Leeds 1-1 Liverpool
- Goals: Diego Llorente (£4.4m) | Sadio Mané (£11.7m)
- Assists: Jack Harrison (£5.4m) | Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.4m)
- Bonus points: Alexander-Arnold x3, Llorente x2, Illan Meslier x1 (£4.7m)
FOLLOW THE TRENT
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.4m) continues to command a significant place on the Fantasy Premier League radar after securing his third attacking return in as many matches.
The right-back produced his fifth assist of the campaign as Liverpool drew 1-1 with Leeds at Elland Road and was minutes away from a third successive double-digit haul before Diego Llorente (£4.4m) struck a late equaliser.
Despite losing the clean sheet, Alexander-Arnold still claimed all three bonus points and remains on a fantastic run of Fantasy points.
Between Double Gameweek 26 and 32, the premium defender has scored a total of 52, working out at 7.4 points per match.
The fact that Sadio Mané (£11.8m) scored his first league goal since January, and only his fourth since October, should also be of encouragement to Alexander-Arnold owners and any potential suitors.
Not including Fantasy assists, eight of his Premier League assists have been for the Senegalese international, at least three more than he has provided for any other player. If Mané can get back to his best form, Alexander-Arnold should benefit too.
And, of course, Liverpool’s fixtures continue to offer plenty of appeal with Newcastle (home), Southampton (home), West Bromwich Albion (away), Burnley (away) and Crystal Palace (home) five of their remaining six opponents this season.
75% of Mané’s league goals this season have come away from home (six of eight), with three of Liverpool’s next five matches set to take place on the road.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
Still, it must be said that Liverpool’s ability to capitalise on their upcoming appealing fixtures might be something Fantasy onlookers may have some concerns about.
The Reds are one of six teams who have signed up to the newly-formed European Super League, a move which has been met with criticism in the football world.
Consequently, the build-up to Liverpool’s Double Gameweek 32 meeting with Leeds featured a somewhat unique dynamic for their players and manager, with protests outside Elland Road and challenging questions from the media.
What impact these scenarios will have on Liverpool on a longer-term basis remains to be seen, of course, but it is worth highlighting that the managers and players of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are likely to face something similar in the coming days – while representatives of the other 14 Premier League clubs are expected to be under much less scrutiny.
“Obviously, I heard first time about it yesterday. I was trying to prepare a very difficult game against Leeds United. We got some informations, not a lot, to be honest. Most of the things you can read in the newspaper. It’s a tough one. People are not happy, I can understand that. I cannot say more because we were not involved in any processes. Not me, or players. We will have to wait how it develops.” – Jurgen Klopp, speaking pre-match
“The boys didn’t do anything wrong. I want to make sure everyone understands that.” – Jurgen Klopp, speaking pre-match
“This morning I had a short meeting and told the boys the things I know, which is not a lot and then we just try to focus on the game, which we will do.” – Jurgen Klopp, speaking pre-match
“I heard already there are warm-up shirts or whatever. We will not wear them because we cannot. But if somebody thinks he has to remind us you have to earn to go to the Champions League, that’s a real joke. It makes me angry. If it was a Leeds idea, thank you very much. Nobody has to remind us, maybe they should remind themselves.” – Jurgen Klopp, speaking pre-match
“(We played) very good. I was not in doubt about that.” – Jurgen Klopp, speaking post-match
“I just don’t think it’s right (to ask Liverpool players to wear shirts protesting the European Super League). Everybody knows what is the idea behind it. I don’t think we deserved that, as a team to bring us into these kinds of situations. In this specific moment, we cannot blame the team. I take the criticism for everything if we don’t play well, we feel responsible and the players do the same. But for this (the European Super League), we have nothing to do with it, to be honest. The supporters were shouting at us. People forget that we are people as well.” – Jurgen Klopp, speaking post-match
There were a number of key pieces of team news from Liverpool’s 1-1 draw, including a frustrating development for owners of budget defender Nathaniel Phillips (£4.1m).
The centre-back missed out on the game with a minor hamstring injury, with Fabinho (£5.4m) called into defence to play alongside Ozan Kabak (£5.0m) for only the second time in the Premier League.
The last time they featured together was against Chelsea, meaning they are yet to keep a clean sheet as a centre-back pairing thus far.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) found himself among the Liverpool substitutes on Monday night after a run of 12 back-to-back Premier League starts.
While that restricted him to a one-point cameo, the Egyptian is now, of course, more likely to start the Blank Gameweek 33 meeting with Newcastle and, in producing two shots at Elland Road, became the second player to record 100 attempts on goal in the Premier League this season (101 in total), after Harry Kane (£11.8m), currently on 117.
Leeds midfielder Raphinha (£5.5m) also missed out with the knock he sustained at Manchester City. According to Marcelo Bielsa, he is still in the process of recovering ahead of a Blank Gameweek 33 encounter with Manchester United.
“He is in the process of recovery. We will have to continue evaluating him on a daily basis.” – Marcelo Bielsa
Leeds United XI (4-1-4-1): Meslier; Alioski (Klich 79′), Llorente, Struijk, Ayling; K Phillips; Costa (Poveda-Ocampo 67′), Roberts (Hernández 86′), Dallas, Harrison; Bamford.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson, Kabak, Fabinho, Alexander-Arnold; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Milner; Mané (Salah 71′), Firmino, Jota (Oxlade-Chamberlain 81′).