With Mohamed Salah (£12.8m), Sadio Mane (£11.8m) and Naby Keita (£5.0m) linking up with their respective teams for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) this week, a third Liverpool slot has opened up in most Fantasy Premier League (FPL) squads.
The trio are expected back for Gameweek 24, but it is worth noting that the AFCON final and third-place play-off takes place on February 6th, just four days before Liverpool are due to entertain Leicester City.
As a result, if Egypt, Senegal or Guinea reach the latter stages, the players in question would be faced with a tight turnaround, with their involvement in Gameweek 24 perhaps in doubt.
- Jan 9 – AFCON begins
- Jan 16 – Liverpool v Brentford (Gameweek 22)
- Jan 23 – AFCON Round of 16
- Jan 23 – Crystal Palace v Liverpool (Gameweek 23)
- Jan 29 – AFCON Quarter-Finals
- Feb 2 – AFCON Semi-Finals
- Feb 6 – AFCON Final/Third-place play-off
- Feb 10 – Liverpool v Leicester City (Gameweek 24)
- Feb 13 – Burnley v Liverpool (Gameweek 25)
Losing three regulars during a hectic period in the season and with others out through coronavirus and injury is not ideal for Liverpool, with key attacking pair Salah and Mane responsible for 24 of their side’s 52 Premier League goals in 2021/22.
Discussing their departures after Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea, assistant manager Pep Lijnders said:
“You can try to plan it, but you can never prepare it. It is not a worry because we have faith in the boys we have and a few boys are coming back as well. We know that certain players can play more offensively as well, they have been playing in midfield, but they can play more offensively as well.”
However, for FPL managers, it has presented an opportunity to bring in a third Liverpool asset alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.3m) and Diogo Jota (£8.2m), at least for a short period, which we’ll explore in this, our latest Members Article.
In addition to the fixtures detailed above, there is also a possibility that Liverpool may be handed a Double Gameweek 22, with postponed matches still to be rearranged against Leeds United (h) and Arsenal (a).
If that comes to fruition, it certainly increases the appeal of a short-term move for a third Liverpool asset.
The below graphic, courtesy of the excellent @Legomane_FPL, outlines the Reds’ schedule, with domestic cup ties against Arsenal (x2) and Shrewsbury Town also to navigate in the coming days.
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