Scout Notes

Mane shows clinical edge as Liverpool keep another clean sheet in Wolves win

Liverpool 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • Goal: Sadio Mane (£12.3m)
  • Assist: Adam Lallana (£5.8m)
  • Bonus: Mane x3, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.4m), Joe Gomez (£5.1m) x2

There was a familiar narrative at Anfield on Sunday, with Sadio Mane (£12.3m) taking his one big chance of the game and Mohamed Salah (£12.3m) missing his.

Over the past 18 months, Mane has been the more clinical of the two premium Fantasy Premier League midfielders.

In 2018/19, Mane’s goal conversion rate was 25.3% compared to Salah’s 16.1%.

This season, the two Liverpool assets are scoring with similar accuracy: 23.3% of the shots that Mane has had have resulted in goals, with the figure at 15% for Salah.

The time is approaching where – budget permitting – Fantasy managers perhaps don’t need to choose between the two, of course, with Liverpool enjoying a Double Gameweek 24 and then a string of excellent fixtures beyond that.

And while the three matches before then are a little tougher, the Reds proved on Boxing Day with their thrashing of Leicester City that they are as close to fixture-proof as any team can be this season.

Many will be eyeing a Salah/Mane double-up in 2020, then, with 7.65% of the top 10,000 FPL managers having already taken the plunge on that combination.

Perming three Liverpool assets from the plethora available is not that simple, however.

The Reds’ defenders are playing themselves into contention after recording their fourth successive clean sheet, with Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.4m) and Joe Gomez (£5.1m) picking up more bonus points on Sunday to supplement their shut-out.

Jurgen Klopp’s troops had only recorded two clean sheets in the first 15 Gameweeks of the season but they had been frustratingly close to more, conceding exactly one goal in 12 of their league fixtures.

There have been wondergoals – Jetro Willems (£4.7m) in Gameweek 5, for example – and individual errors – Adrian‘s (£4.1m) howler against Southampton in August – that have contributed to the dearth in clean sheets but, while Liverpool’s defence unquestionably looks less secure than last season, it always seemed likely that their luck would turn at some point.

The Reds owed their latest shut-out a little to good fortune, with Pedro Neto‘s (£5.0m) strike on the stroke of half-time being ruled out for a marginal offside call on Jonny (£5.4m).

A handful of chances came and went late on, too, with Diogo Jota (£6.1m) forcing Alisson (£6.0m) into a save after a Virgil van Dijk (£6.4m) error, Raul Jimenez (£7.5m) being denied by a crucial Gomez touch and Ruben Vinagre (£4.2m) slashing wildly at an effort with better options available.

The feared mass-rotation didn’t materialise from Klopp, with his only change seeing Adam Lallana (£5.8m) replacing Naby Keita (£5.8m) in midfield.

Xherdan Shaqiri (£6.3m) was in line for a start but a minor hamstring injury put paid to his involvement, with Klopp saying:

Shaqiri should have started but last night he felt a little bit the hamstring. Now he’s out, not for long but maybe a week or ten days.

The hope from a Fantasy perspective will be that, with Liverpool not now in action until Thursday, Klopp can delay any tinkering with his starting XI until FA Cup third round weekend – although the fact that Everton are the Reds’ first opponents in that competition ought to ensure a fairly strong team being put out.

The second half of the win over Wolves also seemed to be an exercise in energy preservation, with the hosts only registering two attempts on goal (neither on target) after the break.

Lallana was the ‘creator’ of Mane’s goal, chesting/shouldering the ball to the Senegalese winger after a long ball forward from van Dijk, who also may have handled in the build-up – a VAR check permitting the goal to stand, to Wolves’ anger.

Salah’s big chance had arrived earlier in the game, with the Egyptian, who had looked lively in the early stages, blazing over the bar following a superb cross from Alexander-Arnold.

While owners of the Liverpool right-back would have been left cursing Salah’s wastefulness, it was otherwise another satisfying afternoon for the 35% of FPL bosses who have Alexander-Arnold in their squad.

Not only did he avoid a benching but he also dodged a fifth booking of the season, too, with the yellow card threshold now raised to ten for Liverpool (and West Ham), a Gameweek after the amnesty for the other 18 Premier League clubs.

After naming almost the same team for ten matches in a row (only a suspension to Romain Saiss (£4.4m) in Gameweek 14 preventing that), this was one game too far for Nuno Espirito Santo.

The trip to Anfield came less than 48 hours after the five-goal thriller against Manchester City and Santo opted to hand Saiss, Jimenez, Adama Traore (£5.5m) and Matt Doherty (£6.1m) a breather, with all bar the Irish wing-back coming on in the second half.

Traore and Jimenez caused the Liverpool backline problems in their cameo appearances and owners of either can surely expect their in-form Fantasy assets to return for the New Year’s Day clash with Watford, with the overdue rest now out of the way.

Reflecting on his side’s efforts, Santo said;

The way we are doing things, the way they commit themselves, made me proud. We had 45 hours to get ready to compete, it’s a tough schedule for every team in the Premier League, but we had energy.

That’s the good part, the reaction, the way we did things in the second half makes us proud, the display of energy was amazing. It was a tough game, the boys worked very hard, which is unnegotiable.

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800 Comments Post a Comment
  1. B Sharp
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Would anyone swap rico for the following
    Zinchenko
    Mendy
    Shaw
    Jonny
    Webster
    Kabasele
    Tomori
    Tomkins

    1. Eat my goal!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Mendy

      1. St Pauli Walnuts
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        His position is far from secure though.

    2. Tempestic
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      nope

  2. Naby K8a
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Aubameyang transfer request. Wants out

    1. Zilla
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Enter Nketiah

    2. CMJC
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Not yet...

  3. Trophé Mourinho
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 28 days ago

    TAA TC in the double anyone? That could be epic

    1. It’s gonna Ben Mee
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Very tempted, very scared

    2. St Pauli Walnuts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Crossed my mind for sure! If he was tested in GW22 or 23 that would seal it for me, seems unlikely though as both high profile games.

  4. wulfranian
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Save and good to go?

    Ramsdale
    Sidibe/Aurier/Gomez
    Martial/Grealish/Mane/Maddison
    Wilson/Kane/Vardy

    Button DLuiz/Rico/Reid
    1ft 0.9itb

    1. St Pauli Walnuts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Not a fan of the Wilson pick. Think you should look to downgrade him (Jimi, Ings, Maupay and DCL all valid options) and try and get KDB in for Madd by downgrading Aurier and Luiz. Not having TAA is a problem really too.

  5. mcgrejam
    • 6 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Thinking of doing WC to either...

    A)
    Ramsdale
    Soyuncu, Trent, Lundstram
    Martial, Salah, KDB, Mane, Maddison
    Jimenez, Vardy

    B)
    Ramsdale
    Soyuncu, Trent, Baldock
    Salah, KDB, Mane, Maddison
    Rashford, Vardy, Calvert-Lewin

    Which is the better team please...A or B?

    1. Cookie Kid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      A

    2. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      B

    3. lilmessipran
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      What's your team value like to afford that?

      1. mcgrejam
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        It’s 107.3m

    4. jonnybhoy
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      A

  6. greggles
    • 10 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    1) Save the Ft?
    2) bench Grealish or Moura?
    3) captain Salah, KDB or Vardy?

    Ramsdale
    Rico / TAA / Sidibe
    KDB / Salah / Traore / Moura
    Vardy / Rashford / Ings

    Subs: 4.0 / Grealish / Cathcart / Lundstram

  7. Lord of Ings
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Chances of kdb starting vs everton?

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Good

    2. St Pauli Walnuts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      As a City fan I'm concerned. Last 3 matches it has not affected his form in the least but he has visibly looked knackered, saw a couple of times yesterday where he was hunched over in 2nd half catching his breath. He has a pretty bad injury history plus wasn’t taken off when game was won after 2nd goal with 10 minutes to go. Seems primed for a rest with league gone, he is the key player for us so imagine he gets injured and is out for Real game. I got the juicy captain points for him for last game but think I'm going Vardy this week incase he is rested against Everton but is needed 2nd half if City behind or drawing.

      My personal thoughts, so could easily be wrong, take with a pinch of salt!

  8. Trophé Mourinho
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 28 days ago

    wildcarded last night, when do we officially get the second? Jan?

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      That was your 2nd WC -_-

    2. lilmessipran
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Ouch

    3. Orion
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Oh no

    4. Trophé Mourinho
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Only joking 😀
      But someone, somewhere has done that lol

  9. The Mighty Whites
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Start Webster or Rico?

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Rico

  10. SuperDan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Which is best?

    A) KDB & Traore +.5
    B) Alli & Martial

    1. Sailboats
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      A

  11. Corgzzzz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Who to bench

    A, Traore v Watford
    B, Cantwell v Palace
    C, Richarlison v CITEH

  12. Yank Revolution
    • 8 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Firmino an option for the triple up peeps?

    1. clodhopper
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Yes

      1. Yank Revolution
        • 8 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        I hadnt considered him much until now...

  13. DMP
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Martial vs Arsenal or Alli vs Southampton?