Dugout Discussion

Kabak makes Liverpool debut and Vardy returns to Leicester City starting line-up

Ozan Kabak (£5.0m) is the latest man to partner auxiliary centre-half Jordan Henderson (£5.4m) for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

With Fabinho (£5.4m) ruled for the Reds with a muscle injury, the German’s hand was forced into another backline shuffle.

Ben Davies (£5.0m), also brought in as centre-back cover, is not part of the Liverpool matchday 18 due to a knock. Nat Phillips (£4.0m) is on the bench after deputising in Gameweek 22. On Kabak, Klopp said ahead of the early DGW24 kick-off:

It was a good training week for him, an important training week for him. Unfortunately, Ben Davies picked up a little knock as well so…it’s unbelievable.

Ozan looked good in training. The boys got used to each other. Of course today is a proper test against Leicester; against Vardy, against Maddison, against Barnes. It will be tricky but we think we are prepared.

On Leicester, Klopp added:

They can change systems, they are really strong and are extremely good at the counter attack.

Along with Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara (£5.6m) is the other player to drop out of Klopp’s XI from the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City in Gameweek 23. James Milner (£5.3m) is the man drafted into the midfield three.

Otherwise things are as we might expect for the champions. Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) Sadio Mane (£11.9m) Roberto Firmino (£9.3m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.4m) Andy Robertson (£7.3m) and Alisson (£5.9m) all start. Ahead of kick off, Alexander-Arnold told BT Sport:

It’s huge for us, coming here is always difficult. We’ve had a week to work on things, it’s chop and change at the back at the moment but we have to get used to that.

We are prepared for a few systems that Leicester may use and we think we can hurt them.

In embargoed quotes on Friday night, Klopp had said of Kabak and Davies:

Yeah, [Kabak is a] calm person. So, both Ben [Davies] and Ozan are calm people, willing to learn, great attitude. They really throw themselves in everything that is ahead of them – what a defender should do. Making big steps, adapting to the way we play, that’s important.

We have still a clear way to defend, which is important, because if both of them would be on the pitch, then there are still nine players who are used to what we did before – so if the two players would do something differently that would lead to a strange situation.

It’s all good so far. Now we have to make decisions. We have to change again because of Fab and now we will see which solution we will take.

Leicester could be using a back four or a wing-back system at the King Power stadium, with Brendan Rodgers coy in his pre-match interview. When BT Sport suggest the Foxes were in playing in a different shape, Rodgers responded:

Well you’ll see…not really. I think we have the flexibility to play in that [different formation]. That’s been the pleasing element of the team’s development in specific games. We can adapt and change.

Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) returns to the Leicester league XI for the first time since Double Gameweek 19. The forward did log 29 minutes as a sub in GW23 and started the midweek FA Cup win against Brighton.

James Maddison (£7.4m) and Harvey Barnes (£6.9m) could flank Vardy in a 3-4-3 set up, while Wilfred Ndidi (£4.8m) also makes his injury return to start in midfield.

Ricardo Pereira (£5.9m) looks set to operate at either left-back or left wing-back, with £3.9m defender Daniel Amartey playing on the right-hand side of Rodgers’ defence.

Unfortunately, the aformentioned James Justin will be out for a lengthy period after an ACL injury in that FA Cup this tie. Rodgers stated on Saturday:

He [Justin] has an operation next week and hopefully he’ll be back within a number of months. Big blow for us.

Leicester XI (4-1-4-1 or 3-4-3): Schmeichel; R Pereira, Soyuncu, Evans, Amartey; Ndidi; Barnes, Maddison, Tielemans, Albrighton; Vardy.

Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson, Henderson, Kabak, Alexander-Arnold; Jones, Wijnaldum, Milner; Mane, Firmino, Salah.

1,411 Comments Post a Comment
  1. fedolefan
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Salah almost never fails to score when not in my team. Been the case over 3 seasons now. He's done so much damage, I didn't even take him out when he had covid. Got rid of him pre-West Ham, brought him back for Brighton, got rid again after that.

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Only 1 goal at that price isn't real damage.

      A 1 goal Salah is priced in. It's when he get 2 and an assist.

      1. fedolefan
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        It is damage when you own him through all those blanks only to get rid and see him return 15, 7 and 7.

    2. Yozzer
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      7 points is nothing. I am happy with it. Could have been much worse.

  2. Captain_Shirokov
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Dream debut for Kebab 😎

    1. fedolefan
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Nabs Kebab?

  3. maditass
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    How can that goal stand when a player who was offside clearly goes for the ball?!?! that means he is IN THE game and it should be dissallowed for sure. VAR is total and utter sh.it

    1. mynameisq
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Because they ruled he was onside

      1. mynameisq
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Because of Robertson's foot, which isn't obvious to see on first viewing

        1. TomSaints
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Yep I was visibly shouting VAR but didn’t expect it overturned.

          Overall good use of VAR benefitting attacker after getting unlucky with penalty

        2. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          *Firmino's foot.

    2. The Train Driver
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Ehh, he wasn't offside lol!

    3. Marcin the Pole
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Nothing to do with whether he did or didn't go for the ball. He was deemed onside because of Firmino's (?) foot.

    4. AC/DC AFC
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      VAR actually worked today!

  4. Coaly
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    McCarthy, Johnstone or Ramsdale for GW26??

    1. Chandler Bing
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      McCarthy for me of those

  5. Marcin the Pole
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    What a win that was, brilliant turnaround from us 😀

    Wilfred Ndidi was absolutely sensational today, best DM in the league right now. Harvey Barnes too - a player I will be seriously considering on my second WC. He's in electric form and has improved his finishing massively.

    1. TomSaints
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Ndidi is a beast. Unfortunately for Leicester I think City / Chelsea will nab him in a year or two.

      Only 24!

      1. Marcin the Pole
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Yeah I think that's likely, we'll get a hell of a price if/when he does though.

        Unbelievable how young he still is, feel like I've been watching him for years and years!

    2. DandyDon
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Good time to be a leicester supporter. Yes definately looking at Barnes on my WC wk26.

    3. Ian & Zen
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      wild carded this game week, and transferred out Barnes for Sterling - far too many good midfielders out there at the mo to fit in. He has been great in my team for a while...something had to give with so many doubles coming.
      He's in my draft team..but 2nd on the bench..as have lots of DGW players
      If Gundogan fails over a few weeks, maybe I'll get him post GW29 when Leicester's fixtures are great...then again they just beat the champions so what do i know

      1. UNDERWORLD7
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Why would you WC this GW?

  6. Steerpike
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Kabakstrophe

    1. JJO
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      To be fair its much tougher to play the game vs Barnes and Vardy when ref gives you yellow card for nothing
      But anyway think he is not even a PL calibre,wont even talk about a title contender calibre

    2. Utopsis
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 27 days ago

      100% Allison's fault - Kabak had no idea he was coming

  7. Chandler Bing
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Maddison + Grealish or Salah + Lookman on WC?

    1. St Pauli Walnuts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      I'd want Salah on WC if possible but of the two, definitely the first one ... especially if Lookman would be starting.

  8. DandyDon
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Took a last minute -8 (was going to roll a transfer and leave bamford on the bench with injured players) to play BB and essentially the 8 points paid for 7 extra fixtures (although one of them is against city) for my team. Differential team to say the least, could give me a massive boost or could just be a wate of the BB. Salah got me off to a good start. Suffice to say Triple Burnley Defence next game is key! Foden Captain, Rashford and Richarlison all big differentials for me this week to whilst i'm hoping Gundo and Bruno both fail in my team with over 100% ownership.

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Who did you captain?

      1. DandyDon
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Foden

  9. Sun Jihai
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Barnes benchers maybe in luck:

    @insider_fpl
    [2021-02-12] [WHU] Adam (Sports Scientist) has transferred OUT their own teammate Antonio! #FPL #GW24

    1. DandyDon
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      this would suck on BB. Just thought he had fatigue but has already been rested.

    2. DandyDon
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Could just be that WH have a rank run if games after today and he wanted a DGW player of course!

    3. JJO
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Leeds phisio sold Raphinha and he played 90mins that gw

      1. Utopsis
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Haha

  10. JJO
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    How can they draw the line sometimes from armpit and sometimes from end of sleeve?

  11. AC/DC AFC
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    FPL making Burnley away at a stuttering Crystal Palace interesting!

  12. AC/DC AFC
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Klopp moaning about VAR!!

    A. Could have. Would have moan.

    Great interview.

  13. Steve Chance
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Can someone clear up whether hands of attackers can be offside please. I'm genuinely confused now. I'm sure I've seen goals ruled out for hands being offside this season (which I think is ridiculous).

    Full disclosure - no skin in the game re this decision, but do hate VAR for philosophical reasons.

  14. g40steve
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Lowton G