858
Scout Notes

Salah relies on penalties again as Brighton keep things tight

Mohamed Salah (13.4m) owners were perhaps fortunate to get an attacking return against Brighton in Gameweek 22.

The Egyptian’s role in penalties led to his 14th league goal of the season but it was a gritty performance from Liverpool who were made to work hard by their hosts.

Salah’s performance and the continuing success of the Reds’ defence is the focus of this latest Scout Notes article.

Brighton 0-1 Liverpool

Goals: Mohamed Salah (£13.3m)

Assists: None

Salah owners have to be grateful for James Milner‘s (£5.6m) continued absence from the Liverpool first XI after the Egyptian’s latest Premier League goal. He has recently assumed penalty-taking duties from the Englishman, who has made just five top-flight appearances since Gameweek 15. If it wasn’t for the fact he was fouled in the box or his role in taking spot kicks, he might have blanked against Brighton as Liverpool were largely forced to labour to victory. While penalties admittedly play a big part in the appeal of Fantasy assets, owners want to be relying on them exclusively for attacking returns. Accordingly, the fact that all of Salah’s last three Premier League strikes have come from the penalty spot will be of some concern.

This is where one of the lesser-known statistics in the Members Area comes in useful to truly assess Salah’s impact at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Egyptian was top of the match for shots in the box, although of course one of those was his spot kick. He was also top for expected goals too (1.25). However, when we analyse the ‘xG non penalty’ statistic, which removes penalty kicks from the data, we see that Salah falls to 0.46, indicating that he was highly unlikely to score from open play against Brighton, even though he was used in the centre-forward’s role again.

It was a game that we certainly expected to be tight, considering the defensive form the Seagulls had been in recently. In the four league matches prior to Gameweek 22, Chris Hughton’s men ranked joint best for big chances conceded, only Manchester City and Chelsea allowing fewer penalty box shots in that time too. That led to Brighton being able to keep Liverpool largely contained and, as we have already seen, limit Salah’s goal threat in open play. If the Reds come up against a similar defence again in the future, and Salah is still largely relying on penalties, that might count against him. However, the fact that he is still capable of winning penalties is definitely a good thing, as mentioned by Jurgen Klopp after the match.

“It was a brilliant situation. It makes sense for a striker to go dribbling in the box because it’s difficult for the defender to defend it clear. He was in a brilliant position in that moment – if he could shoot, for sure it was a big chance as well. That’s cool.” – Jurgen Klopp

After impressing statistically in the last two weeks, Roberto Firmino (£9.2m), returning to a deeper number 10 role had just one effort in the Brighton penalty box, while Sadio Mané (£9.5m) registered the same number. So while there are slight worries about Salah’s recent reliance on penalties, he is still comfortably the best Liverpool attacking option.

“Sadio had moments, Bobby always. We speak about maturity after the 1-0 but how they defend then, if you see it in their face – how Bobby is talking to everybody, bringing Sadio into position and all that – that’s the massive difference. That’s really cool. The boys worked really hard and deserved these three points, I think, absolutely.” – Jurgen Klopp

Despite less than an ideal injury situation, Liverpool’s defence was still able to record a 13th clean sheet of the campaign. There was mixed news ahead of kick-off as midfielder Fabinho (£5.5m) was named alongside Virgil van Dijk (£6.4m) at centre-back, while Joel Matip (£4.9m) was named on the bench, suggesting he’ll be back in the starting line-up soon. However, despite some initial concerns, it turned out that Fabinho was more than capable of playing at the heart of defence, having done so for Monaco and for Brazil in the past. It just goes to show the tremendous defensive versatility currently present in this Liverpool squad. Great news for owners of options such as Andrew Robertson (£6.6m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.2m), as it seems very few outside factors are capable of damaging the Liverpool defence.

“(Fabinho) is a brilliant player and I was happy he could play today. It’s not that Brighton had one attack after the other – we had the ball most of the time so it makes sense to have a good footballer in that position. Brighton tried a little bit to bring the long balls to Murray and around him, which they did, by the way, against Joe Gomez in the home game as well. But he did well in these situations and with the ball. He has a defending brain and can do that in different positions. It’s good.” – Jurgen Klopp

There were some worried Alexander-Arnold owners in the moments before kick-off as he reportedly injured himself in the warm-up. However, he was able to shake off the knock and play the full 90 minutes, banking six points for his owners.

“It was the last situation in the warm-up, I think he stepped on the ball – I didn’t see the situation, I only saw him going down. Immediately [you see] Trent on the ground, he’s a hard boy so that’s not a good sign. Then the Doc came and [said it was] something with the ankle. It was pretty painful. He made the sprints but I didn’t like the way he made them because when he slowed down, I thought it looked a bit like limping so I thought it didn’t look good. On the way to the dressing room, he told me the pain was away, had gone, then the Doc made a little treatment. Then he said pain-wise, it’s good now and should be OK, made a strapping [for it] and [he could] go out. I don’t know exactly what it was and I hope it was absolutely nothing; it was not nothing because it was really painful, but I hope it will not take long until he doesn’t feel it anymore.” – Jurgen Klopp

David Button (£4.0m) continues to hold down his starting place in the Brighton team with Mathew Ryan (£4.4m) still away at the Asian Cup with Australia. In front of him, the back-four was largely unchanged, apart from Gaëtan Bong (£4.4m) making his first start at left-back since Gameweek 12 with Bernardo (£4.2m) ruled out.

In front of that, there was a change to Chris Hughton’s usual shape as he opted for a 4-5-1 in favour of 4-4-1-1, largely to contain Liverpool as much as he could. Jurgen Locadia (£5.3m) kept his place on the left, Solly March (£5.0m) on the right, and Dale Stephens (£4.4m), Davy Pröpper (£4.8m) and Pascal Groß (£6.7m) across the middle. Meanwhile, Glenn Murray (£6.3m) lead the Brighton line on his own. Given the aforementioned data, it seems it was a tactic that had some success.

“We had to defend very well against a few of their moments. I thought we had a couple of good opportunities. We gave Liverpool a very good, hard-fought game. If you play open and expansive against these you go 2-0 down or 3-0 down. I thought the tactics were right against the best team in the country.” – Chris Hughton

Brighton XI (4-5-1): Button; Bong, Dunk, Duffy, Montoya; Locadia, Pröpper, Stephens, Groß (Kayal 79′), March (Knockaert 66′); Murray (Andone 66′).

Liverpool XI (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Robertson, van Dijk, Fabinho, Alexander-Arnold; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mané (Keita 90′), Firmino, Shaqiri (Milner 72′); Salah (Origi 90+4′).

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858 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Athletic Nasherbo
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    2FT 1.8ITB

    Fabianski
    Robertson Doherty Digne
    Hazard Son Pogba Richarlison Lingard
    Kane Rashford

    Button Alonso WB Kamara

    Thinking Alonso + Son + Hazard > TAA + Eriksen + Salah -4

    Thoughts?

    1. FlyingWithoutIngs
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 6 days ago

      Arsenal are dreadful and hazard is consistently scoring I’d maybe look at Alonso and son to Trent and mane?

  2. FlyingWithoutIngs
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Bench one for next week in defence? I have digne (sou) robbo (CRY) Doherty (Lei) Pereira (Wol)

    Already have midfield 5 and front 2 of
    Richarlison salah hazard pogba sane
    Rashford jiminiez so no room to play all 4

    1. captainjilflex
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      tough one but Pereira imo

  3. Shark Team
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 6 days ago

    I know it's a long
    question but plz help. Which from below do you prefer?
    A)Fabianski + Hazard + Rashford + Puncheon(benched)
    B)Lloris + Sterling + Fraser + Kamara(benched)

    1. FlyingWithoutIngs
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 6 days ago

      I prefer a) fab always in the points much cheaper sterling I think if he starts matches hazard and rashford with his fixtures comes up easily outscores fraser

    2. Bagpuss
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      B

  4. Jimmy Boy
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Anderson worth keeping for Bournemouth?

    1. Dele
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      Not for me

    2. Ajax Hamsterdam
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      I m in the same boat. I'm tempted to keep him

    3. captainjilflex
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      Already swapped for Salah

    4. Jᴀʀᴠish
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      Depends if you have bigger issues and who you are replacing with.

    5. SADIO SANÉ
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      I'm keeping for one more, probably longer if he scores again

    6. Bagpuss
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      I couldn't take the price drop and still make the changes I wanted. Depends whether you can and what the rest of your team looks like

    7. danishdynamite
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      I've kept him for now, but will keep en eye on Moura.

      Worth noting that their fixtures pick up again in 4 weeks time or so - if you have other fires to fight I think he's worth hanging on to, desipte WHU unpredictability

    8. Rhodes your boat
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      Keeping

  5. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Bottomed. Hopefully Guaita won't lose his place/remain injured but who is the best keeper to get in a few weeks time if so?

    Currently only have 0.2 free...
    A. Ryan (have Button)
    B. McCarthy
    C. Hennessy (if long term)
    D. Find the funds for Etheridge/back to Fabs again.

  6. The Royal Robin
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Ings... Keep or sell?

    Pros:
    Back next week (apparently)
    Fixtures look good

    Cons:
    Struggling with fitness before he was injured

    1. BENOIT
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      Con: Long played well and got 12 points in a Saints win!

      1. The Royal Robin
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 6 days ago

        True.

    2. Prisoner B5160-8
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 6 days ago

      I keep looking at him, but just think for the money I'd sooner play a decent 5th mid.

      I am tempted though, with Camarasa.

    3. captainjilflex
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      As long as his hamstring recovers keep. Great fixtures and surely he is still 1st choice

  7. BENOIT
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    A) Felipe and Firmino

    Or

    B) Hazard and Kamara

    ???

    1. The Royal Robin
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      Neither jump out at me as great combos. But A, just.

    2. captainjilflex
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      B

  8. Dele
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    How’s this looking for next week?

    Etheridge
    TAA, VVD, Doherty
    Salah, Hazard, Pogba, Richarlison
    Kane, Rashford, Jimenez

    Button, Bennett, AWB, Puncheon

    1. FlyingWithoutIngs
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 6 days ago

      Good to go

  9. steven8991
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Patricio Hamer
    Alonso Robertson Digne Dunk AWB
    Hazard Hojberg Richarlison Pogba Snodgrass
    Kane Aubameyang Barnes

    2FT

    Thinking Alonso, Snodgrass, Auba to Luiz,Eriksen, Firmono (hard to get Salah) for -4. Is it good move?

  10. Shark Team
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Good move for free?
    Anderson + Kamara OUT
    Puncheon + Rashford IN

    1. Kun Tozser
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      Not really

    2. captainjilflex
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      rest of team?

      1. Shark Team
        • 1 Year
        5 months, 6 days ago

        Fabianski
        Digne Taa WanB Doherty
        Pogba Hazard Salah Richarlison
        Kane Jimenez

        1. captainjilflex
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          5 months, 6 days ago

          Yeah do it

  11. Patch
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 6 days ago

    I agree to an extent with what you are saying about footballers being overpaid, however, an Irish nurse posted her salary online £1000.24 for a fortnight's work at 36 hours per week.

    1. Jᴀʀᴠish
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      ?

        1. Jᴀʀᴠish
          • 4 Years
          5 months, 6 days ago

          I'm not questioning the figures, am confused about what point you are trying to make

          1. Patch
            • 1 Year
            5 months, 6 days ago

            Well I originally tort she might be underpaid but per Syd comment below, it is actually a decent figure...

    2. Syd.
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      Nobody will disagree that they are overpaid.

      The nurse is earning 750 per week which is 40k per year. Not a bad salary.

      1. Patch
        • 1 Year
        5 months, 6 days ago

        Hmm on second read of the article...I am swayed by your thoughts that the nurse is earning decent wedge...strangely the article starts as:

        A nurse has gone viral after she shared a snap of her pay slip online, with many people saying they're 'shocked' she earns so little.

    3. collie11
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 5 days ago

      That's Euro she earns, not sterling fella. She's in the Republic and the cost of living is higher. It's not near as much as it seems.

  12. DAZZ
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    ‘Salah relies on penalties’ lol. Jesus who writes these articles? He could have easily scored another

    1. Syd.
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      But he didn’t so he relying on penalties

  13. steven8991
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Which combo:

    A. Sol bamba, Salah, Jimenez
    B. DLuiz, Eriksen, Firmino

    1. Bojaninho
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      A id say, has the only viable captain option

  14. Bojaninho
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Son replacements...? 0 ITB

    Pogba, Anderson, Rich, Bilva, Dilva,

    Salah, Hazard, Fraser the other mids.

    Hazard is becoming a worry, tempted to shift him to Sane/Sterling

    1. Garlana
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      See how pogba plays today against a good side, he's nailed and has been a good captain pick.

  15. Whats the Mata?
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    A. Haz to Sane with the FT (will cap Kane)
    Or
    B. Haz to Salah for a hit

    Cheers

    1. Bojaninho
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      what does the hit involve?

  16. greenybne
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Haz & Auba -> Sané & Kane? Don’t have any other spurs or City assets

  17. Garlana
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Salah or Kane as captian? Surely Fulham is a better fixture? Or will Kane do what he did against Cardiff?

    1. Garlana
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      The first time against Cardiff*

  18. Syd.
    • 10 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    What’s up with Guaita?

    Is he likely to play next week

    1. Arch Stanton
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      According to Woy it's a calf muscle injury and he is having a scan on it.

  19. The Royal Robin
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Does transferring Hazard/Ings out for Eriksen/Rashford make sense for 2 FT here?

    Allison
    Rudiger Digne Doherty TAA
    Salah Hazard(?) Pogba Deulofeu
    Kane Jiminez

    Button Camarasa AWB Ings(?)

  20. dunas_dog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Which combo do you prefer? Kane is my other premium forward and Jimenez third striker. On C in my present team but no Salah been killing my rank! Have 2 free transfers and 2.8 m in bank

    A Sterling Salah Rashford
    B Hazard Salah Rashford
    C Hazard Anderson Aubameyang
    D Salah Anderson Aubameyang

    1. The Royal Robin
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      A by a country mile mate.

    2. Rhodes your boat
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      I’ve got D currently, just changed from C

  21. CelticBhoy1
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Pick two for the next 5/6 GW's:

    A) Doherty

    B) Digne

    C) Alex-A

  22. Witty Pun: Tʜᴇ Cᴀsᴜ…
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 6 days ago

    Replacing Son is quite difficult when I already have Sané Siggy and Sané

    1. Witty Pun: Tʜᴇ Cᴀsᴜ…
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 6 days ago

      *Pogba not Sané 😮