Gameweek 1 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) drawing ever nearer and we’re producing guides on all 20 Premier League teams before the season starts.
From our top picks from each team to a predicted line-up for the opening weekend, we’ll be covering each top-flight side in detail.
Now, our attention turns to Liverpool, who came within a point of regaining the Premier League title in 2021/22.
Data in this article comes from our Premium Members Area, which you can access with a discounted subscription for as little as £2.49 a month today.[anon_only id="snack_dex6"] [/anon_only]
LAST SEASON: ATTACK
|Total||Rank v other Premier League clubs|
|Shots in the box||490||2nd|
|Shots on target||245||2nd|
|Expected goals (xG)||97.68||2nd|
Liverpool scored a whopping 94 Premier League goals last season and were consistently top or second in all of the key attacking metrics.
Their attack was simply brilliant to watch, although the loss of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich leaves a huge hole for Jurgen Klopp to fill.
However, the combination of new signing Darwin Nunez (£9.0m), plus Luis Diaz (£8.0m) and Diogo Jota (£9.0m), should make up for the loss, while the most significant development during the close season was sorting out Mohamed Salah’s (£13.0m) contract.
As a result, Liverpool still look like the best-equipped team to outscore champions Manchester City in 2022/23.
LAST SEASON: DEFENCE
|Total||Rank v other Premier League clubs|
|Shots in the box conceded||196||2nd|
|Shots on target conceded||107||2nd|
|Big chances conceded||49||4th|
|Expected goals conceded (xGC)||37.88||2nd|
Liverpool’s defensive numbers were also excellent last season, as they conceded just 26 goals and kept 21 clean sheets in 38 Premier League outings.
The Reds did ‘overachieve’ according to Opta’s 37.88 expected goals conceded (xGC) figure, although when you have a ‘keeper as good as Alisson (£5.5m) in goal, that could become a theme.
The backline once again looks comfortable heading into the new season, too, with Ibrahima Konate (£5.0m) growing into his role and offering competition to first-choice 2021/22 Premier League pairing Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) and Joel Matip (£6.0m).
Liverpool sit second on our Season Ticker for attacking difficulty in the first seven Gameweeks of 2022/23.
They face only one of last season’s top six in that time and it’s against a far from convincing Manchester United, albeit one who look far more in tune under Erik ten Hag in pre-season.
Newly-promoted Fulham are up first in Saturday’s early kick-off, and given that Salah is traditionally a very strong starter – he has scored in five successive opening-day matches – there won’t be many FPL managers comfortable going without the Egyptian in Gameweek 1.
Crystal Palace then follow, with another newly-promoted side Bournemouth, plus Newcastle United and Merseyside rivals Everton to come in the first half-dozen rounds.
PREDICTED GAMEWEEK 1 LINE-UP
Alisson (£5.5m) missed most of pre-season due to a muscle injury but should be fit for Saturday’s opener.
As a result, the only real dilemma for Klopp at the back is who partners van Dijk, with Matip expected to get the nod over Konate, who himself was substituted as a precaution in Sunday’s friendly against Strasbourg.
Given Naby Keita (£5.0m), Fabinho (£5.5m) and Thiago Alcantara’s (£5.5m) limited attacking threat, they hold little interest for Fantasy managers. Indeed, their ownership sits at just 0.1%, 0.9% and 2.0% respectively.
In terms of the front line, once Nunez is fully up to speed, it’ll probably be him, Diaz and Salah in attack, which is admittedly a mouthwatering prospect.
However, for now, Roberto Firmino (£8.0m) may be chosen to lead the line at Fulham, as he did in Saturday’s Community Shield against Man City.
BEST FPL OPTIONS
Despite Darwin Nunez’s arrival, Mohamed Salah remains Liverpool’s main man, having averaged over 23 Premier League goals per season since arriving at Anfield in 2017.
The Egyptian started 2021/22 in scintillating form and despite his post-Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) wobble, lead the goalscoring charts alongside Son Heung-min (£12.0m).
Notably, he also produced 14 FPL assists, more than any other player bar Jarrod Bowen (£8.5m), highlighting an underappreciated part of his game.
As a result, Salah was the top-scoring player in FPL with a remarkable 37 attacking returns in 30 starts.
He’s been sharp in pre-season, too, and looks ready to lead Liverpool’s charge once again.
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD/ANDREW ROBERTSON
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) and Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) both ended last season on 14 attacking returns.
And when looking at clean sheets alongside goals and assists, the duo averaged more than one FPL return per game, suggesting there is merit in doubling up on the full-backs.
Alexander-Arnold has been Klopp’s main source of creativity for some time now, while a slight tweak to his position last season allowed him to affect games in more central areas. Owned by 57.4% of FPL managers at the time of writing, he is surely too risky to leave out.
Robertson, meanwhile, blanked just three times in 21 starts from Gameweek 13 onwards in 2021/22, averaging a whopping 7.6 points per match, and alongside Alexander-Arnold, remains one of the best value options in the game.
Following Sadio Mane’s departure to Bayern Munich, Luis Diaz’s minutes look a little more assured on the left side of Liverpool’s attack.
The Colombian made a significant impact upon his arrival in January, racking up four goals and three assists in 13 Premier League appearances.
In that time, he ranked second amongst team-mates for shots with 38, while his six big chances were more than midfield rivals Jarrod Bowen (£8.5m), Dejan Kulusevski (£8.0m), James Maddison (£8.0m), Mason Mount (£8.0m) and Bukayo Saka (£8.0m).
Now, with a full pre-season under his belt, you’d back Diaz to improve further and go from strength to strength in his first full season.
DIFFERENTIALS AND PLAYERS FOR THE WATCHLIST
Jurgen Klopp now has a traditional centre-forward to call upon in Darwin Nunez. His impact off the bench in the Community Shield got him off to a flyer and it feels like a matter of time before he’s installed in Liverpool’s first-choice XI. Gameweek 1 may come too soon, with Klopp perhaps opting to ease him in gently, but the potential is clear once starting regularly.
Elsewhere, it’s easy to forget Diogo Jota (£9.0m) scored 15 Premier League goals last season. He may have slipped down the pecking order following Diaz’s January arrival, and he is likely to miss Gameweek 1 with a recurring hamstring injury, but he’ll surely come back onto the FPL radar at some point in 2022/23.
Meanwhile, Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip are alternatives at the back for Liverpool.
2021/22 was Alisson’s best season yet at, with his ability to thwart opponents when clean-through on goal so important in Klopp’s set-up, while Matip and van Dijk’s consistency was superb.
However, while the trio are appealing in isolation, signing one of them means you can’t triple up on three of Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Salah and Diaz, which does dent their appeal.