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Lallana out to trouble former manager

The Scout 24 Aug 2016
Adam Lallana, Liverpool

Liverpool's ex Saint will be a major concern for Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs ahead of Gameweek 3, says The Scout

Fantasy Premier League managers eyeing up Liverpool’s midfield at the start of the season were spoilt for choice after Jurgen Klopp added Georginio Wijnaldum (£8.0million) and Sadio Mane (£8.9m) to his squad.

With Philippe Coutinho (£8.2m) and Roberto Firmino (£8.5m) already on board, that quartet were forecast to battle it out for our attention.

Few FPL managers had factored in Adam Lallana (£7.1m).

He was expected to struggle for a starting berth in light of the summer recruitment drive but has instead flourished from a central midfield role in Klopp’s 4-3-3 formation.

A goal and an assist in the Gameweek 1 trip to Arsenal, allied with two bonus points, helped the England international to an 11-point tally to get the ball rolling.

Burnley v Liverpool - Premier League
Adam Lallana has provided a potent goal threat over the first two Gameweeks

Lallana then drew a blank in last week's loss at Burnley, though not for a want of trying.

Whereas Coutinho registered more attempts (eight) than any other Liverpool player, just one of the Brazilian’s efforts came from inside the penalty area.

Lallana, on the other hand, registered five of six shots in the box, with his well-timed runs from deep posing problems.

When compared to other midfielders over the opening two Gameweeks, Lallana’s threat from close-range is impressive.

First for attempts inside the penalty area (seven), he is runner-up when it comes to touches in the penalty box – only Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling (£8.0m) has managed more - by 23 to 16.

There is also a clear upturn in Lallana’s displays when assessed against 2015/16.

An average of 19.3 minutes per attempt is far quicker than last term, where he managed an effort every 50.1 minutes.

With the expensive pairing of Sergio Aguero (£13.1m) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£11.7m) proving such popular picks up front, Lallana is shaping up to be a valuable route into the Reds midfield for FPL managers seeking to free up funds.

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League
Sadio Mane (right) followed Lallana's path to Liverpool and could also pose a real threat in GW3

If you have cash to spare, though, Mane’s return to form and fitness in the midweek EFL Cup win over Burton Albion seems ominous.

Shrugging off a shoulder problem, the Senegal international earned the man-of-the-match accolade after providing two assists in a 5-0 win.

Certainly, Liverpool’s short-term schedule is not the easiest.

The Reds prepare to face Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Chelsea in successive league outings, starting with a trip to White Hart Lane this weekend

Given that both Lallana (8.9% ownership) and Mane (11%) found the back of the net at Emirates Stadium, Klopp’s side are clearly capable of delivering FPL points regardless of opponent.

With 33% ownership, Coutinho may be winning the popularity race thus far, but FPL managers should also keep a keen eye on the former Southampton duo as they prepare for a very favourable run of fixtures from Gameweek 6 onwards.

In the short-term, both Lallana and Mane have the form to worry a Spurs defence in Saturday's early kick-off.

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