Our team-by-team guide to the new Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season continues with this preview of Liverpool.
The Reds’ title defence floundered badly but they ended the campaign in good form, with a late-season comeback enough to earn Champions League football.
Jurgen Klopp’s side won eight of their final 10 league games to lock in a third-place finish.
With Liverpool hoping to have several defenders back fit this season, another title challenge should be on the cards at Anfield – and their players will once again be at forefront of Fantasy managers’ thoughts.
Backs to the wall
Having lost Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) and Joe Gomez (£5.0m) to long-term injuries early in the season, Liverpool’s defensive crisis became even worse when Joel Matip (£5.0m) – who had been playing sporadically – saw his campaign curtailed by injury at the end of January.
|Liverpool defensive stats||Total||Rank v other PL teams|
|Shots in the box conceded||226||4th|
|Shots on target conceded||140||6th|
|Big chances conceded||81||14th|
|Expected goals conceded (xGC)||43.63||6th|
Liverpool’s ranking for big chances conceded portrays how Klopp’s defence struggled in the absence of three senior centre-backs.
The Reds (14th) allowed 45 more gilt-edged opportunities than Man City (1st) and 39 more than Chelsea (2nd).
Three of the six sides to give up more big chances than Klopp’s team were relegated last season.
Eleven of those 81 big chances were conceded in defeats against Aston Villa (7-2) and Manchester City (4-1).
While Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) and Andy Robertson (£7.0m) have many more routes to FPL scoring than just clean sheet points, owners will be hoping that Liverpool can tighten up significantly in 2021/22 – and the return of several key centre-backs will surely only help in that regard.
Liverpool’s leaky defence has not stopped FPL managers buying both full-backs in droves.
Alexander-Arnold currently sits in 27.2% of squads, with Robertson making 12.6% of selections.
After ending the season at £7.8m, ‘TAA’ returns to the same price tag with which he started the 2020/21 season.
After a largely underwhelming campaign, Alexander-Arnold was back to his best from Gameweek 28 onwards.
The right-back racked up 75 points at an average of 7.5 per game, creating 11 more chances over that period (33) than nearest challenger Luke Shaw (22).