Scout Notes

Klopp explains team selection as Liverpool impress in Barca defeat

Liverpool have a mountain to climb in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final against Barcelona next Tuesday after a 3-0 defeat in the Nou Camp last night.

Before then, of course, the Reds travel to St. James’ Park to face Newcastle United and there was plenty of encouragement for owners of Liverpool assets heading into Gameweek 37 despite the scoreline.

There is much to discuss in our Scout Notes article below, including a dissection of Jurgen Klopp’s surprise team selection.

Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp explained his decision not to start Roberto Firmino (£9.4m) in last night’s match in Catalonia.

The Brazilian striker had missed Friday’s 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town with a groin injury and was only among the substitutes against Barcelona, coming on for the final 11 minutes.

Speaking ahead of kick-off, Klopp said:

Bobby wants to [play] and the medical department told me ‘yes, it’s good’ but then you have to make sure. I’m not sure if 90 minutes or whatever.

So he doesn’t have to start, that’s why we start like we start. Bobby is on the bench, that’s good news.

For the 17.5% of Fantasy Premier League managers who still own Firmino, it was perhaps the best possible outcome: the Brazil international being declared fit enough to be involved in the match-day squad but ultimately kept fresh for Saturday’s trip to Tyneside.

The hope for owners now is that any residual fear about Firmino’s groin strain will have evaporated by the time Liverpool run out at St. James’ Park – so Klopp’s pre-match press conference on Friday will be of much interest.

There was also a welcome boost for Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s (£5.7m) owners last night.

The return of Joe Gomez (£4.8m) was always seen as a threat to the England right-back’s security of starts, with the concern being that Gomez would be handed a run-out in the Premier League at the expense of the 23.3%-owned Alexander-Arnold.

Gomez was thrown into the lion’s den at Barcelona instead, however, surely meaning that Alexander-Arnold will return to the starting XI in Gameweek 37 – especially as Gomez was visibly flagging in the closing stages of Wednesday’s match.

Interviewed ahead of kick-off, Klopp said:

For Trent it’s good, he can refresh a little bit, there are important games to come. But the first thing we wanted to make was a good line-up for tonight and for a good line-up you need legs and that’s what we tried to make sure.

It was clear when Joe would be available again that there would be a game and I think today it makes absolute sense in that position.

The release of the Liverpool teamsheet raised eyebrows, with questions asked over who would deputise in Firmino’s absence given that Divock Origi (£5.0m) and Xherdan Shaqiri (£6.8m) were also among the substitutes and Daniel Sturridge (£5.6m) was not part of the 18-man squad.

That man turned out to be Georginio Wijnaldum (£5.5m), playing as a “false nine” with fairly unspectacular results.

Rotation has been commonplace in the middle of the park lately and Klopp burned through five central midfielders last night, with Wijnaldum up top, Naby Keita (£7.1m) limping off midway through the first half and substitute Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) coming on to replace his injured team-mate after 24 minutes.

The severity of Keita’s injury is yet to be determined.

Who gets the nod in the engine room on Saturday remains to be seen, with Klopp saying ahead of kick-off:

The boys are all in good shape. (But) Hendo played five games in a row, for example, and we play on Saturday and Tuesday.

Millie didn’t play for two games so it was clear we had to use him. Fabinho didn’t play for two games so it was clear we had to use him. Naby didn’t have that many games during the whole season, Gini didn’t play all the games.

That’s why midfield, where it’s really intense, is where we have to make sure we have legs there.

There were some stand-out performances among the players that did play, with Joel Matip’s (£4.9m) display much better than the scoreline suggests and Andrew Robertson (£6.8m) excelling at both ends of the pitch.

Sadio Mane (£10.2m) and Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) posed plenty of threat, too, each registering four shots – no-one on show attempted more.

While their usual accuracy in front of goal was missing last night, the fact that the premium midfield pair were presented with eight chances between them away at Barcelona was encouraging to see heading into Gameweek 37.

Salah was electric for much of the evening, if a little wasteful in possession – the Egyptian’s pass completion rate being the lowest of all 14 Liverpool players that took to the field.

FPL’s leading points-scorer forced Marc-Andre ter Stegen into a smart low save early in the second half before spurning the chance to bag what could have been a vital goal late on, smashing the woodwork from close range after Firmino’s initial effort had been cleared off the line.

Mane, too, had a glorious chance to bag an away goal, spooning over from 12 yards on 35 minutes with only ter Stegen to beat.

The assist for that chance came from Henderson, who was once again used in a more advanced role on the right of midfield.

James Milner (£5.6m) also had two presentable opportunities that were saved by the Barcelona goalkeeper as Liverpool not only shaded goalscoring chances but also possession – not something many teams can say when they visit the Nou Camp.

Reflecting on his side’s positive display, Klopp said:

I think it was the best away game in the Champions League, not only this year, last year included. Against a side like this, playing this kind of football I was completely happy. We played between the lines, we didn’t play through, we were in the box, we had really good chances and caused them a lot of problems – that’s good.

The Champions League is now like this: if you lose away it’s not a massive problem, it can happen, as long as you score a goal. That’s the problem tonight, we didn’t score that goal, so that makes our life now not easy, to be honest. But from my point of view, my boys gained a lot of respect again for the way they played, how they developed.

Asked what impressed him most about Liverpool’s performance, Klopp added:

How we defended it, how brave we were in these situations, I liked it. When we had the ball, we were not always brilliant but we were pretty much always really good. We played, we controlled the game in moments, we let them run, we had to defend, we created – not chances constantly because that’s not possible, but moments with a chance to make a proper chance of it. That’s good and that’s what you have to do, you have to create by yourself and that’s what we did.

In the end, nobody is really interested – probably only football nerds will think about it – because it was about the result and we lost 3-0. I can work really well with this game, I will use this game to show the boys what is possible. It was a brave performance that was very passionate, very lively and in a lot of moments creative and direct.

Liverpool bossed the game for periods of the second half to such an extent that Ernesto Valverde changed shape to a 4-4-2 and sacrificed Philippe Coutinho, with even Lionel Messi not as influential as he usually is.

It is difficult to subdue the Argentinean playmaker for 90 minutes, though, and while his first goal owed much to a slice of luck – Messi following in after Luis Suarez’s shot had hit the bar – his second and Barcelona’s crucial third goal, a sensational free-kick from distance, underscored his ability to turn a game in an instant.

A flat-footed Virgil van Dijk (£6.7m) could perhaps have done better for Barcelona’s first two goals but a much easier test will await the Dutchman and the Liverpool defence on Saturday evening, with Rafael Benitez’s side likely to be adopting a backs-to-the-wall, 5-4-1 approach on Tyneside.

Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson, Gomez, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Milner (Origi 85′), Fabinho, Keita (Henderson 24′), Wijnaldum (Firmino 79′), Salah, Mané.

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746 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Miniboss
      1 month, 25 days ago

      Hi fellas.

      I’m trying to protect my 20pts lead in mini-league. Our starting XI are identical, except rival has Laporte, Trippier & Docoure. I have Robbo, Doherty & Son.

      What to do?

      A) Robbo -> Laporte
      B) Duffy & Hojberg -> Laporte & fodder (-4)
      C) Save ft

      Foster
      Robbo TAA Doherty
      Mane Son Eriksen Sterling(c)
      Jimenez Kun Llorente

      Ryan Valery Duffy Hojberg
      1ft, 1.1itb

      1. Tsparkes10
          1 month, 25 days ago

          C although not sure on Llorente. Thoughts on mine? Team linked

          1. Miniboss
              1 month, 25 days ago

              Looks solid, maybe save or Kola -> Digne?

          2. KingOllie
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 25 days ago

            id sell eriksen

            1. Miniboss
                1 month, 25 days ago

                whom would you go for?

            2. Daniel - The Veteran
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 25 days ago

              Your differentials are better. Keep them

            3. pingissimus
                1 month, 25 days ago

                Save or move Erik to Pogba.

                Think there’s a fair possibility he’d make that move anyway. If you do it this week he can’t do it next week as a differential.

              • Victor6359
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 25 days ago

                A

                1. Victor6359
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 25 days ago

                  Reply fail to mini boss

              • Miniboss
                  1 month, 25 days ago

                  Big thanks to everyone

              • g40steve
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 25 days ago

                2 FT & .2 itb.

                Lloris
                Laporte - Trent - Doherty
                Salah - Sterling - Son - Jota
                Aguero - Jimenez - Wilson

                Foster - Deulofeu - Duffy - Valery

                .2 bank

                Could really do with Pogba to cover ML rivals?

                1. Tsparkes10
                    1 month, 25 days ago

                    V nice team. Maybe Lloris to DDG or Delu to someone?

                  • The 12th Man
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    1 month, 25 days ago

                    very nice, Struggling to make a change here.
                    A keeper change maybe or a Deulofeu > Redmond in preparation fro 38.

                2. The 12th Man
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 25 days ago

                  Would really like Hazard. willing to sacrifice Mane to gain a differential over a ML opponent. Is it wort a hit though?

                  Lloris
                  TAA,Doherty,Valery
                  Salah,Mane,Son,Jota
                  Aguero,Lacazette,Jimenez

                  Foster,Redmond,Yoshida,Duffy 0.3m itb 1 FT

                  1. Bat Man
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 25 days ago

                    I dont think its worth a hit

                    1. The 12th Man
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 5 Years
                      1 month, 25 days ago

                      Keep Lacazette?

                  2. g40steve
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 25 days ago

                    Could work as you already have Salah & he is looking fired up for GB?
                    One brace & you are up.

                    1. The 12th Man
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 5 Years
                      1 month, 25 days ago

                      yeh he has a 2 point lead now but has his bench boost to play.
                      Patricio,Rice,Maddison,AWB so he should have at least a 10 point lead from that if not more so still need to look for a few differentials.

                3. Bat Man
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 25 days ago

                  Leno Ryan
                  Robertson TAA Doherty Kola Valery
                  Mane Hazard Son Jota JWP
                  Auba Vardy Jim
                  2 FT
                  A. Auba Vardy to Kun Rash
                  B. Auba Vardy Son to Kun Long Sterling -4

                4. Bartowski
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 25 days ago

                  That Liverpool result has left me a little bit up in the air as to what to do.

                  How do you think they will react?

                  Is Salah to Sterling a good idea?

                  Thanks.

                  1. Bat Man
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 25 days ago

                    I expect a response. Maybe Salah to Sterling if you have somewhere else to use the cash, but id want Salah for gw38

                    1. Bartowski
                      • 8 Years
                      1 month, 25 days ago

                      hmm the thing is with gw 38 if they don't win at Newcastle it's only Wolves in that game that have anything to play for...

                5. NUFCAndrew
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 25 days ago

                  Play Brooks (TOT) or Bednarek (whu)

                  1. Bat Man
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 25 days ago

                    Brooks for me

                6. El Fenomeno R9
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 25 days ago

                  28 points behind country leader,Jimenez + Jota > Rash + Redmond -4 worth it?

                  1. Tsparkes10
                      1 month, 25 days ago

                      No chance

                    • Bat Man
                      • 1 Year
                      1 month, 25 days ago

                      No way

                    • El Fenomeno R9
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 3 Years
                      1 month, 25 days ago

                      So next week for free,hope i catch him.

                      1. Bat Man
                        • 1 Year
                        1 month, 25 days ago

                        Yes that is better

                  2. Tsparkes10
                      1 month, 25 days ago

                      Play Lucas or take a - 4 to get Rash or Zaha

                      1. Bat Man
                        • 1 Year
                        1 month, 25 days ago

                        I would play him

                      2. semiconductor
                        • 4 Years
                        1 month, 25 days ago

                        I would play him and save the FT as I mentioned on my post

                        1. Tsparkes10
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            Cheers mate

                      3. Hargo
                        • 3 Years
                        1 month, 25 days ago

                        Foster Ryan
                        Robertson Doherty Valery Duffy Cathcart
                        Sterling Son Mané Eriksen Höjbjerg
                        Aguero Jimenez Wilson

                        2 FT 0 ITB

                        Any suggestions?

                        1. Bat Man
                          • 1 Year
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          Get rid of Duffy

                        2. pingissimus
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            Duffy to Kelly and upgrade Hojberg to Redmond for 38?

                            1. Hargo
                              • 3 Years
                              1 month, 25 days ago

                              0.2 short.

                        3. 2hotty
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          Ryan/Foster
                          Robbo Doherty Duffy Valery Laporte
                          Mane Son Eriksen Jotta Sterling
                          Aguero Llorente Jimi

                          Got 2 ft thoughts
                          1-eriksen and duffy to siggy and trent
                          2-eriksen to pogba roll transfer
                          3-eriksen to siggy roll transfer
                          4-eriksen llorente and duffy to vvd rashford(if fit) and holberg -4

                          1. Bat Man
                            • 1 Year
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            I like 2 or 3

                          2. Victor6359
                            • 1 Year
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            2

                        4. OneDennisBergkamp
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 3 Years
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          Feel like I need to say this again..

                          Lots going for Leno but Arsenals last home game of the season may see Petr Cech get a send off. Also gives Emery an excuse to move Leno to his Europa League XI.

                          1. LSP FC
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 3 Years
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            The match tonight (at the Emirates) might inform this tho.

                            See how Cech behaves at the end.

                        5. Captain Warlock
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          Kdb to ?? For last 2 games
                          A) Mané
                          B) Pogba
                          Already have Salah, Sterling

                          1. Bat Man
                            • 1 Year
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            Mane safe pick Pogba if you want to go for it both good imo

                          2. Victor6359
                            • 1 Year
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            A

                          3. Captain Warlock
                            • 2 Years
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            Cheers prob go Mané

                        6. Daghe Munegu
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          Any idea what I could do here with 2ft and 0 itb?

                          Lloris
                          TAA Doherty Valery
                          Salah Sterling Son Moura Jwp
                          Kun Jimenez

                          Foster Gray Duffy Dunk

                          1. Daniel - The Veteran
                            • 10 Years
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            Loris Gray or Duffy out

                        7. Daniel - The Veteran
                          • 10 Years
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          I don't get it. Why people are selling Salah?

                          1. Daniel - The Veteran
                            • 10 Years
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            Especially that he is great triple captain option in gw 38

                            1. El Fenomeno R9
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 3 Years
                              1 month, 25 days ago

                              Not many TC left

                              1. Daniel - The Veteran
                                • 10 Years
                                1 month, 25 days ago

                                But everyone seems like selling. Of not TC than a C surely

                                1. Daniel - The Veteran
                                  • 10 Years
                                  1 month, 25 days ago

                                  *if

                            2. fr3ddy
                              • 1 Year
                              1 month, 25 days ago

                              Serious FPL managers played their TC last week

                          2. drughi
                            • 9 Years
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            Cant believe I'm considering it but Barca tie yesterday 2 days rest and Newcastle away. Sterling is what tempts me as I don't have him.

                          3. donlobatto
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 1 Year
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            Stress of the end of season battles getting to their brains?

                        8. SammoUK111
                          • 6 Years
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          Eriksen to (I have Son):
                          A Pogba
                          B Bilva
                          C Save

                          1. 2hotty
                            • 2 Years
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            A

                          2. Daniel - The Veteran
                            • 10 Years
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            I am considering Martial or Siggy

                        9. donlobatto
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          Throwing this out there again. Which wins out?

                          A) Haz, Rashford
                          B) Sterling, Wilson
                          C) Son, Firmino +4pts

                          The hit doesn't really bother me because at the end of the day if the move works then 4pts shouldn't make a huge difference in OR terms.
                          If I do A then I will move armband to Haz.

                          Lloris
                          Robbo, Laporte, Doherty
                          Salah, XXXX, Jota, Mili
                          Kun (C), Jimi, XXXX
                          (Foster) (JWP, Valery, Yoshida)

                          Cheers!

                          1. LSP FC
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 3 Years
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            I've considered A but for me it means selling Firmino/Martial and don't know how comfortable I am losing one ManU player to bring in another. esp now that Lukaku may really be out which maybe means Martial starting...

                            (Also I think I'd rather have Zaha than Rashford)

                          2. Victor6359
                            • 1 Year
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            B

                        10. Bat Man
                          • 1 Year
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          Appreciate any input on my question above thanks

                        11. Champions united
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          1ft 1.2ITB
                          1.Keep or sell son
                          2.Play valery or quaner to long

                        12. themachine
                          • 7 Years
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          Looking for a strong finish in my mini league, currently 4th, 28 behind leader. I am the only one with TC left. Teams are very similar, everyone owns Sterling and Aguero, so my move would be Laca + Son --> Rash + Haz (-4). Hazard TC against Watford could be the ultimate differential right? Just need him to stay fit tonight + confirmation about Rashford from OGS. Any better options?

                          1. El Fenomeno R9
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 3 Years
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            Maybe Rash TC GW38 if Cardiff dont win this GW.

                        13. yanky
                          • 9 Years
                          1 month, 25 days ago

                          Salah > Hazard/Sterling worth a hit? Dont have any city or chelsea players but I have Mane...

                        14. PortoGuy
                            1 month, 25 days ago

                            Hey guys,

                            1st comment, 1st fpl season, unfortunately not 1st place in my ML... You guys have been great help improving ML pos. Cheers

                            Current status:
                            0.8 ITB 0FT

                            Foster
                            TAA Laporte Robbo
                            Mane Erik Son Jota
                            Rash Jimenez Kun

                            Ryan Valery Bednarek Camarasa

                            For a hit, which move?
                            1.Rash to Zaha
                            2.Eriksen to Pogba
                            3. Eriksen to Bilva

                            1. Debauchy
                              • 6 Years
                              1 month, 25 days ago

                              Welcome Porto, 2, gl

                              1. PortoGuy
                                  1 month, 25 days ago

                                  Thanks mate

                            2. manu4life99
                              • 9 Years
                              1 month, 25 days ago

                              Start Foster(che) or Lloris(bou)?