Scout Notes

Salah-less Liverpool lack attacking spark as Klopp hints at more rotation

Everton 0-0 Liverpool

  • Goals: None
  • Assists: None
  • Bonus: Alisson (£6.2m) x3, Jordan Pickford (£5.2m) x2, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.8m) x1

Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but it did nothing for a decidedly lacklustre Merseyside derby.

The lack of a baying Scouse crowd robbed the fixture of all its historic intensity, while the pre-match news that both Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) and Andy Robertson (£7.0m) would be missing from Liverpool’s starting line-up did nothing to improve the mood of many a Fantasy manager.

The lengthy lay-off and unprecedented circumstances brought about by the pandemic were never likely to help matters, but the game was still a strangely sterile affair, with the best action of the encounter reserved for the final few minutes.

Both teams managed just three attempts on target each which, seeing as Liverpool enjoyed 70% possession, was either testament to the visitors’ toothlessness or Everton’s resilience, depending on your point of view.

But the truth of it was that only Alisson (£6.2m), in the Liverpool goal, was ever truly stretched.

He produced two fine saves from Richarlison (£8.3m) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.5m) late on, with the rebound from the latter’s effort falling to Tom Davies (£5.3m), whose shot was deflected by Joe Gomez (£5.3m) onto the post and away to safety.

That happened as we entered the final ten minutes. The previous 80 were largely forgettable.

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp opted to bench Salah, and leave Robertson out of the squad altogether, for reasons of fitness.

In fact, he shuffled much of his pack, both before and during the derby, mostly for rotational purposes.

The Liverpool boss said:

We play in three days again. Today if I play 11 players the 95 minutes and they all have to go like they had to go today, then I have a real problem on Wednesday, that’s how it is.

You cannot underestimate it after four weeks of pre-season and nine weeks break before. We play two games in three days, so that’s why we have to think a little a bit before we have problems.

Problems did arise, however, with James Milner (£5.3m) and Joel Matip (£5.2m) both coming off with injury issues.

Klopp said of the pair:

Millie felt a hamstring a little bit, but we had this in the past. Millie is not often injured and hopefully, it is not serious. He is smart enough to show up in the moment when he feels it, so hopefully, it was the right moment. Maybe not Wednesday, but after that, I would hope for.

Joel was unlucky and we had to make a quick decision. It was a situation with Richarlison and he bent or stretched or his big toe. It is really painful, but hopefully, it settles, the pain settles and then we will see. I hope nothing serious has happened, but I don’t know yet.

The German’s decision to use Takumi Minamino (£6.0m) in the Salah slot proved interesting.

The Japanese international looked bright and breezy, but his similarity to the playing style of Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) helped neither of them to flourish – a state of affairs that is unlikely to change across the rest of the season.

Klopp ended up hooking Minamino for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£6.2m) at half-time, a decision which seemed sufficiently harsh that he felt the need to explain it post-match:

The change at half-time was a pure idea for me and nothing to do with Taki’s performance. He found the game in the first half absolutely and then we thought, ‘Come on, why wait until the player gets tired when you get the opportunity?’. That didn’t work out 100 per cent, but Ox was lively, very lively.

‘Lively’ was not a word to describe much of Liverpool’s performance, with Firmino wasting his side’s best chance of the match when he opted to shoot, wide as it turned out, from the edge of the area instead of playing the ball on to a more advanced teammate.

That came from a rare break against an Everton team that sat very deep and invited their guests to play in front of them.

Other than that, home keeper Jordan Pickford (£5.2m) was only troubled by a late free-kick from Fabinho (£5.4m) which he was required to tip over the bar.

As for the hosts, Richarlison was a consistent threat throughout, firing across goal with one effort very early on and easily eclipsing his fellow striker Calvert-Lewin for attempts (five versus two) – not good news as the English forward is, with 12.8% ownership, Everton’s most popular player in Fantasy Premier League (FPL).

Calvert-Lewin did come close to breaking the deadlock with a header narrowly wide during the Toffees’ late surge, but even coach Carlo Ancelotti agreed that a draw was probably the right result:

Honestly, we were really close to winning but it was a difficult game. We performed really well, we were focused and sacrificed.  At the end we had opportunities to score and were a bit unlucky. But Liverpool played a good game and had more possession but defensively we were really good.

Salah and Robertson now looked poised for Gameweek 31+ minutes when the Reds host Crystal Palace on Wednesday, with Klopp saying:

Some players couldn’t train in the last week – they trained, but not with the team – like Mo and Robbo, but yesterday they were in training and both looked really good. That’s why Mo is in the squad, Robbo not yet but on Wednesday [he will be] again.

For Robbo, it was better to have a proper session today and then be in for Wednesday, and for Mo, it is the right thing to do it like this.

Minamino is the obvious makeweight for the Egyptian unless Sadio Mane (£12.5m) is rested after enduring a fruitless 90 minutes being nullified by the excellent Seamus Coleman (£5.3m).

After that, it’s the sort-of-title-showdown with Manchester City, but Liverpool’s league crown is an inevitability and the only real Fantasy issue is how much rotation Klopp will indulge in once that is a reality.

For now, the answer would seem to be ‘a lot’, which will reduce the appeal of their assets.

Everton, meanwhile, have a generally attractive run to the end of the season, which should mean that current disinterest in their players – none appeared in the Gameweek’s top 30 for transfers-in – proves to be a temporary blip.

Defensively, this was their first clean sheet since Gameweek 22, so the jury remains out on the backline, but Richarlison, for his promise, and Calvert-Lewin, for his price, are surely worth a look with the likes of Norwich, Villa and Bournemouth to come over the next few weeks.

Everton XI (4-4-2): Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Digne; Gordon (Sigurdsson 60′), Andre Gomes, Davies, Iwobi (Bernard 88′); Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin (Kean 90′).

Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Matip (Lovren 73′), Milner (Gomez 43′); Henderson, Fabinho, Keita (Wijnaldum 65′); Minamino (Oxlade-Chamberlain 45′), Firmino (Origi 65′), Mane.

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1,930 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Jeremiah
    • 8 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    Best option?

    A. TAA & Maguire

    B. Robertson & Doherty

    Cheers 🙂

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 1 day ago

      A

    2. yosim
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 1 day ago

      A

    3. Mino Raiola
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 1 day ago

      a

  2. DandyDon
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    Highest score near the top of the leaderboard is 119 points currently. Picked Martinelli as part of his bench boost despite being same price as Nketiah! Go figure. I think key to his success was actually not picking Grealish like the rest of us!

    1. Mino Raiola
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 1 day ago

      I think the real difference is tonight! C on Aguero/KDB might make the real difference. personally went with aguero ofc 😮

      1. DandyDon
        • 2 Years
        7 months, 1 day ago

        Same here. Good team news!

  3. Eken81
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    On WC, g2g?

    Pope (Martinez)
    Doherty, Aurier, Fernandez (Saiss, Simpson)
    Mane, KDB, Bruno, Bergwijn (Saka)
    DCL, Jimenez, Vardy

    1,2m to spare.

    Gw32 transfers Bergwijn and DLC to Mount, Rashford

    Any ideas?

    1. Mino Raiola
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 1 day ago

      Nice! I would try to get Son instead of Bergwijn somehow tho

  4. Mino Raiola
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    Soo.... WC tinkering frenzy! Please rate:)

    Martinez
    TAA, Doherty, Holgate
    Salah, Bruno, Son, Pogba
    Rashford(C), Jimenez, DCL

    Martin, Saka, Lascelles, J.Robinson

    1. Ajax Hamsterdam
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 1 day ago

      nice. expect 1 point returns for gks though. and i wouldnt c rashford neither.

      1. Mino Raiola
        • 4 Years
        7 months, 1 day ago

        thanks! considering a downgrade of lascelles or Holgate for a better GK. Might also just cap Salah ofc!

    2. The Man Pastore
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 1 day ago

      Looking good, maybe a bit heavy on ManU forward and know KDB could hurt

  5. Tshelby
    • 6 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    A or B?

    A) Egan, Henderson -> Aurier, DDG (-4)
    B) Egan Henderson -> Aurier, Pope (-4)

    Or C and don't take the hit and just use one FT

  6. JJeyy
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    Grealish to Richarlison worth -4?

    1. St Pauli Walnuts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 11 hours ago

      Could be, I've got him a my captain against Norwich at the moment. They looked woeful at the back.

  7. The Man Pastore
    • 6 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    Final WC team, would you make any changes to it?

    Patricio Martin
    TAA Doherty Maguire Lascelles Kiko
    KDB Son Bruno Richarlison Guendouzi
    DCL Jiminez Rashford

    0.1ITB

    Thank you!

    1. DA Minnion
      • 8 Years
      7 months, 1 day ago

      Not really. Kiko to Taylor maybe for Burnley defense cover.

  8. pundit of punts
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    Best 4.3m defender on FH?

    A. Taylor (WAT)
    B. Holgate(nor)
    C. Lascelles (AVL)

    1. Yank Revolution
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 1 day ago

      C, A, B

    2. St Pauli Walnuts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 11 hours ago

      C

  9. The Red Devil
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    Pick a combination on WC

    A- Lascelles son Rashford
    B- Fernandez Bergwijn Aubameyang

    1. St Pauli Walnuts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 11 hours ago

      A

  10. DA Minnion
    • 8 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    Would be great if all three of sterling Aguero and De Bruyne captain start tonight.chances of that happening.

    1. Tinkermania
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 1 day ago

      Very slim. Sterling played the whole match. But again he is the fittest. Aguero looked less sharp. KDB may need a rest.

  11. Aurora
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    Need some advice guys. Would you rather have DCL (v Norwich) or Son (v West Ham) for this week?

  12. Vazza
      7 months, 23 hours ago

      Am I silly for keeping D. Jota and not transferring him out for DCL?

      1. Vazza
          7 months, 23 hours ago

          Reposting

      2. Vazza
          7 months, 22 hours ago

          not transferring him out for DCL??

        • Vazza
            7 months, 22 hours ago

            Am I silly for keeping D. Jota and not transferring him out for DCL??

          • Nabs Kebabs
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            7 months, 16 hours ago

            Rashford overrated imo considering no pens. More tempted by Vardy.

            1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              7 months, 16 hours ago

              Interestingly of the 5 penalties Rashford has scored in he league his season he was actually fouled for 4 of them

              Brandon Williams was fouled for the most recent vs Norwich - all of the others (Chelsea, Leicester, Spurs, Man City) he won himself - so were Bruno to have stepped up instead (had he been there), Marcus was still getting assist points for them

              Throw in the fact that he wouldn’t have been deducted the 4 points for the two pens he missed (the other Norwich game Dan James was fouled & Palace after McTominay was fouled) and he’s back effectively level on points vs his penalty-taking self

              Not to mention the fact that he’d be playing in a dramatically improved attacking unit with Bruno on board... the kid should be up to his knees in attacking returns for the next few seasons all being well...

              Bruno & Rashford look a dream FPL combo pretty much “covering” DFK’s & spot kicks for the reds i reckon

              Rashford had also grabbed the ball for the penalty that Man Utd weren’t given v Spurs so it’s not even guaranteed that he’ll never take another penalty for them

              1. Nabs Kebabs
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                7 months, 16 hours ago

                good points mate, also not overly convinced on Leicester atm. You might have swayed me to go Rashford. He has really stepped his game up this year to a new level.

                1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  7 months, 16 hours ago

                  Man Utd better read the script tomorrow - looks a golden opportunity for important points vs Sheffield now!

                  1. Nabs Kebabs
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    7 months, 16 hours ago

                    yep another good point. I'll be going with Bruno(c) + Rashford

                  2. Nabs Kebabs
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    7 months, 16 hours ago

                    would appreciate further thoughts below mate!

          • Nabs Kebabs
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            7 months, 16 hours ago

            WC Draft 1

            Pope
            TAA Doherty Lascelles
            Salah(vc) Mane Son Fernandes(c)
            Rashford Jimenez DCL

            Martinez Taylor Holgate Guendouzi

            0.1m

            Any suggestions please?

            1. Nabs Kebabs
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              7 months, 16 hours ago

              Not the biggest fan of double Burnley def

            2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              7 months, 16 hours ago

              I have 106.5 TV & when I plug this squad in i’m 2.7 over budget lol

              1. Nabs Kebabs
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                7 months, 16 hours ago

                looool

              2. Nabs Kebabs
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                7 months, 16 hours ago

                my tv was 109.7m before unlimited transfers

          • eliado07
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            7 months, 13 hours ago

            Hey guys, how is this for my WC, and captaincy?

            Patricio
            TAA Doherty Aurier
            Martial KDB Bruno (VC) Salah (C) Son
            Jimenez DCL

            Bench: Martin, Lascelles, J. Robinson, A. Connolly

            1. St Pauli Walnuts
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              7 months, 11 hours ago

              Salah might not start and could come on, plus Palace are on form and Pool out of form so doubt it will be a stroll in the park. I'd start Lascelles over Aurier I think.

              Nice team though.