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. Davros
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Just when I was starting to regret benching Robbo

    1. sminkypinky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Time to rid mate

      1. Davros
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Yup. Justin was priority this week

    2. Little Red Lacazette
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      You should not even have him in the 1st place.

  2. Eh, just one more thing ...
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Oh lord .... Harvey Barnes first sub .... how likely do we think it is Antonio misses out this game week?

    1. Ziyech on the Bench
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      hahaha im same look below

    2. wulfrunian
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Same.unlikely unfortunately.

    3. Elfozzie 42
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      I'd say it's a 50/50 chance tbh!

    4. KAPTAIN KANE
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Fancy Antonio to outscore Barnes you know!

    5. Wayne Enterprises
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Snap - I like him as a player just didn’t think he would get so much against Liverpool! Hopefully Antonio injured

    6. Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Good chance IMO

  3. Ziyech on the Bench
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Barnes first on bench 🙁 hopefully Antonio doesn't play...

    1. F_Ivanovic
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Why do you even have Barnes if you didn't start him in a DGW?!

      1. F_Ivanovic
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Ignore me, I had a few hours sleep. For some reason forgot about Harvey Barnes who scored..

      2. Utopsis
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 1 day ago

        What?

  4. Daniel - When to BB?
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    @Liverpool fans. Lampard is available 😉

    1. Freshy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Stevie G

      1. The Ilfordian
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Gerard scored??!!

      2. Kellz86
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Once Klopp does indeed move on, I have no doubt Stevie will be the replacement. But not before he gets more experience

  5. Brakos2k
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Taking out Barnes for -4 this week... priceless!

    1. sminkypinky
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Seems you’re not alone

    2. Elfozzie 42
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Indeed and he could easily have had another goal or assist.
      Long-term I still think it's a defendable move.

  6. Nikolai Volkoff
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Which Everton player to cap next gameweek?

    1. Yankee Toffee
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Josh King

      1. Elfozzie 42
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Pickford? 😉

    2. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Points will be spread

  7. Little Red Lacazette
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    I left a 1-0 Liverpool. What happened?

    1. Elfozzie 42
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Me too. I expect they'll see it out for a routine win.

  8. Baps hunter
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Salah brace soon!

  9. KAPTAIN KANE
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    *Checks who plays Liverpool next*

  10. Steve The Spud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Salah owners bracing for sterling 25 pointer

    1. Eh, just one more thing ...
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      As an owner of both and Sterling as captain .. please please please ...

    2. UNDERWORLD7
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Sterling doesn't do that sort of thing, he's useless.

    3. KAPTAIN KANE
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Why not both

    4. Elfozzie 42
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      I think Sterling owners would deserve a haul, especially if they've stuck with, but I'm not convinced. I think both games will end up pretty cagey in the end.
      Mourinho got an unwelcome lesson in the results of attacking football in the week and Everton will also play on the break.
      I'd expect City to win both still, but not by a cricket score.

      1. F_Ivanovic
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Nobody expects a cricket score. I'll take a goal and anything else is a bonus

    5. Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Hopefully he's not benched!

  11. Stupendous
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Rival has Barnes Maddison and Vardy

    Fortunately Barnes 2nd bench

    Time to bring in some Leicester isn't it?

    1. Essan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      they won;t play Liverpool every week 😉

  12. Londongeezaa
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    United fans actually needed a Pool win. Lol 🙂

  13. Flair
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 1 day ago

    *removes DCL from first on the bench*

    1. Londongeezaa
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Proceeds to TC him

  14. Mweene
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    19 points from 2.

    Barnes to Son for the DGW might well be off the cards now.

    What a hero.

    1. Scholes Out Forever
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Barnes has a decent double and glorious fixture for 27 and 28

    2. UNDERWORLD7
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      why?

  15. Jafooli
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Any Liverpool fans on here? I’m looking 3-1....

    1. Firminoooo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Next season.....

    2. ‘Tis the Season
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      It was over after the city defeat!

    3. Kellz86
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      We’re not gone, every team goes through ups and downs. Klopp has earned the right to fix this and fully trust in his vision

    4. Stupendous
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Shame it wasn't 4 1 to make your joke actually work

  16. Ziko7
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Will Antonio play on monday? I have Harvey Barnes first on the bench..

    1. Eh, just one more thing ...
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Praying he will NOT ... same boat as you ..

    2. Hitman MHK
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      I hope not now!! Lmao

    3. The Ilfordian
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      He wasn’t certain; you have a chance

      1. Eh, just one more thing ...
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Rumour the fitness coach at West Ham took him out of his fantasy team ... someone posted a link earlier ... tenuous but fingers crossed ...

        1. The Ilfordian
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 1 day ago

          Good. Barnes third on my bench. Need no show from Antonio, Chilwell and DCL!

          1. Utopsis
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 1 day ago

            Haha mate that's reaching

    4. MissouriMarten
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      10 minute cameo.

  17. Hitman MHK
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    I love benching 35 points last week and first the game this GW Barnes is just chilling on my bench with a goal and an assist.....

    1. Eh, just one more thing ...
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Same ... first sub ... hoping Antonio misses out

      1. Hitman MHK
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Fingers crossed

  18. Hotdogs for Tea
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Looks like Liverpool will have to get used to Thursday nights in Europe 🙂

    1. Chandler Bing
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      If by Europa you mean a local Liverpool pub, then yes.

  19. ivantys
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Was gonna triple Leicester during the Leeds game, damn you Vardy

    • Revival
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      7 goals conceded in 180 minutes for Liverpool now

    • Nomar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Seems amazing that every decision I make in my draft team works out and everything I do in the fantasy game goes wrong.

      I should just WC the same team I have in my draft.

    • KGFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      So Pool’s winning of PL was as fortuitous as Leicester... not happening for another 30 years 😆

      1. Scots Gooner
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Hardly fortuitous. Within a point 18/19, won 19/20 by 18 points. With a Champions League in between.

        But, yeah, they were 'fortuitous'.

    • Coaly
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      McCarthy, Johnstone or Ramsdale for DGW26?

    • Werner Bros
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Benched Barnes

      1. THFC4LIFE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Same

        1. Werner Bros
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 1 day ago

          Was a bit silly in hindsight. 1st on my bench but doubt any of my starters wont play.

    • PP6
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      I don’t even own any player in this game but the sheer joy I have right now

    • Make Arrows Green Again
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Sold Barnes and Salah on WC. Sterling and Gundogan have some ground to make up!

    • diesel001
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      I assume many on here are asking the same question as me. Specifically, what time will Burnley lose their clean sheet?

      1. Jafooli
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        3:05pm

      2. ivantys
          2 months, 1 day ago

          Palace lineup is quite attacking, can see them conceding.

        • Elfozzie 42
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 1 day ago

          sshhh

        • Pipermaru
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 1 day ago

          14:05 27th of February 😉

      3. ‘Tis the Season
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Why o’why dis Jurgen sub Curtis Jones. He was dictating the game!!!

        1. diesel001
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 1 day ago

          Thiago the real issue. Doesn't bring the oomph in midfield that Hendo, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Keita, even Jones, bring.

          Yes he is creative and can pass, but that isn't really what Liverpool's game has been about in recent seasons. Far more about the solid defence, a hard-working midfield, and an explosive front three.

          1. Elfozzie 42
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 1 day ago

            I agree 100% there Diesel001. He's obviously a great player, but just not dynamic enough for the way Liverpool play.
            Ultimately though it's Van Dijk that's the gaping hole that was always going to be hard to replace.

      4. gooberman
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Trying to make progress in this game is akin to walking across a minefield. You can go down one path and avoid the mines but then the path you have taken will still run into other mines.

      5. CROYDON DE BRUYNE
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Nothing more satisfying than seeing Liverpool lose, wasn’t too long ago they were claiming this side was better than ‘The Invincibles’

        1. gooberman
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 1 day ago

          eff off!