Fantasy Premier League

Time right to make room for Reds

By The Scout 21 Sep 2016
Jurgen Klopp and Sadio Mane, Liverpool

Favourable fixtures make Liverpool players irresistible for coming Gameweeks, says The Scout

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After beating Arsenal and Leicester City and drawing with Tottenham Hotspur in the first four Gameweeks, Liverpool underlined their ability to defy testing fixtures by emerging from Stamford Bridge with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea on Friday evening.

In spite of a tough opening run of matches, Jurgen Klopp's side sit only five points off the top of the table, with a 2-0 loss at Burnley in Gameweek 2 - where they produced 26 attempts to the Clarets' three - proving a temporary blip for the in-form Merseysiders.

According to the new Fixture Difficulty Ranking (FDR) system introduced to Fantasy Premier League this season, Liverpool will be confident of maintaining their recent fine displays.

Over the next 13 Gameweeks, they register an FDR score of two or less on nine separate occasions.

Home encounters against Hull City, West Bromwich Albion, Watford, Sunderland and Stoke City are allied with trips to Swansea City, Crystal Palace, AFC Bournemouth and Middlesbrough over that very favourable period.

Only Anfield encounters against Manchester United and West Ham United, as well as visits to Southampton and Everton, are deemed as less promising by the FDR.

Having scored 11 times and conceded on eight occasions, most FPL managers will be focusing on Liverpool's attack as the likeliest source of points.

Klopp's decision to deploy a 4-3-3 formation this season boosts the prospects of Philippe Coutinho (£8.1m), Roberto Firmino (£8.4m) and Sadio Mane (£9.0m), in particular.

With Daniel Sturridge (£10.0m) managing only one assist in four appearances, Firmino is favourite to take up a 'false nine' role in the coming weeks, allowing Coutinho and Mane to patrol the flanks for the Merseysiders.

Owned by 28% of FPL managers, Coutinho is the most popular pick of Liverpool players by some distance. The Brazilian has registered an effort on goal every 17.6 minutes this season - more frequently than any other midfielder.

There is also the resurgent Adam Lallana (£7.1m) to consider.

Despite being stationed in central midfield, the former Southampton man has produced more shots from inside the box (nine) than any team-mate this term.

Adam Lallana, Liverpool
Adam Lallana has produced more shots from inside the box (nine) than any Liverpool team-mate this term

At a price of £6.5m, James Milner could also emerge as an option despite being deployed at left-back. Liverpool's designated penalty taker, Milner has already converted one spot-kick and provided an assist to claim 19 points.

In defence, Liverpool have yet to produce a single clean sheet, but the numbers point to an improvement.

Klopp's men have conceded an effort on goal every 10.1 minutes to date - only Manchester City (12.6 minutes) and Chelsea (10.6 minutes) have shown greater resilience.

Nathaniel Clyne (£5.5m) has created more scoring chances than any defender this season, though has earned only one assist. Joel Matip (£5.4m), meanwhile, scored at least three times in five of the six seasons before his summer arrival.

But, having opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge in Gameweek 5, Dejan Lovren (£4.9m) is currently the cheapest of Klopp's regulars for those looking to invest at both ends of the pitch.

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