Scout Notes

What we learned about Liverpool and City assets in the Community Shield

Liverpool and Manchester City wrapped up their pre-seasons on Sunday afternoon in the Community Shield.

The game always looked like being a decent signpost as to how last season’s top two might line up in Gameweek 1 and there was plenty to discuss from the game at Wembley.

Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City (4-5 Penalties)

  • Goals: Joel Matip (£5.5m) | Raheem Sterling (£12.0m)
  • Assists: Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) | David Silva (£7.5m)

Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) and Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) appear primed to feature against Norwich City in Gameweek 1 after starting in yesterday’s Community Shield.

Salah completed the full game as Firmino got a 79-minute run-out up front, with the Egyptian in particular catching the eye on the right flank.

There were at least five instances when Salah could have scored against last season’s title winners.

The Egypt international first scuffed a Firmino pass wide when well positioned inside City’s box before clipping the outside of Claudio Bravo‘s (£5.0m) post from a tight angle.

Salah struck the woodwork again after the break with a low shot before having another attempt smothered by Bravo and seeing a header hacked off the line by Kyle Walker (£6.0m) in the dying stages.

Salah had ten shots in total: more than Manchester City managed overall.

While his radar may have been slightly off it was notable just how sharp Salah was on his first 90-minute appearance for the Reds this summer.

Firmino impressed too with his link-up play and pressing but, as has been the case for some time now, simply doesn’t get the volume of chances that the two players either side of him are presented with – the Brazilian striker had one attempt on goal all afternoon, forcing a save out of Bravo early on.

Sadio Mane (£11.5m) returns to the first-team set-up this week but it will be a big ask for the Senegalese winger to be ready to start against Norwich on Friday evening with less than a week’s training under his belt.

Asked about Mane last week, Klopp said:

Let’s have a look at him. How we all know, Sadio had 16 days off – he will be in a good shape. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t eat too much.

He had a training programme, maybe after ten days probably he started with a little bit of running, so I think he will be fine. But we have to see.

Georginio Wijnaldum (£5.5m) had deputised for Mane in a couple of pre-season games as Klopp experimented with a 4-1-4-1 but Divock Origi (£5.5m) was the man preferred alongside Salah and Firmino in the Community Shield.

The Belgian striker has more pre-season minutes to his name than any other Liverpool outfield player bar Fabinho (£5.5m) and none of his teammates have scored on more occasions.

As was the case against Napoli, though, Origi underscored the fact that he is very much at a level below Liverpool’s first-choice front three and particularly unconvincing on the left flank.

Wijnaldum, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson (£5.5m) made up Liverpool’s central midfield three, with James Milner (£5.5m) not risked because of a muscle problem.

When asked if he thought the veteran midfielder would be fit to face Norwich on Friday, Klopp said:

I would say yes. It was a minor muscle injury. I would say he can probably train tomorrow, although I am not 100 per cent sure.

For today it did not work out, but I think by at least Tuesday he can train.

For a team that kept more clean sheets and conceded fewer goals than any other Premier League side last season, Liverpool again failed to really convince at the back.

The Reds’ first-choice back four had shipped five goals in games against Sporting and Napoli and they were breached after just 12 minutes at Wembley when Raheem Sterling (£12.5m) finished off a City set-piece to put Pep Guardiola’s side in front.

There is no questioning Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s (£7.0m) attacking credentials – he was again on dead-ball duties at Wembley – but the Liverpool right-back is occasionally exposed against top-class opposition (as was the case against Napoli) and he again looked vulnerable on Sunday, eventually being withdrawn in the second half.

Joe Gomez (£5.5m) started the match at centre-back before switching over to right-back following Alexander-Arnold’s substitution, with the latter’s replacement, Joel Matip (£5.5m), scoring Liverpool’s equaliser.

Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m), the most-owned defender in FPL, claimed the assist for Matip’s goal and further highlighted his own undoubted threat from corners and free-kicks when shooting against the underside of the crossbar in the second half.

Reflecting on the game, Klopp said:

I’m completely happy about the full performance. I said before the game, if you want to be prepared for Man City you have to make a pre-season game against Man City; no team plays like them. You saw that in a few moments in the first half, when they can do what they do. We struggled a little bit positioning-wise but that’s normal. The biggest threat was pretty much the long balls from Bravo in behind, where our last line was not a line. The first two balls, I think. The third ball was dangerous as well with Sane then on the other side. That makes it difficult but that’s how they stretched our formation and then when you expect these balls, they play it in between, in the half-spaces, that’s pretty tricky. We could have had a bit better positioning, we changed that for the second half, which helped us a lot.

The second half is about will and all that stuff. That’s another thing in pre-season: you fill your body with all this physical information but you are not used to it after four or five weeks that you really can go over that point. We went over that point today, then nobody felt tired anymore and they could really go. I liked that a lot.

Football-wise, the second half was just really, really good, the best way you can play against City. They are in the early stages as well, they will be in a different shape in a couple of weeks, for sure. But having this amount of chances we had today is a very good sign for us, absolutely. I liked the game a lot. I don’t like the result but I liked the game a lot, so for us it was very, very important.

As Klopp alluded to there, the match was very much a game of two halves.

City were largely on the back foot in the second half and had only one attempt on goal in the final 40 minutes.

Before that, though, they were again the better side and Kevin De Bruyne (£9.5m) looked classy in the centre of midfield in the first half.

One shot and no key passes perhaps highlights one of the drawbacks with De Bruyne as a Fantasy asset, with his deeper role partly an issue: the Belgian ‘assisted the assister’ for Sterling’s goal to underscore that point.

Those stats weren’t a fair reflection of De Bruyne’s early influence on the game, however, and his role at set plays and ability to drive from midfield is a tantalising prospect.

De Bruyne’s fitness issues of 2018/19 is another black mark next to his name and there were concerns when the Belgian hit the turf late in the match, although cramp was widely reported as the issue and there doesn’t appear to be any serious concerns.

Leroy Sane (£9.5m) is more of a worry, however.

The German winger limped from the field early in the game with what appeared to be a knee injury and Guardiola provided an update after full-time:

The first impression was not good. But I think not bad I don’t know as I have not spoken to the doctor. I will wait but I think he will be okay.

Aymeric Laporte (£6.5m) missed out for the champions, meanwhile, having reportedly picked up a knock last week.

While Salah and Firmino look primed to start in Gameweek 1, the chances of Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) featuring in Pep Guardiola’s line-up at West Ham appear slimmer.

The Argentinean striker, who returned to training last week, didn’t even make it off the bench as Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) was brought on to replace the stricken Sane.

Sterling had begun the match as City’s central striker but moved over to the left flank following the Brazilian’s introduction, with Bernardo Silva (£8.0m) – carrying on where he left off last season and producing a fine performance without looking like he could rack up serious points in FPL – stationed on the right.

Regardless of his position, Sterling was still City’s main goal threat.

The former Liverpool winger got on the end of David Silva‘s (£7.5m) flick to open the scoring and later had two gilt-edged opportunities to add to his tally, hitting the post just after the break and then running straight into Alisson (£6.0m) when clean through on goal on the hour.

Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m) wasn’t involved, meanwhile, with Guardiola providing the following update after the game:

Riyad called me straight after being champion and say he wants to be back against Liverpool. And I said he was more than welcome

But Riyad took some medicine but we don’t know what was in what he took and therefore doping control today was a risk because the doctors did not know what was in the medicine. So that’s why he did not play today.

A guy who rested less but could have played some minutes but we could not take a risk because the doctors didn’t have the medicines or exactly what happened and we did not want to risk it.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m) got the nod at left-back and looks to have the edge in that position for Gameweek 1, although was given a torrid time by Salah and didn’t look comfortable.

With Laporte out and Vincent Kompany having departed, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi (both £5.5m) were the default options at centre-half and looked vulnerable – encouragement perhaps for those considering West Ham’s in-form attacking assets this weekend.

Liverpool XI (4-3-3) Alisson; Alexander-Arnold (Matip 67′), Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson (Lallana 79′), Fabinho (Keita 67′), Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino (Shaqiri 79′), Origi (Oxlade-Chamberlain 79′).

Manchester City XI (4-3-3) Bravo; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko; De Bruyne (Foden 89′), Rodri, Silva (Gundogan 61′); Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Sane (Gabriel Jesus 13′).

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1,725 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KAR
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    Thoughts?

    ryan (button)
    digne, vvd, kwp, walker (lundstram)
    salah, kdb, fraser, perez (hayden)
    aubameyang, wilson (nketiah)

    GK - i think that pair is solid, been there since my first draft

    DEF - prettt happy with it, ofc would love to havee trent/robbo instead of walker/kwp but there is no money.

    MID - worried about not having sterling but kdb have looked pretty good so i hope this pays out. Not sure about perez, but hoping for the best. I can easily go to kdb - >son, fraser - > martial if needed.

    ATT - debating with myself about auba/kane. But still think auba will be better option for first few gameweeks and ofc i can easily swap.

    BENCH - not much what i can say about that.

    1. Howgegoals
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      looks decent, only thing to add with auba kane debate, I can see Kanes ownership going skyhigh if he has a good opening game which may force you into a change early on. cant see that happening with Auba

      1. Giggs-Tosun Particle
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 12 days ago

        Spurs have City away GW2, unlikely ownership surge material

    2. Giggs-Tosun Particle
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      Auba will have to smash e.g. Wilson's returns in order to make it worth having auba+kwp+walker rather than a combo like Wilson+Trent+Robbo, don't you think? Same combined price I think

      1. KAR
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 12 days ago

        but is that such a template team if i go with robbo, trent, digne and 5.5 def(zinch/awb/maguire etc). then i could have wilson + vardy in forward if i transfer auba out.

        1. Giggs-Tosun Particle
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 12 days ago

          Vardy could be essential this season but those first 8 fixtures put me off doubling down on Leicester until GW9. Also not keen on double Bournemouth for the same reason. Their fixtures are harder than they look.

          1. KAR
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 12 days ago

            i think so too, maybe you are right about doubling on leicester/bournemouth. but who are your picks in those spots so you dont double up?

            1. Giggs-Tosun Particle
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 12 days ago

              Currently on a no-premium-striker strategy (all 6.5). Not too afraid as there are plenty of replacements at that price point and it allows for Salah and Sterling, Digne at the back, 2x4.5m keepers on rotation and 1.5m in change that I'm not sure what to do with yet:

              Heaton (Pope)
              TAA, Robbo, Walker, Digne (4.0)
              Salah, Sterling(c), Perez (Dendo, other 4.5)
              Jota, King, Deeney

              May upgrade the 4.0 defender to Guilbert for a strong bench but want to wait and see if he's a sure starter.

    3. Foogle
      1 month, 12 days ago

      Could Lacazette not be a better option that Aubameyang as he looks to be the main number 9 and is 1.5m cheaper? Also how sure are you of KWP starts as I've also been eyeing him up.

      1. KAR
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 12 days ago

        i am pretty sure that kwp starts, cuz spurs dont have any right backs who are fit atm. foyth is out and aurier also i think.

        laca could be option but i really dont how the rotation hits when pepe is also fit. i would love to see auba + laca + pepe at top but i dont see it happening. auba is only one nailed in arsenals attack imo.

  2. zaidinho
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 13 days ago

    What do you think is the best Liverpool defence pair to consider?
    A) Robertson + TAA
    B) Robertson + Van Dijk
    C) Van Dijk + TAA

    1. Howgegoals
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      probably which ever one I don't pick... personally I think its too close to call, go with your gut

    2. Giggs-Tosun Particle
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      It really is a coin toss. Currently on A

  3. 1justlookin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    Looking at rotating 2 x 4.5 defenders at the back to accommodate KDB, are there any decent options?

    1. Giggs-Tosun Particle
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      Burnley+Villa

  4. Howgegoals
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    first RMT of the season!

    Risky bench I know but is it worth it seeing as the others "should" start?

    Ryan (Button)
    Cathcart, van Dijk, TAA (Kelly, Lundstram)
    Salah, Sterling, Perez, Bernardo Silva, Dendonker
    King, Kane, (Greenwood)

    1. Giggs-Tosun Particle
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      Don't start Dendo, and yes the bench is weak but at least they won't be zeroes. Cathcart must be a short term choice but do you really expect a combo like Kane+Cathcart+Dendo to outperform something like King+Digne+Maddo? Captaining Kane or what?

    2. Giggs-Tosun Particle
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      On second thoughts, I'd really suggest more balance and upgraded defenders, not 2x4.0m. TAA might get benched, Bernardo could drop deep. You might end up with only 7 players likely to return, which is a dangerous investment as you'd need at least 4 of them to score 10+ points for it to be an ok week.

  5. avolaris
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Hello, just looking for some advice and opinions on my squad.

    Alisson
    TAA, Wan-Bissaka, Zinchenko, Walker-Peters
    Salah, Bernardo Silva, Lucas Moura, Zaha
    Aubameyang, Wilson

    Subs
    Button, Kelly, Hayden, Greenwood

    1. Studini
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 12 days ago

      I worry about Zaha in such a poor Palace team, as well as Zinc and KWP being rotated. Love Auba, who looked hungry in pre-season though, and Wilson is always a win.

    2. KAR
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      defense look kind of risk with zinch + kwp and also awb with hard fixture. love also auba + wilson in attack. maybe lucas moura to fraser?

  6. czechow
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Would Greenwood (20% ownership) be more at risk of a price fall than Wickham (4%) if he is 5 times more owned?

    1. Studini
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 12 days ago

      Yeah, I agree. I've gone for Wickham myself.

      1. czechow
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 12 days ago

        But i am not sure how pricing works. Is it a flat line for all players based on net transfers, or do higher owned players need more outgoing transfers to drop? If its the latter, it might be better to go with Greenwood as most won't be transferring out their 4.5. bench fodder until Wildcard.

        1. Studini
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 12 days ago

          I'm with you - I'm not 100% sure. But since neither is likely to step in and play, I'm hedging my bets.

    2. drilsby
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 12 days ago

      Greenwood is a trap.

  7. Studini
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Okay, so dropped Auba and my defense now looks much better.

    Ederson
    Robbo - Digne - Van Dijk
    Peres - Sterling - Salah - Moura - Robinson
    Wilson - Adams

    Two obvious punts in Robinson and Adams, and Moura is a one-week special.

    Thoughts?

    1. Studini
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 12 days ago

      *sigh*

      1. sneakyr
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 12 days ago

        I’ve gone slightly different to have a bit more flexibility but done the same as you in dropping Auba

        Pope
        VVD Robbo KWP 4.5
        Salah Sterling Perez Fraser Moura
        Wilson Adams

  8. KAR
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Thoughts wich is better

    A. b. silva + aubameyang
    B. KDB + vardy

    1. Studini
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 12 days ago

      A

  9. Gizmo13
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Is this team too midfield-heavy?

    Heaton (Button)
    Robertson Laporte AWB (Lundstram, Kelly)
    Salah Sterling KDB Perez Dendoncker
    Jota Rashford (Greenwood)

  10. Wiganer933
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Thoughts on my team plz
    GK heaton
    Def VVD Maguire Mings
    MID salah sterling kante perez
    STK ings Firmino kane

    1. Wiganer933
      1 month, 12 days ago

      Or
      Get rid of sterling and put KDB and change kante for Martial

  11. bennett661
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    First RMT...opted to go big up top and go without the big guns in midfield. What does everybody think?

    Lloris/Button
    VVD/Zinchenko/Boly/Kelly/Lundstra
    B Silva/Siggy/L Moura/Perez/Dendoncker
    Kane/Kun/Wilson

  12. hinglau
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Few changes made.

    Ryan
    Digne VVD walker peters
    Sterling Salah Perez trossard
    Kean auba king

    Toss between king or woods
    Auba or Kane
    Kean or jota

    1. stevemoscowlane
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Pretty similar to mine. I've got Kean & Jota.

  13. King Prawn
    1 month, 12 days ago

    PRMT!
    Heaton (4.0)
    Robbo, KWP, Zinchenko, A Smith (Lundstrom)
    KDB, Salah, Sterling, Jorginho (Dendo)
    Auba, King (Greenwood)
    The bench is clearly weak, but it might be worth the risk getting Auba, Sterling and Salah in

  14. Unai123
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    - (A) Martial (7.5) or
    - (B) Milivojevic (7)?

  15. arsenalister
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 12 days ago

    You are welcome! Strong classic league, 2200 + points per season. Join us!

    League code: g3bk2b

  16. f4rr377
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Can some please have a look before i launch this laptop out the window. Thanks in advance.

    Ederson (button)

    TAA Kelly AWB Egan Rico

    Salah Sterling Barkley Perez Stephens

    Kane King Ings

  17. elmoakajeremy
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Guys RTM

    De Gea (Button)
    Maguire, Walker, Matt Ritchie (Lundstram, Rico)
    Salah, KDB, Sterling, Grealish, Robinson
    Wilson, Jimenez, (Greenwood)

  18. jlorgill1
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    Please RMT

    Pope (Button)
    VVD Digne Dunk (Lund Rico)
    Salah Sterling Moura Pérez Barkley
    Auba King (Greenwood)

    Did have 3-4-3 and Kane over Salah and dend in midfield and upgraded Dunk. Is that worth doing?

    Thanks!

  19. stevemoscowlane
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    RMT Please:
    Pope (Heaton)
    VVD TAA Walker Digne (Lundstram)
    Perez Sterling Salah (Hayden Dendoncker)
    Wilson Kean Jota

  20. brendanlim92
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Please RMT!

    Hart (Heaton)
    AWB Digne Robertson VVD (Montoya)
    Sterling Salah Perez Pereyra (Stephens)
    Vardy King (Wickham)

  21. ThatsTheWeekendRuined
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Looking at these RMT and no one is repping villa. Is that a missed opportunity?!

    Fixtures look spicy and they have some interesting attacking options.

    Jota, Wesley and McGinn have caught my eye. Am I alone?!

  22. HollywoodXI
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    RMT?

    Lloris
    TAA Robbo Coleman Zinchenko
    Salad Sterling Perez Moura Barkley
    Wilson

    Button Rico Greenwood Nketiah