Fantasy Premier League

Shaqiri can lift Liverpool's Fantasy attack

The Scout 25 Jul 2018
Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool

Already maxed out on Reds players? The Scout says Swiss can help Salah, Firmino and Mane even if you don't have him in your team

The arrival of Xherdan Shaqiri (£7.5m) has the potential to boost Liverpool’s already productive attack.

He signs from Stoke City having produced eight goals, nine assists and 155 points in Fantasy Premier League last season.

Assessing the numbers

Shaqiri was a major threat in 2017/18.

His total of 77 chances created ranked seventh in the Premier League, while only three players bettered his 56 successful crosses.

He had 32 shots on target, second only to the 67 of Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) among Liverpool midfielders.

And Shaqiri created 14 big chances, more than any of his new Liverpool team-mates.

A big chance is regarded as a situation where the player receiving a pass is expected to score.

This could increase the prospect of goals for Liverpool’s front three of Salah, Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) and Sadio Mane (£9.5m).

Shaqiri v Liverpool front three
2017/18ShaqiriSalahManeFirmino
Mins/chance created40.047.145.048.7
Mins/big chance created217.8243.4245.1252.4
Mins/succ. open-play cross217.8486.8367.7694.0
The problem

Guaranteed pitch-time could be a major issue.

In fact, it may require a change in tactics for the Swiss to secure a regular role under Jurgen Klopp.

The Liverpool manager preferred a 4-3-3 formation last season.

For Shaqiri to flourish, Klopp might have to switch to a 4-2-3-1 and give his new signing a central-support role behind Firmino.

Wait and see? 

Liverpool have a favourable early run of opponents that promotes investment in their attack.

Only one of their first six matches scores more than three in the Fixture Difficulty Ranking (FDR).

Liverpool's first six Gameweeks
GWOpponentVenueFDR
1West HamH2
2Crystal PalaceA3
3BrightonH2
4LeicesterA3
5Spurs A4
6SouthamptonH2

But with uncertainty surrounding his role, only 3.8 per cent of Fantasy managers have opted for Shaqiri.

All that can change if he secures a spot in Liverpool's starting XI.

His creative impact marks him out as a bargain option in a pricey attack.

See: The Scout on new FPL players

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