Fantasy Premier League

Coutinho can fill Mane void in Fantasy

The Scout 11 Oct 2017
Phillippe Coutinho, Liverpool

With Sadio Mane set for another spell on the sidelines, The Scout asks whether Liverpool's Brazilian can step up

Sadio Mane's (£9.4m) hamstring injury could persuade more Fantasy Premier League managers to look to Philippe Coutinho (£9.0m).

With two goals and an assist in the last two Gameweeks, the Brazilian has earned 92,000+ new owners ahead of Saturday's 11:30 BST deadline.

Interest could now escalate following Mane's setback.

The winger is ruled out of Saturday's meeting with Manchester United and could be sidelined for up to six weeks with the injury sustained on international duty with Senegal.

Coutinho retreated to a central midfield role at Newcastle United in Gameweek 7 but could now shift to the left of Jurgen Klopp's front three.

Since returning to action in Gameweek 5, he has produced more shots (17) and key passes (14) than any other player.

Mane's absence will also allow Roberto Firmino (£8.5m) to push for a return to the starting XI.

He dropped to the bench for the first time this season against the Magpies.

Firmino's recent lack of points - with only one goal in six Gameweeks - has led to over 132,000 sales.

Renewed interest in Liverpool options could soon be driven by an improving schedule of fixtures.

From Gameweek 10, seven of their subsequent nine opponents score only two in the Fixture Difficulty Rankings (FDR).

But FPL managers should be wary of the impact of Mane's absence on Liverpool's attack.

The winger recently missed Gameweeks 5 and 6 through suspension.

During those matches, against Burnley and Leicester City, Klopp's men created fewer big chances - or chances where the receiving player should score.

Having recorded 3.2 big chances per match in Gameweeks 1-4, this fell to only 1.5 without Mane.

Indeed, since Mane's arrival on Merseyside, Liverpool have scored 2.2 goals per Premier League match with him in their line-up and 1.5 goals without him.

See: The Scout's GW8 Ones to watch

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