played here two weeks ago. They are really strong; we won but we knew it was really tough. (Wolves) didn’t change a lot, so it’s not easy. I always expect a lot more from the players, but could they have delivered today? I am not 100 per cent sure. It is not my job to say now ‘that was not good enough and that was not good enough’. I know they can do much better. We changed a lot because we had to, not because I just wanted to have a look. But the problem is that we have played with a similar line-up and in really tough games the last couple of weeks, so it was clear, we had to change. That’s all.” – Jurgen Klopp

Despite the discouraging factors we have already discussed, there are still positives for Fantasy managers looking ahead to future Gameweeks. Fulham’s FA Cup exit at the hands of League Two outfit Oldham Athletic means that Liverpool will play Claudio Ranieri’s men at Craven Cottage in Gameweek 31, when the two competitions clash for the first time. Currently Fulham v Liverpool is the only match confirmed for that weekend in the middle of March. Last season, the Reds were one of the few teams to present strong captain candidates in Blank Gameweek 31, with Salah scoring four times in a 5-0 win over Watford. Having their options available for Blank Gameweek 31 again this time around will certainly prove helpful to Fantasy managers, especially if they are facing a Fulham side that has struggled at both ends of the pitch at times this season.

Liverpool being out of the FA Cup is also good news for anyone worried about rotation during January and February. Klopp’s men will now get at least two free weekends surplus to their title rivals between now and Gameweek 31, on January 26 (FA Cup fourth round) and February 16 (FA Cup fifth round). It also means there will be a 10-day gap between the Gameweek 26 visit of Bournemouth to Anfield and Liverpool’s Champions League second round first leg clash with Bayern Munich.

In contrast to Liverpool’s approach, Wolves came into the FA Cup tie with fewer changes to their starting XI. Rui Patricio (£4.5m), Matt Doherty (£5.2m) were the only members of the regular starting crop to miss out on a place in the first XI, while Helder Costa (£4.8m) and Ivan Cavaleiro (£5.2m), and Doherty, were used as second-half substitutes.

The back-three comprised of the usual suspects, Willy Boly (£4.6m), Conor Coady (£4.5m) and Ryan Bennett (£4.1m), while Leander Dendoncker (£4.3m) caused Liverpool problems in a central midfield role.

Leading the line, as always, was forward Jiménez, who has attacking returns against Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and now Liverpool this season. The Mexican seems to really relish matches against the big sides, suggesting that he should have the benefit of the doubt when his owners have to decide whether or not to bench him for tougher fixtures. Wolves travel to face Manchester City this weekend, so Fantasy managers will be faced with that dilemma this weekend.

Diogo Jota (£5.9m) returned from his injury doubt to start the match, but was substituted in the 52nd minute to give him the chance to rest.

“It’s something that we had prepared (substitution). He’s coming back from the injury. He did fantastic in the first half, (that was) the way we worked on it in the training. He’s OK but he doesn’t have 90 minutes in his legs.” – Nuno Espirito Santo

Wolves XI (3-1-4-2): Ruddy; Boly, Coady, Bennett; Neves; Vinagre, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Jonny (Doherty 75′); Jota (Cavaleiro 52′), Jiménez (Costa 83′).

Liverpool XI (4-4-2): Mignolet; Moreno, Fabinho, Lovren (Hoever 6′), Camacho; Jones (Firmino 70′), Keita, Milner, Shaqiri; Origi, Sturridge (Salah 70′).

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752 Comments Post a Comment
  1. pundit of punts
    • 5 Years
    9 days, 14 hours ago

    How does this look for GW 22?

    Fabianski
    Alonso - Trippier - TAA
    Hazard - Son - Richarlison - Anderson
    Kane - Vardy - Mitrovic

    Hamer - AWB - Bennett - Schneiderlin

    1.6m in the bank for Salah in next gw.

    1. Berbinho's Forehead
      • 8 Years
      9 days, 14 hours ago

      2
      7 - 2 - 6
      8 - 7 - 2 - 10
      5 - 2 - 9

      1. pundit of punts
        • 5 Years
        9 days, 14 hours ago

        That'll certainly do. Cheers! 😀

        1. Jᴀʀᴠish
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          9 days, 14 hours ago

          Unfortunately Salah scores 23 and most other people have captained him 🙁

          1. pundit of punts
            • 5 Years
            9 days, 14 hours ago

            🙁

      2. The Blackadder
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        9 days, 14 hours ago

        Oooh, I like these predictions, have a go at mine would you :0)
        Foster
        Alonso, Robertson, Digne,
        Anderson, Salah, Son, Richarlison, Fraser
        Wilson, Aguero (c)

        Fab, Jimenez, Doherty, AWB

        1. Berbinho's Forehead
          • 8 Years
          9 days, 14 hours ago

          2
          7 - 7 - 2
          10 - 13 - 7 - 2 - 2
          2 - 12

          1. The Blackadder
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            9 days, 14 hours ago

            Excellent stuff. I’ll take those points now thank you very much.

  2. GloryManUnited
      9 days, 14 hours ago

      Have exact funds for Martial/Wilson>Aguero/Hudson-Odoi…

      Mad to make the move? CHO and Camarasa would be my 4/5 mids...

      Team would be
      Lossl/Hart
      Taa/Robbo/Digne/AWB/Dhoerty
      Salah/Sane/Pogba/Camarasa/CHO
      Auba/Kun/Jimenez

      1. Berbinho's Forehead
        • 8 Years
        9 days, 14 hours ago

        You're selling a midfielder who will have BRI, bur soon whilst buying a midfielder who may be in Germany the next time he kicks a ball.

      2. OldBenKenobi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        9 days, 14 hours ago

        You might want to read some recent sports news before making those type of decisions...

        1. GloryManUnited
            9 days, 14 hours ago

            Because they made a 3rd offer for him he's likely to go...?

            Pedro & Willian both knicked up. Not off-base in thinking his game time goes up especially after Sarri's recent comments.

            So to answer your question...yes I have read them.

            1. OldBenKenobi
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              9 days, 14 hours ago

              Too risky imo

        1. Amey
            9 days, 14 hours ago

            He disappeared due to wind 😀

        2. Sarri's Blue Balls
          • 2 Years
          9 days, 14 hours ago

          Thoughts on holding Martial or transferring to a cheap (Camarasa) and third non-playing forward (Quan) to Rashf.?

          1. Berbinho's Forehead
            • 8 Years
            9 days, 14 hours ago

            I would keep Martial. Brighton and Burnley at home after Spurs. And Ole seems to be fond of him.

          2. Ratatouille
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            9 days, 14 hours ago

            Keep Martial, he will score vs Spurs.

        3. Syd.
          • 9 Years
          9 days, 14 hours ago

          Has anybody got a lawnmower that I could borrow?

          1. Jᴀʀᴠish
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            9 days, 14 hours ago

            In January?

          2. Berbinho's Forehead
            • 8 Years
            9 days, 14 hours ago

            I'll throw it over mate, hopefully the wind doesn't affect it.

            1. Syd.
              • 9 Years
              9 days, 14 hours ago

              Yeah I heard that one last night

              1. Berbinho's Forehead
                • 8 Years
                9 days, 14 hours ago

                Saving the winter break one for this weekend 😉

                1. Syd.
                  • 9 Years
                  9 days, 14 hours ago

                  Can't see it mate, still rather be in your position.

                  1. Berbinho's Forehead
                    • 8 Years
                    9 days, 14 hours ago

                    Imperative we get 15 pts from 5 games before Utd away imo.

                    1. Syd.
                      • 9 Years
                      9 days, 14 hours ago

                      United are trash, will be very surprised if you don't give them another lesson.

                      1. Berbinho's Forehead
                        • 8 Years
                        9 days, 14 hours ago

                        They'll be up for it - we were majorly trash while they had Fergie and we still took points off them.

        4. Disturbed
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          9 days, 14 hours ago

          Best mid option for 4.8m or under?

          1. Ratatouille
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            9 days, 14 hours ago

            Redmond

            1. OldBenKenobi
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              9 days, 14 hours ago

              Isn’t he 5.2?

              1. Deulofail
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                9 days, 14 hours ago

                Not if you buy used

                1. OldBenKenobi
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 1 Year
                  9 days, 14 hours ago

                  😉

                  1. Deulofail
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    9 days, 14 hours ago

                    Black market on here opens at 03:15 GMT. Shhh

                    1. Amey
                        9 days, 14 hours ago

                        😀

                      • Amey
                          9 days, 14 hours ago

                          I can do with one of Auba/Sterling.
                          Do inform if any of above become available. 😛

                          1. Deulofail
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 2 Years
                            9 days, 13 hours ago

                            The winds are whispering that circumstances may turn in your favour

                            1. Amey
                                9 days, 13 hours ago

                                Ohh.
                                Good to hear that 😮

                2. Pilgrim62
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  9 days, 14 hours ago

                  Camarasa

              2. OldBenKenobi
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                9 days, 14 hours ago

                Alder > TAA this week
                Then
                Pereyra > Eriksen next week?

                Fab
                Trippier (Alderweireld) Digne
                Salah(c) Sterling F.Anderson Pogba* Pereyra
                Mitro Wilson

                Hamer AWB Jimenez Bennett

                1FT 1.5ITB

                Only concern is I have exact funds for this now and any £ change leaves me outta reach

              3. Rash
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                9 days, 14 hours ago

                Would you keep Patrico & Fabianski or sell one?

                1. Athletico Timbo
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  9 days, 14 hours ago

                  I’d sell both. Fab first.

                  1. Rash
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    9 days, 14 hours ago

                    Anyone in particular for replacement?

                    1. Athletico Timbo
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 8 Years
                      9 days, 14 hours ago

                      Alisson if you can afford him. I’m going for Guaita

                      1. Rash
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 1 Year
                        9 days, 14 hours ago

                        Eyeing him up myself & Etheridge

                2. OldBenKenobi
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 1 Year
                  9 days, 14 hours ago

                  If that’s your only concern I think your good 😉

                  1. OldBenKenobi
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    9 days, 14 hours ago

                    You’re*

                  2. Rash
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    9 days, 14 hours ago

                    Many concerns but keepers are really bugging me.

                    1. OldBenKenobi
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      9 days, 14 hours ago

                      Prob Fab then

                      1. Wildcarded Early Pls Help
                          9 days, 13 hours ago

                          Why is everyone so keen to ditch Fab?

                          Always getting save points..

                          Would sell him before Patricio though, Wolves have great fixtures after City

                  3. Morph - Finding Nuno
                    • 2 Years
                    9 days, 14 hours ago

                    I want rid of both. WHU defence is overrated, and I'm not comfortable with a Wolves double-up (have Doherty).

                    I'll probably get Etheridge this week. Was originally going to sell Patricio but now I think that selling Fab and having the extra £s ITB is better.

                3. HD7
                  • 1 Year
                  9 days, 14 hours ago

                  Hi Managers!

                  GW 22: Right order of starters and bench?
                  Captain?

                  Fab
                  AWB Kola Robbo Digne
                  Salah(C) Pogba Anderson Richa
                  Kane Auba

                  Subs: Button, Camarasa, AWB, Success

                  1. OldBenKenobi
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    9 days, 14 hours ago

                    I’d say so

                  2. Pilgrim62
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    9 days, 14 hours ago

                    You have double AWB

                    1. HD7
                      • 1 Year
                      9 days, 13 hours ago

                      Sorry, Doherty is on the bench. AWB starts

                4. Mo Mané Mo Problems
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  9 days, 14 hours ago

                  Patricio, Hamer
                  Alonso, Robbo, AWB, Digne, Doherty
                  Rich, Son, Anderson, Pogba, Fraser
                  Kane, Auba, Wilson

                  0.7ITB, 1FT.

                  No idea who to bench. Doherty, plus AWB/Digne, and Fraser/Wilson?

                  1. Wildcarded Early Pls Help
                      9 days, 13 hours ago

                      I would bench AWB for sure, then it's a toss up between Fraser-Wilson

                      I'd keep Wilson and have Fraser 1rst sub

                  2. Dunk mee Jesus
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    9 days, 14 hours ago

                    Thank this is pretty solid, maybe bar no city cover, other than that thank im gtg,

                    Lloris
                    Luiz, taa, Pereira, awb
                    Pogba, salah,(c) hazard,(vc)
                    Rashford, kane, Barnes

                    Bench, hamer, camarasa, shaw, Torreira

                    1. Rhodes your boat
                      • 2 Years
                      9 days, 13 hours ago

                      Gtg

                      1. Wildcarded Early Pls Help
                          9 days, 13 hours ago

                          Personally would start Camarasa over AWB

                    2. ChickenTikkaMoSalah
                      • 3 Years
                      9 days, 14 hours ago

                      Current Team:

                      Fabianski (Hamer)
                      Kolasinac, Wan-B, Robertson (Doherty, Bennett)
                      Pogba, Salah, Martial, Hazard
                      Rondon, Jimenez, Aubameyang

                    3. lindeg
                        9 days, 14 hours ago

                        is it a good or a bad sign for hudson odoi chances for a start at the weekend, if he starts tonight?

                        1. Athletico Timbo
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 8 Years
                          9 days, 13 hours ago

                          I think it will depend on whether Pedro is passed fit to play at the weekend.

                        2. MysticMac17
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          9 days, 13 hours ago

                          I'm tempted to start Hudson Odoi over Jimenez if there are strong suggestions that he will start

                          1. Wildcarded Early Pls Help
                              9 days, 13 hours ago

                              Jiminez has been scoring against the top sides this season, Hudson Odoi will probably get subbed even if he starts..

                              I'd stick with Jiminez

                        3. Wildcarded Early Pls Help
                            9 days, 13 hours ago

                            Button (Fabianski)

                            Robertson - Alexander-Arnold - Holebas - (Wan-Bissaka - Doherty)

                            Hazard - Son - Sterling - Richarlison (Billing)

                            Calvert-Lewin - Rashford - Kane

                            Already - 4
                            1.1 ITB

                            Thoughts?

                            1. Amey
                                9 days, 13 hours ago

                                G2G mate.

                            2. Usyismail
                                9 days, 12 hours ago

                                Will appreciate any advice,
                                Patricio,lossl
                                Digne,,trippier,doherty,wan bissaka,pereira
                                Hazard, sterling,richarlisom, martial,torreira,
                                Kane, rashford, jiminez,
                                2ft, 0.8mik int the bank.
                                Was thinking torreira to paterson this week.
                                And also thinking of what to do with sterling and martial in the coming days

                              • wormface
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 6 Years
                                9 days, 10 hours ago

                                Any ideas who to bring in for lovern . I've 5 mil .