Liverpool cruised to a 3-0 win over Brentford in Double Gameweek 22, thanks to goals from Fabinho (£5.4m), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£5.8m) and Takumi Minamino (£5.1m).
Our Scout Notes article reflects on the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from the fixture.
LIVERPOOL FIND A WAY WITHOUT SALAH AND MANE
At least one of Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) or Sadio Mane (£11.7m) has played in all 172 of Liverpool’s Premier League fixtures since the Egyptian joined the club in the summer of 2017.
However, against Brentford on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp had to make-do without both of his star forwards due to their involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), and in their absence, turned to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£5.8m), who featured on the right of the Reds’ front three.
Above: Liverpool’s average position map v Brentford in Double Gameweek 22, featuring no. 15 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Despite being without Salah and Mane, Liverpool’s squad stepped up, as six different players scored or assisted, including full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.4m) and Andrew Robertson (£7.0m).
Notably, the latter is averaging over 7.5 points per match over his last seven starts, producing a goal, five assists and 10 bonus points, which suggests he can rival Jota for the third Reds’ spot in our FPL squads even once everyone is back.
ANDREW ROBERTSON’S CREATIVE NUMBERS – LAST SIX MATCHES:
|Metric||Total||Rank v other Premier League defenders|
|Big chances created||3||1st=|
However, it was a day to forget for Diojo Jota’s (£8.4m) owners, as the Portuguese was hooked after 82 minutes to avoid injury and produced just three FPL points, despite hitting the post and racking up six shots in the box.
Discussing his missing stars – plus Oxlade-Chamberlain who was taken off injured in the second-half – Jurgen Klopp said:
“It’s completely normal. We knew it would happen when the boys went away. It’s really helpful the result today to calm these discussions down a little bit. You’re right, I understand the thoughts behind it but they are not here so we don’t talk about the boys who are not in. We find ways to break the opponents down. We wish the boys in Africa the best of luck. We were celebrating when Mo (Salah) scored last night and Sadio (Mane) the other day. We wish all of them to win the tournament which unfortunately isn’t impossible.” – Jurgen Klopp on coping without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane
“He was really good, but that’s a shadow on the game (and) we don’t know yet. He rolled his ankle and now we hope it’s nothing serious but we will get the further – or final – information (at the) earliest tomorrow, that’s how it is (with) these situations. It’s absolutely too early (to say), I have no idea. I don’t know.” – Jurgen Klopp on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
MORE AWAY DAY WOES FOR BRENTFORD
Following today’s 3-0 defeat at Anfield, Brentford have now conceded 19 goals in their last seven away matches, whilst across the season, only Norwich City, Southampton and Leeds United have allowed more than their 21.
BRENTFORD’S AWAY FORM:
|Brighton and Hove Albion||0-2||1.01|
That could be good news for Manchester City, who host Brentford in Gameweek 24, with Pep Guardiola’s attacking assets attractive captaincy options that week.
Even more so if Egypt reach the latter stages of AFCON, with the final and third-place play-off taking place on February 6th, just four days before Liverpool are due to entertain Leicester City, which would surely cast Salah’s involvement into doubt.
“We were unbelievable in the first half against one of the best teams in the world. We kept them quiet. If we had gone to half time 0-0 it would have been a different story, but if we want to get points here we can’t concede from set pieces.
We had the chance with Bryan Mbuemo and then they came down the other end – fantastic cross, fantastic finish – and that killed the game.
Until the second goal, it showed if we keep our discipline, keep pressing, defend well in the low block, we can match some of the best.
This is a big occasion, playing in one of the most iconic places in the world, but you have to enjoy it for 30 seconds before the game is on and then you only really enjoy it if you win.” – Thomas Frank
Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Minamino 74), Jota (Gordon 82), Firmino (Milner 78)
Brentford XI: Fernandez, Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock, Roerslev, Baptiste (Wissa 68), Norgaard, Janelt, Henry (Canos 49), Mbeumo (Jensen 75), Toney
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