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
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    Best option?

    A. TAA & Maguire

    B. Robertson & Doherty

    Cheers 🙂

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      A

    2. yosim
        1 month, 13 days ago

        A

      • Mino Raiola
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        a

    3. DandyDon
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 13 days 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
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

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

        1. DandyDon
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 13 days ago

          Same here. Good team news!

    4. Eken81
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 13 days 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
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

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

    5. Mino Raiola
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 13 days 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
        1 month, 13 days ago

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

        1. Mino Raiola
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

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

      2. The Man Pastore
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

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

    6. Tshelby
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 13 days 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

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

      Grealish to Richarlison worth -4?

      1. Devo-McDuff
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

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

    8. The Man Pastore
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 13 days 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
        1 month, 13 days ago

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

    9. pundit of punts
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Best 4.3m defender on FH?

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

      1. Yank Revolution
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        C, A, B

      2. Devo-McDuff
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        C

    10. The Red Devil
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Pick a combination on WC

      A- Lascelles son Rashford
      B- Fernandez Bergwijn Aubameyang

      1. Devo-McDuff
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        A

    11. DA Minnion
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

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

      1. Tinkermania
          1 month, 13 days ago

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

      2. Aurora
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

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

      3. Vazza
          1 month, 13 days ago

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

          1. Vazza
              1 month, 13 days ago

              Reposting

          2. Vazza
              1 month, 13 days ago

              not transferring him out for DCL??

            • Vazza
                1 month, 13 days ago

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

              • Nabs Kebabs
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 13 days ago

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

                1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
                  • 10 Years
                  1 month, 13 days 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
                    • 8 Years
                    1 month, 13 days 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
                      • 10 Years
                      1 month, 13 days ago

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

                      1. Nabs Kebabs
                        • 8 Years
                        1 month, 13 days ago

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

                      2. Nabs Kebabs
                        • 8 Years
                        1 month, 13 days ago

                        would appreciate further thoughts below mate!

              • Nabs Kebabs
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 13 days 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
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 13 days ago

                  Not the biggest fan of double Burnley def

                2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
                  • 10 Years
                  1 month, 13 days ago

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

                  1. Nabs Kebabs
                    • 8 Years
                    1 month, 13 days ago

                    looool

                  2. Nabs Kebabs
                    • 8 Years
                    1 month, 13 days ago

                    my tv was 109.7m before unlimited transfers

              • eliado07
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 13 days 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. Devo-McDuff
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 13 days 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.