Scout Notes

Salah does enough to keep himself in Wildcard thoughts

Mohamed Salah (£13.2m) ensured he would still be in the conversation for Wildcard squads between now and the end of the season by scoring on Friday night.

The Egyptian got his first Premier League goal since Gameweek 26 in Liverpool’s 3-1 win at Southampton to slightly ease the pressure on managers to offload him at the first opportunity.

Whether his overall performance at St Mary’s was good enough to warrant continued spending of £13.2m is the main focus of this Scout Notes article.

Southampton 1-3 Liverpool

Goals: Shane Long (£4.6m) | Naby Keita (£7.1m), Mohamed Salah (£13.2m), Jordan Henderson (£5.3m)

Assists: Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (£4.4m) | Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.5m), Henderson, Roberto Firmino (£9.3m)

It was a hard-working if not spectacular performance from Salah in Liverpool’s much-needed win on Friday night. The Egyptian was persistent in his harrying approach but did not necessarily set the world on fire with a trademark attacking display.

For large spells, it was the same Salah we have seen in recent weeks, unsure of himself, prone to too many extra touches in key areas. A classic example of that was in the first half when he was released into space down the right-hand side of the box but invited pressure from the defenders as he took a heavy touch that needed correcting. In the end, Salah was able to recover and his cross into the turn inside the six-yard box nearly led to a Sadio Mané (£10.1m) goal, Angus Gunn (£4.3m) making a save, but it was an all too familiar situation for the Egyptian. Having been put through for a goal-scoring opportunity, his indecision led him to try and offload to someone else, who also couldn’t score.

In the game, three players registered more shots than Salah, including Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (£4.4m), and two, including Mané and Roberto Firmino (£9.3m), had more in the box than him too. The Brazilian and James Ward-Prowse (£5.1m) also created more chances than Salah. Furthermore, Both Firmino and Mané were ahead of their esteemed colleague for expected goal involvement (xGI).

However, the relief Salah showed when he finally found the back of the net could give him a lease of life for the rest of the campaign. The goal he scored was the textbook Salah we have come to know as Fantasy managers; a blistering counter-attack led by the Egyptian culminating in a cool finish into the bottom corner amid pressure from covering defenders.

You could tell from his passionate celebration, in which he took off his shirt and received a yellow card for, and from his post-match interviews that scoring in this important win was a huge weight off his back. There is now every chance he returns to the form we know from him, with matches against Chelsea (home), Cardiff (away), Huddersfield (home), Newcastle (away) and Wolves (home) coming up.

“I think that’s goal number 50 in the Premier League for Liverpool, that’s special. So, after nine games I’m very happy and proud to score the goal and help the team. That’s the most important thing for us. I scored my first goal in nine games, (Henderson) scored his first goal in 20 games!” – Mohamed Salah

“Not at all (when asked if he thought about passing instead of shooting)! As a striker you need to score, I’m always thinking about scoring. I took the decision to take a shot and in the end, it’s a goal so I’m happy about it.” – Mohamed Salah

“It was never in doubt Salah is a great player. It’s 50 in PL for Liverpool, incredible. It’s a nice moment, his first goal after a while.” – Jurgen Klopp

The fact that Mané blanked for the second match in a row, and for the third time in his last four away Premier League matches will have already characterised Blank Gameweek 33 for some managers. Earning 299,854 managers for this depleted round of fixtures, the Senegalese international was the most popular in the transfer market. Furthermore, he finished in a close third in our latest captain poll, just 60 votes behind Salah on 22.2% backing. While Salah looks set to remain in the conversation for Wildcard squads, this Southampton game may remove Mané from it. He came into the match with inferior raw underlying statistics compared to his Egyptian colleague and with two blanks in a row, the unforgiving masses may decide to move on from him.

It is worth noting the importance of Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) and James Milner (£5.6m) to Liverpool as they continue their valiant efforts to win a first-ever Premier League title. The pair were left on the bench for the start of this one, with Fabinho (£5.5m) and Naby Keita (£7.1m) preferred in central midfield.

Without them on the field in the first half, Southampton really took the game to Liverpool and caused them a number of problems going forward. Højbjerg once again demonstrated his credentials as a great fifth midfielder with his advanced runs from central midfield earning him an assist for Shane Long‘s (£4.6m) goal to open proceedings.

That ensured there would be no clean sheet for Liverpool’s defensive options. Andrew Robertson (£6.8m) owners were the ones stung the most as he received a yellow card in the second half resulting in a one-point score, while Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.5m) got the assist for Keita’s equaliser.

“The boys were really happy for Naby in the dressing room, he had multiple hugs. He had two difficult situations early on but then he was in the game and that helped him for sure.” – Jurgen Klopp

Those in possession of the Englishman still had some cause for concern though as it was him who made way for Milner in the second half, while Henderson took to the pitch for Keita. It was their introduction changed the game.

“We needed to be more lively again. It was clear we had these two options. They were aggressive in their play and were verbally aggressive. They woke the boys up. They were in control of our direction and inspired passes in behind and crosses into the box.” – Jurgen Klopp

It was Henderson whose smart header in clearance of a corner that set Salah on his way to score what proved to be the decisive goal. In the closing stages, his hugely impressive darting run from midfield as Firmino laid on a cut-back led to a finish any poacher would have been proud of.

Henderson was generally deployed in a more advanced position which might be worth noting as Liverpool continue to have to dig deep to get results. Whether it’s something Klopp is keen on repeating remains to be seen but if the midfield man does find himself playing further forward then he could prove a nice budget differential in the closing stages of the season. In the end, he was the joint-highest scorer on Friday night with 10 points.

“We spoke about Hendo (playing more forward) but we have other players in that position. How we did it today was fantastic, scoring a goal.” – Jurgen Klopp

As already mentioned, Southampton certainly gave a good account of themselves, as they have often done especially at home against the top-six sides since Ralph Hasenhüttl took over. Their upcoming fixtures do encourage some interest in their assets as they host Wolves in Double Gameweek 34, before travelling to Newcastle and Watford in Double Gameweek 35. After that, poor travellers Bournemouth come to St Mary’s in Gameweek 36.

While it was Long who got Southampton’s goal and put in a tireless shift as their centre-forward for the first hour, it is likely that Danny Ings (£5.4m) will be back in that role for their next match. The former Burnley man was ineligible to face Liverpool on Friday night as he is currently on loan to Southampton from Anfield.

As already mentioned, Højbjerg looks a decent fifth midfielder still as he had more shots than any other Saints player in Blank Gameweek 33’s opening match.

Southampton caused problems for Liverpool from set pieces which could bode well for Jannik Vestergaard (£4.6m) and Ward-Prowse. No Saints player had more efforts inside the opposition box as the Danish centre-back, while the English central midfielder was the top creator.

Jan Valery (£4.1m) continues to look decent value in defence. Although he did not offer any returns in this particular match, he was joint-third out of his colleagues for passes completed in the final third, suggesting the assist potential he carries.

Southampton XI (3-4-2-1): Gunn; Vestergaard (Austin 83′), Yoshida, Bednarek; Bertrand, Højbjerg, Romeu (Armstrong 83′), Valery; Redmond, Ward-Prowse; Long (Sims 62′).

Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson, van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold (Milner 59′); Keita (Lovren 88′), Fabinho, Wijnaldum (Henderson 59′); Mané, Firmino, Salah.

486 Comments Post a Comment
  1. RED_ARMY
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 13 days ago

    a) Son
    b) Eriksen

    1. Ajax Hamsterdam
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      Eriksen more nailed imo

    2. Van der Faart
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      B for minutes safety. A for more explosive nature.

    3. Winston.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      A

  2. liverpool01
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 13 days ago

    Any1 using their wildcard 2mrw? Seems like Aguero is gonna drop

    1. Flapjack ✅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      Already activated

  3. Shah G
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 13 days ago

    Hi guys.. So I got 137 (-12) in GW32 with GW rank of 1401.. Is it before or after points deduction?.. Thanx..

    1. Fantasy Gold
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      cool story bro

      1. Shah G
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 13 days ago

        ???..

    2. Flynniesta
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Should’ve played a back five 🙂

      1. Shah G
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        Yeah in hindsight..

  4. Eytexi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 months, 13 days ago

    No wildcard left - how does this look?

    Hazard > Deulofeu.
    Arnautovic > Kane.

    Ryan.
    TAA/Jonny/Clyne/Robertson/Chilwell.
    Sterling, Mané, Pogba, Barnes.
    Kane (C), Vardy, Wilson.

    Which 3 defenders would you play?
    Cheers 🙂

    1. liverpool01
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 13 days ago

      Clyne,Jonny,Chiwell

      1. Eytexi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        4 months, 13 days ago

        Because you think they'll keep clean sheets or because you don't back Liverpool.

        1. liverpool01
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 13 days ago

          I'm A Liverpool fan they're just more likely to get a clean sheet, easier opposition compared to Chelsea.

          1. liverpool01
            • 1 Year
            4 months, 13 days ago

            Last 4 games Liverpool have not kept a clean sheet, defense is not on form

            1. Eytexi
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              4 months, 13 days ago

              Fair point - if i wanted to balance the risk and go with one of the Liverpool defenders, would you go for Clyne or Jonny as the other?

              1. liverpool01
                • 1 Year
                4 months, 13 days ago

                Thats a tough choice to make I'll go for Clyne

    2. DR0GBA
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      How's your DGW35 team looking?

      I'm considering a -12 for this:

      Ryan - Foster
      TAA - Valery - Luiz - Robbo - Jonny
      Fraser - Sterling - Mane - Deulofeu - Jota
      Laca - Kane - Jiminez

      1. Eytexi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        4 months, 12 days ago

        I'm considering a -8 for:
        Ryan, Boruc.
        TAA, Robbo, Clyne, Jonny, Holebas.
        Sterling, Mané, Deu, Jota, Barnes.
        Kane, Aguero, Wilson.

        Yours does look better tbh, might forget Aguero, get Jiminez, ditch Jota and rethink.

        1. DR0GBA
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          unsure on getting Laca atm due to rotation potential, so Laca could be Deeney or Aguero. If I get Deeney it allows me to upgrade Deulofeu to Son

          1. Eytexi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            4 months, 12 days ago

            That rotation risk has put me off Arsenal assets for now, but unsure on Aguero looking at what i could do with the money.

            1. DR0GBA
              • 2 Years
              4 months, 12 days ago

              Could always go with Laca and Auba as they are basically guaranteed to get points if Arsenal score.. only means you probably have to sacrifice Kane

              1. Eytexi
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                4 months, 12 days ago

                Fancy Kane for gw34 armband so not really an option either. think i want Aguero but stops me getting jiminez - tough one.

  5. bigbudgie
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 13 days ago

    Everyone ditching Man Utd players seems odd to me

    WHU eve MCI CHE hud CAR

    Only one of those looks scary to me - Cardiff will want to go out with a bang

    1. Keeptrying
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      No form whatsoever!

      1. bigbudgie
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 13 days ago

        bit of an exaggeration

    2. The 5% Team
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 13 days ago

      have you see them play the last matches?

      1. bigbudgie
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 13 days ago

        yes thanks

  6. RedWolf
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 13 days ago

    So I've got a bit of spare cash for my WC team...

    Which would you do?

    Son to Erikssen
    Valery to Doherty
    Ryan to Loris/Leno (in time for gw35)

    1. liverpool01
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 13 days ago

      Valery to Doherty

    2. Ajax Hamsterdam
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      Son to eriksen

  7. Wolves Ay We
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 13 days ago

    Who would you pick?

    A) Trippier
    B) Kolasinac

    1. tsintisin
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 13 days ago

      Both

    2. Chucky
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      both

  8. Tingate
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 13 days ago

    First WC draft:

    Ryan - Leno
    Kolasinac - Laporte - Trippier - Duffy - Bednarek
    Doucouré - Eriksen - Son - JWP - Sterling
    Lacazette - Aguero - Jiménez

    Thoughts?

    1. Chucky
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      I would get Kane

    2. Freddiebell
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      No kane will hurt you imo

  9. Chucky
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 13 days ago

    got 40+ points from my def in DGWs 25 and 32 so going with a strong back line this time around... 😀

    For BB 35
    Leno
    Laporte Trippier Kolasinac TAA Azpili
    Sterling Son
    Kane Deeney Jimmy

    Foster Pogba Jota JWP

    looks ok?

    1. Ole Trafford
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      It looks great!

      1. Chucky
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 13 days ago

        cheers. trying something different 😀

    2. Amey
        4 months, 13 days ago

        Yes chucky.
        I'm doing same.
        Like the team

        1. Chucky
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 13 days ago

          thanks Amy... gl 😀

    3. ZLATAN'S PONYTAIL
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 13 days ago

      Any word on whether Vardy will play today?

      1. ZLATAN'S PONYTAIL
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 13 days ago

        Read that he wasn't around at training for a couple of days

      2. Ole Trafford
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 13 days ago

        I hope so I have him C and Mane VC

        1. Fantasy Gold
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 13 days ago

          He’ll play

      3. Amey
          4 months, 13 days ago

          Yes
          Twitter itk said that he's fine

          1. liverpool01
            • 1 Year
            4 months, 13 days ago

            Nice, hoping for a brace got him as captain! Lol

            1. Amey
                4 months, 13 days ago

                Amen

            2. ZLATAN'S PONYTAIL
              • 4 Years
              4 months, 12 days ago

              ML rival has him as cap and Mane as VC. I hope he does not but that's not in most people's interest 🙂

        • LIARS POKER
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 13 days ago

          Which pair on WC

          A) Doucoure + Lacazette
          B) Eriksen + Deeney (already have Son and Kane so would be 3x spurs)

          1. kalmoffit
            • 5 Years
            4 months, 13 days ago

            A

        • Tempestic
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 13 days ago

          Pick 2 on WC:
          A) Trippier
          B) Robbo
          C) Laporte

          Leaning towards Trippier and Robbo rn

        • HollywoodXI
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 13 days ago

          RMWCT:

          Foster Ryan
          Trippier Kolasinac Doherty Duffy Valery
          Sterling Bilva Son Doucoure Jota
          Kane Lukaku Jiminez

          1. DR0GBA
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 13 days ago

            Laca > Lukaku

            1. HollywoodXI
              • 5 Years
              4 months, 13 days ago

              Worried about Emery rotating Auba and Laca.

        • Van der Faart
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 13 days ago

          If Foster and Ryan don't get a clean sheet between them in the DGW for bench boost there's going to be a meltdown.

          1. Chucky
            • 5 Years
            4 months, 13 days ago

            Ryan won't get any cs in 35.. might get lucky and get one against cardiff in 34..

        • HD7
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 13 days ago

          How is your WC defence shaping up?

          1. Van der Faart
            • 7 Years
            4 months, 13 days ago

            1x Brighton
            1x Liverpool
            1x City
            1x Wolves
            1x Spurs/Watford

            1. Van der Faart
              • 7 Years
              4 months, 13 days ago

              Can probably throw a Saints player into the mix

          2. Chucky
            • 5 Years
            4 months, 13 days ago

            Cityx1
            Poolx1
            Arsx2
            Spursx1
            Watx1

            1. Van der Faart
              • 7 Years
              4 months, 13 days ago

              2 Arsenal is brave with their away form

          3. Hernandez Lynam
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            4 months, 12 days ago

            1 each from City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Wolves, Brighton & Southampton.

        • amit1964
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          who do you think going to score more points in gw34:

          a) 3 playrs from tot
          b) 3 playrs from brighton

          thank you

          1. Chucky
            • 5 Years
            4 months, 12 days ago

            A 🙄

          2. Freddiebell
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 12 days ago

            A by quite a way

        • ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          Would you choose Lacazette or Eriksen?
          Eriksen would mean triple Spurs attack..

        • Freddiebell
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          WC gw34 team. Anything that's obviously a mistake?
          Ryan/
          Trippier/ Duffy/ kola/
          Sterling/ Mane/ WPJ/ Son/ Camarosa/
          Aguero/ Kane/
          Subs Gunn/ Jiminez/ Bennett/

          1. Freddiebell
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 12 days ago

            Sorry also bednarek in the bench also

        • ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          How is this WC? (triple Spurs attack)
          Ryan(Foster)
          Dunk TAA Jonny (Kola)(Valery)
          Son Mane Erisken Sterling (JWP)
          Kane Jimenez Deeney

          1. ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 12 days ago

            Can shift Eriksen and Deeney to Laca and Deulofeu

          2. Brendan95
            • 4 Years
            4 months, 12 days ago

            risky but could pay off massively - I'd be worried that one of their DGW games is away at City though

          3. KINGS
              4 months, 12 days ago

              I all out on tripling Spurs

          4. juho
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 12 days ago

            Is Luiz -> Duffy for a -4 worth it over the next couple of gameweeks?

          5. Pedropony
              4 months, 10 days ago

              My team going into final stretch.

              Guaita
              Laporte TAA VVD AWB Bedbarek
              Hazard Son Sterling gibsW hojiberg
              Kane jim rash
              3rd in my league no chips left other two have wild card and bench boost. Woyld u give me a chance??