Scout Notes

Mane brace enhances Blank Gameweek 31 captaincy credentials

Liverpool became the fourth English team to qualify for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals after an excellent 3-1 win over Bayern Munich on Wednesday evening.

Three days after he registered a brace in the 4-2 victory over Burnley, the in-form Sadio Mane scored two of the Reds’ goals in Bavaria to help his side to a first competitive away win since January.

The Senegalese winger once more outscored Mohamed Salah, who produced a fine assist for Mane’s second strike but who yet again failed to get on the scoresheet.

It is now just one goal in nine matches for the most expensive player in Fantasy Premier League, while Mane has ten goals in his last ten appearances.

The victory was perhaps all the more significant given the concerns about Liverpool’s away form going into the Gameweek 31 clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino each have identical records in Liverpool’s away league matches contested this calendar year: played five, scored one, assisted none.

The tonic of a victory in Germany and an upcoming fixture against a side with the worst defensive record in 2019 surely gives Liverpool’s front three the chance to remedy that statistic on Sunday.

Casting our eyes further ahead, Liverpool’s schedule for late-March/April is now complete (barring the exact dates for the Champions League last eight) and looks as follows:

Sunday 31 March: Gameweek 32 – Tottenham Hotspur (a)
Friday 5 April: Gameweek 33 – Southampton (a)
Tue/Wed 9/10 April: UEFA Champions League quarter-final, first leg
Sunday 14 April: Gameweek 34 – Chelsea (h)
Tue/Wed 16/17 April: UEFA Champions League quarter-final, second leg 
Sunday 21 April: Gameweek 35 – Cardiff City (a)
Friday 26 April: Gameweek 36 – Huddersfield Town (h)

Compared to Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City, Liverpool’s itinerary after the international break looks relatively serene.

The two Friday night matches could be an aid to Fantasy managers fearing small-scale rotation around the Champions League (the semi-finals follow Gameweek 36), while the fact that the Gameweek 35 trip to Cardiff is scheduled for a Sunday also allows an extra day’s recovery following the quarter-final second leg.

Our Scout Notes below round up the main Fantasy talking points, key manager quotes and headline injury news from the Allianz Arena.

Bayern Munich 1-3 Liverpool

  • Goals: Joel Matip (£4.9m) own-goal | Sadio Mane (£9.9m) x2, Virgil van Dijk (£6.6m)
  • Assists: Serge Gnabry | Virgil van Dijk, James Milner (£5.6m), Mohamed Salah (£13.4m)

Two attempts and two goals for Sadio Mane (£9.9m).

The Senegal international registered the same number of shots as Roberto Firmino (£9.2m) and Mohamed Salah (£13.4m) on Wednesday evening but, as he has done for much of 2019, once again outshone his two attack-minded team-mates.

Mane and Salah’s underlying statistics are similar this calendar year: Mane has the edge for big chances and shots in the box, while Salah beats his colleague for overall attempts, efforts on target, key passes and (by some distance) penalty box touches.

Their two expected goals (xG) tallies in 2019 are almost identical.

Much has been made of Mane’s significantly inferior attacking KPIs away from home recently and the Senegalese winger indeed has only had three shots in his last four Premier League fixtures on the road.

Mane looks far more clinical than Salah in front of goal, though, and the Gameweek 31 ownership/captaincy debate involving the two Liverpool midfielders effectively boils down to form versus underlying stats.

The way Mane took his first goal in Munich exemplified his current confidence.

Collecting a long ball from Virgil van Dijk (£6.6m), the former Southampton winger showed tremendous composure to wrong-foot the stranded Manuel Neuer and produce a delicate chipped finish over two covering Bayern defenders to put Liverpool 1-0 up.

The Senegal international rounded off the scoring late on with a header from a superb Salah cross.

Mane’s aerial ability is an underrated quality: no FPL midfielder has had more headed goal attempts in 2019.

Speaking after the game, Klopp said of Mane’s current form:

It is so obvious that I don’t have to really speak about. He knows it, everybody knows it and I don’t want to speak about it because it’s so important for us that these guys stay fit and all that stuff. Remind me after the season and I will sing my own song about him, if necessary! It’s really good, he’s in a good moment. Long may it continue, that’s more my concern.

Mane might have had other attacking returns in Germany, too, had Salah not opted to go alone with one jinking second-half run and instead squared the ball to his unmarked team-mate.

Andrew Robertson (£6.9m), meanwhile, forced Neuer into a save from a Mane key pass.

Salah was his usual self: full of running and trickery, terrorising the Bayern defence one minute and heading down blind alleys the next.

That run we mentioned above was only halted by a last-ditch intervention from Niklas Sule as Salah shaped to shoot, while the Egyptian stung Neuer’s palms with an effort just outside the hosts’ area early in the second half.

Salah is a paradox of a player at times, demonstrating tunnel vision when ignoring Mane and (in another situation) James Milner (£5.6m) but showing great awareness for Liverpool’s third goal and having earlier produced a fine, half-volleyed through-ball for Firmino that the Brazilian narrowly sliced wide.

After his two goals against Burnley, Firmino posed little goal threat of his own and spent much of the game selflessly dropping deep from his centre-forward position (thus allowing Salah and especially Mane to run in behind).

Klopp had lined his side up in his usual 4-3-3 but was forced into a change early on when Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) limped from the field with a twisted ankle.

Speaking after the game, the Liverpool boss said:

It was a difficult game, to lose Hendo so early. He twisted his ankle. Hopefully not too serious, but serious enough. He couldn’t stop anymore so that’s actually not too cool.

It’s Hendo so he’s a hard one but we have to see, of course. It looks hopefully not that serious but for tonight we had to change.

That’s always a bad sign for a game when you have to change early. We trained with him there in that position. We wanted to, not to rest Fabinho, but we wanted to bring in fresh legs and Hendo had fresh legs but unfortunately, that didn’t help with the ankle.

Naby Keita (£7.1m) missed out with a minor injury, meanwhile.

While Joel Matip (£4.9m) had the misfortune of turning a Serge Gnabry cross past his own goalkeeper to level the scores up at 1-1, there were more encouraging signs for owners of his central defensive partner ahead of Gameweek 31.

Having already banked an assist for his role in Mane’s opener, van Dijk put Liverpool 2-1 ahead with a header from a Milner corner.

Van Dijk has four goals and as many assists in competitive matches since the beginning of December.

While his attacking contributions are an obvious attraction from an FPL perspective, van Dijk once again delivered yet another impressive defensive showing at centre-half.

Klopp said of his influential stopper:

It was brilliant. He was involved in the goal of Bayern as well, so what a night (laughs)!

What can I say? I could write a book about his skills, his strength, how much I like him, what a fantastic person he is. He is so young, already so mature, so strong, all good.

Virg knows that he can play better than he did tonight; we can play better than we did tonight. But tonight we played – especially the second half – as good as necessary and possible.

Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.5m) had difficult starts to the game as Bayern experienced some joy down the flanks, with Franck Ribery getting the better of the Liverpool right-back early on and Robertson culpable for letting Gnabry in behind for the hosts’ equaliser.

Like the rest of their team-mates, however, the Reds’ full-backs improved significantly as the game wore on.

Alexander-Arnold was name-checked a couple of times in Klopp’s post-match interviews, one comment explaining why Milner came to provide the assist for van Dijk’s goal:

There was a pass in the second half from Trent through all three lines, more or less, to Bobby, he turned and he couldn’t finish the situation off but it was just [brilliant].

We work a lot on the set pieces. Trent was today the main taker but after having, I don’t know, seven or eight or something like this, we thought it made sense for Millie to take one and that’s the one that leads to a goal.

One positive bit of news for owners of Robertson: the Scottish left-back picked up a booking late on and will now miss the Champions League quarter-final first leg in between Gameweeks 33 and 34 through suspension.

Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Milner (Lallana 87′), Henderson (Fabinho 13′), Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino (Origi 83′), Mane.

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600 Comments Post a Comment
  1. dezille
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 6 days ago

    kola > Luiz a good shout for 31/33? what do we think of his chances of starting in Europa league and would this affect game time 3 days later?

  2. Becks
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 6 days ago

    A) Fraser Arnie
    B) Maddison Wilson

    1. TONY123
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      B is the safer option, I can see Wilson scoring big

      1. Becks
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 6 days ago

        Agree same thinking

    2. Anathallo
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      On a FH A, for longer term, B.

      1. Becks
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 6 days ago

        FH32, cheers

  3. pressdpm
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Deulofail -

    I'm a legend and I didn't even know it. Let me in on the joke though, I don't get it!

    1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Am I missing something..?

    2. Deulofale
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Proud to be posting on the same forum as you. I am not worthy

    3. Ted Striker
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      I believe that the comment of yours that Deulofail highlighted was the site's (or maybe yours?) comment #2,000,000. Hopefully the sites. That's a lot of comments. I might have all of that totally wrong.

      1. Ted Striker
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 6 days ago

        Make that #20,000,000

  4. Gerrard_8
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Chilwell or Cresswell??

    1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 6 days ago

      The one that goes better with egg sandwiches.

      1. Anathallo
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 6 days ago

        Cryptic. When buying an egg sandwich I like it chilled and with cress.

        1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 6 days ago

          Haha! A fair point :D. I'll make mine at home so no need to refrigerate.

          1. Anathallo
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            The best way. Big up yourself.

    2. Becks
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Well...

  5. Tmel
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Outside of Liverpool players, are there any defenders worth a hit?

    Any PRICE (would be replacing AWB)

    1. pressdpm
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Bournemouth I reckon

    2. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Depends on if you will need to play them in 33 too.

    3. Toblerone52
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Don't think any defenders are worth a hit outside Liverpool ones. AWB could still play in 33 so I'd just hold onto him.

    4. TONY123
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Azpilicueta

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

      Possibly Chelsea, but it's definitely a gamble.

    6. juho
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 6 days ago

      I'm facing the same dilemma

      Good news is we'll more or less know if Palace will blank in GW33 just before the deadline

  6. El Rey de Fantasy
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    So TAA is in doubt to start cuz he played in Ucl... So Allison a good bet then...?? Can't afford Robertson or Van dijk....

    Team is:

    Allison.
    Luiz. Ake. Diop (stankovic. Valery)
    Salah. Mane. Hazard. Fraser. (Hayden)
    Vardy. Higuain. Wilson.

    0.0 in bnk

    1. Bring the Cavalry
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      TAA started but so did Milner so I think his position is safe for the weekend.

      1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 6 days ago

        Good point that

    2. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Why does that make him a doubt and not any of their other players? Milner played 90 and he's the only person who'd take taa place. I'd be more worried about robbo with moreno (and I'm still not worried about that)

  7. Toblerone52
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Aguero and Kamara to Arnie and Wilson?

    Or Sell pogba and aguero for Hazard and Wilson....

    Have 0.8 in Pogba and will obviously want him in 32 when I free hit.... is Arnie worth the risk?

  8. JURGEN FLOPP #BOTTLEJOB
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Made my transfers for GW31, taken a hit.

    Anything worth a -8?

    Fabianski
    VanDijk - Chilwell - TAA - Ake
    Anderson - Salah - Hazard - Brooks
    Arnautovic - Wilson

    0FT 2.6m ITB

    1. TONY123
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      GTG

    2. Snevitz
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      You know it's not, you just wanted to post your team.

    3. Goodish
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Good team. Mane could kill you though.

      1. Snevitz
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 6 days ago

        So could Rice...or Luiz...or any player that you don't own who happens to score well.

  9. jomikijiq
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Pick 2 for BGWs only:

    A) Vardy
    B) Arnie
    C) Wilson

    1. TONY123
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      AC

    2. Eytexi
        3 months, 6 days ago

        That's my front three: safe is AC. B is the differential pick if you need one.

    3. jamie1972
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Pelle's comments confirm it, Arnie in for my ft but for the -4 (to get 10 playing) Jota to:

      a) Maddison
      b) Fraser
      c) Richa
      d) Other

      1. TONY123
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 6 days ago

        B

    4. Four Season Wonder
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Bottomed.
      Should I do Rashford > Arnie (for a hit)?

      (It's unlikely that I will play Arnie in GW33 v Chels) So literally 1week punt

      Just to add: (Rashy)
      - Bought him for 7.1m
      - Currently @ 7.6 (so can allow for one more drop).
      - Can sell for 7.3m (+0.2 profit)

      Thanks in advance.

      1. jamie1972
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 6 days ago

        I'm about to do it, for whatever that's worth

        (will play him in 33 too mind)

    5. Eytexi
        3 months, 6 days ago

        TC Mané this week?
        Can't use it in a DGW (FH, BB).

        1. TONY123
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 6 days ago

          If you're feeling lucky, go for it. HUD in GW36 looks tempting, too.

      • Four Season Wonder
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 6 days ago

        What's all this "TAA is a doubt" talk?

        1. Anathallo
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 6 days ago

          Fear

        2. Eytexi
            3 months, 6 days ago

            Knock last weekend and played last night so some expect him to have his rest at the weekend. Just rumour though, i think he'll be fine to start.

            1. Four Season Wonder
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              I've taken a -8 so far and only have only have 9 playing and that includes Trent!

              1. Eytexi
                  3 months, 6 days ago

                  I think Trent will be good, even if not this week he's worth keeping for the rest of the season imo. Good luck haha.

            2. Rupert The Horse
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              Just because he played the full 90.

          • altan8797
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            ake or luiz for GW31?

            1. Claudio555
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 6 days ago

              Personally I’ll go for Ake (for economical reasons) otherwise Luiz

            2. Four Season Wonder
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              Luiz by miles

          • Kane Lane
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            G2G?

            Fab
            Rob Perriera Luis
            Salah Brooks Willian Mane Ander
            Wilson (c) Vardy

            Button Rondon Doherty Bennett

            1. TONY123
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              Brave captain choice. Looks good

            2. Claudio555
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 6 days ago

              Not captaining Mane/Salah might be madness

          • dbeck
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 6 days ago

            I wish i didn't hear those Arnie comment, god i'm tempted

            1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 6 days ago

              I've missed something here, what was said please? Bought three weeks ago and he's done diddly squat for me

              1. Tired and weary
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 6 days ago

                Pellegrini: "Marko was out of the team for several reasons. First, because his mind was out when he has the option to go to China. After that he returns, then he didn't work for about one week. After that he was sick. He's ready to return to his position."

                1. Sedemuda
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 6 days ago

                  I gambled with him 3 weeks ago & have kept him.
                  These comments excite me!

            2. Rupert The Horse
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              My sentiments exactly.

              1. dbeck
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 6 days ago

                this is a differential pick opportunity I cant pass up. At home vs hudds

          • #FPLBhuna
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            Berbinhos' Forehead - sup?

            1. Fantasy Gold
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              He wanted to discuss the most optimal bench boost strategy with you.

              1. #FPLBhuna
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 6 days ago

                haha ffs, i'm getting a hard time about my bench boost antics

                silly me, opening my big trap lol

                damn kiddo, go spread some more aguero injury rumours lol

          • Anathallo
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            On a FH and weighing up between Robertson and VVD. Leaning towards the former due to open play attacking threat, but is there any chance he rests. Even if he is 95% sure to start, VVD is 99%...

            Who would be your one Liverpool defensive asset for this gameweek only?

            1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 6 days ago

              The one that goes better with egg sandwiches.

              1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 6 days ago

                (vvd) I'll let you figure out a connection :s

              2. Rupert The Horse
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 6 days ago

                Cress
                well

              3. Anathallo
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 6 days ago

                Ha. Made me laugh. Tried to squeeze through a Moreno based pun with mayonnaise but just not happening.

            2. Rupert The Horse
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              Robertson.

          • Goodish
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 6 days ago

            Which is better?

            A) Sterling and Pogba to Mane and Fraser -4 (gives me 11 starters)
            B) Sterling, Anderson and Kamara to Mane, Fraser, Arnautovic -8 (also gives me 11 but I get to keep Pogba and have Arnie instead of Anderson)

            1. TONY123
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              A - the Anderson to Arnie move isn't worth the -4. And Pogba isn't needed if you FH32.

          • boc610
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            arnie's gonna haul

          • Andrew
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            Is Fraser and Wilson overkill on a FH

            1. Rupert The Horse
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              Wasn't last week.

            2. Snevitz
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              No, they tend to assist each other.

          • TONY123
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            Would you rather have a WHU (vs HUD) or Chelsea (vs eve) triple up this GW?

            1. boc610
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              hammers.

            2. Anathallo
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              WHU for me, especially no Arnie is back.

          • Hotdogs for Tea
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            Arnie’s back 🙂

            1. Rupert The Horse
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              He did say.

          • AFC49
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            A.) Sterling > Hazard (-4)
            B.) Pogba > Fraser (-4)
            C.) Both for -8

            1. TONY123
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              FH32? If yes, then C imo

              1. AFC49
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 6 days ago

                Yes FH32

          • juho
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 6 days ago

            Finding it difficult to pick a BOU defender other than Ake without WC

            Adam Smith tweaked his hammy - unknown return date
            Clyne isn't nailed because Adam Smith can play RB, with Daniels at LB
            Cook likely to be back for GW34 so Mepham may lose his spot

            1. TONY123
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              Ake or Boruc are the only ones worth getting

          • Atimis
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            Which one sounds best?

            1. Jim to Wilson -4 (10 playing 31&33)
            2. Jim Doh to Wilson Azpi -8 (11 playing 31&33)

            Or Fraser instead of Wilson? But have Brooks already.
            FH in 32.

            1. TONY123
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              I like 2

            2. donlobatto
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 6 days ago

              1 in my opinion
              I think taking a hit for a defender, even CHE is risky tbh

              10 decent players should do you fine

          • donlobatto
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 6 days ago

            Pretty sure I will make this move, barring any news on injuries .etc:

            Jimi, Sterling > Wilson, Haz (-4)

            It will give me this team for GW31. Plan to FH32, WC34 and BB35 with TC in hand

            1.1itb
            Fab
            Robbo, TAA, Luiz, Pereira
            Salah (C), Haz, Maddison
            Higuain, Wilson (v), Barnes
            (Hamer) (Pogba, Doherty, JWP)

            What do you think? Missing a couple of hot topic names (Vardy, Mané, Fraser) - would you do anything different or take any additional hits?

            Cheers!

          • thischarmingman
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            Someone floated the idea of bench boost gw1. Like it better and better

            1. Christina.
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              yep I have seen massive BB 1 scores. Defn doing it next season

              1. Christina.
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 6 days ago

                I had 19 on the bench week 1

          • Differential (c)
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            Thats it. VvD in for a hit to get 10 players playing. Couldn't take it haha.

            Fabianski
            Robertson VanDijk *Shaw
            Salah Hazard Brook McNeil
            Higuain Vardy(c) Solanke

            Hope it pays off!

            1. JURGEN FLOPP #BOTTLEJOB
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              Nice team, hope it pays off for you

            2. TONY123
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              9 and a chance for a Solanke 1 pointer

          • JURGEN FLOPP #BOTTLEJOB
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 6 days ago

            the last 4 GW's off red arrows dropping from 14k to 84k have all been building up to this GW31. Now I have the best 11 possible im expecting a green arrow

            1. Hotdogs for Tea
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 6 days ago

              Looks more to do with your Captain selection than planning for 31?

              1. JURGEN FLOPP #BOTTLEJOB
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 6 days ago

                thats aswell