In this FPL scout report we analyse Liverpool FC squad and therefore wish to help you decide who to pick in your team. There’s still five weeks left in this transfer window and Liverpool have already presented none less than 7 new players (including young Belgium striker Divock Origi – a deal struck last summer following his impressive performances in the World Cup). But they’ve also lost two big players in Gerrard and Sterling. One can easily draw comparison with the situation last year when they sold Suarez: he was the main driving force behind their impressive – although, in the end, very heartbreaking – Premier League title challenge. As they tried to fill the void with EIGHT signings – it was to no avail. Lovren, Balotelli, Lambert, Marković & CO all failed to present a new force to be reckoned with. Can, Moreno and Lallana showed some flashes of quality but it was mostly down to Henderson, Coutinho and Sterling that they’ve managed to get some positives in a rather disappointing season. It took some time until Rodgers found a formation suitable for their new roster. Finally, with the new found 3-4-3 formation, they went 13 games unbeaten in the Premier League between December and March but then again fell apart with even more tactical experiments at the end of the BPL season.
New Liverpool arrivals
As the new Premier League season approaches, we feel the impression that they did a better job on the transfer market than last year: Clyne was probably the best right-back in the league besides Chelsea’s Ivanović; they signed a true box-to-box midfielder in Milner (on a free transfer!) – a player seemingly very suited for their style of play; Benteke and Firmino cost them a small fortune but they could possibly restore a certain portion of that fear factor they lost after Suarez left for Barcelona.
However, it seems that Rodgers could once again be faced with the problem of accommodating too many new players. So, how should the new first XI look like? Well, judging by the pre-season matches, it seems that Rodgers will return to four-man defence in a 4-3-2-1 formation. When their Copa America players return, I would expect Firmino and Coutinho to operate as a creative force behind a classical centre forward (Benteke would be the first choice for now, at least until Sturridge returns to full fitness).
Now let’s get down to business – to pick or not to pick?
FPL value in Liverpool defence
With a price tag of 5.0m, Mignolet seems like an economic solution for a first-choice goalkeeper, but Liverpool can be really poor defensively so in my FPL scout report I would advise you to spend additional 0.5m and get Cech or Courtois.
Clyne is currently the most selected FPL defender (43.5 %) as he seems to represent real value for money: 5.5m for a defender with a total score of 142 (third best defender in the league behind Chelsea duo Ivanović and Terry), 5.9m value at the end of the season, 4.1 points per game and 13 clean sheets in 35 games. However, his attacking stats were a bit mediocre – just two assists and two goals. This could all change. Liverpool’s attacking style of play and defensive instability means that his new team is likely to concede more goals (48 last season, compared to 33 conceded by Southampton) but, on the other side, they will probably assign him with more offensive duties – overlapping with attacking midfielders and providing crosses for Benteke. The big question, however, is – will he integrate well with his new team mates? I think he should. He knows the league very well, he started in all four of their pre-season matches so far and should be Rodgers first choice right-back following the departures of Johnson and Manquillo (Flanagan is still injured and Wisdom will have to fight for his minutes). All in all, I think he is destined to score another decent amount of FPL points during this season. I’d pick him in my FPL team ahead of Skrtel (also valued at 5.5m) who can be really dangerous from set-pieces but also collects many yellow cards.
FPL value in Liverpool midfield
Despite Gerard’s departure, Liverpool’s midfield is looking quite dangerous. Well, at least on the paper. James Milner is included in my Fantasy Sports info fellow writer’s FPL starting eleven ahead of the new season but I think Henderson would be at least an equally good FPL option for the same price of 7.0m. Last season he finally found his game (and apparently his bad ass attitude!). He scored 6 goals, provided 10 assists and managed to record 13 clean sheets. Finishing with a total of 162 points, he was the best FPL Liverpool player last season – even better than Sterling – and sixth best midfielder in the league. His pre-season form is also impressive. The only thing is that he’s selected by a fair amount of FPL managers (25%) so there’s a chance of price dropping if he fails to shine during the start of the season.
Coutinho is well known for his long shots, technical ability and slick passing and could be a good option at the price of 8.0m. However, due to his inconsistent performances and the lack of pre-season following his involvement in Copa America, it seems best to wait until he’s back to the pitch. Same goes for Firmino. Judging by his Bundesliga stats, there’s a real chance that this guy could be the next South American FPL wonder, but I would remain patient for the first few rounds and save those 8.5m.
Jordan Ibe (5.0m) is one of those youngsters who could have a breakthrough this season. I’m really tempted to include him on my bench despite the stern competition he faces for his minutes. The 19-year old featured heavily during the pre-season and Rodgers has already shown great faith in him toward the end of last season (7 starts and 5 substitute appearances). Although he didn’t register any goals or assists in FPL, he was a real threat in the final third with his pace and dribbling skills. As they’re looking short of options on the wing, Liverpool fans will surely be hoping he can be the next Sterling (minus all the controversy which led to his eventual departure).
FPL value in Liverpool attack
Liverpool squad looks rather full of strikers but some of them – Balotelli, Lambert and Borini – are expected to leave the club during this transfer window in order to balance the squad. As I’ve already stated, Benteke is likely to be the first choice at the start of the season. His FPL price tag (8.5) is largely due to his impressive goal tally for Aston Villa (49 goals in 100 appearances) which is expected to go even higher with a more effective side like Liverpool. With the lack of options for a good first team FPL striker at the start of the season, he’s definitely on my shortlist but Lukaku’s (priced at 8.0m) good pre-season form gives him a slight advantage over Benteke. The main concerns for Benteke are his injury proneness and the fact that he only has two weeks to gel with his new team mates ahead of the first BPL fixture. So, for now, he’s only my back-up option.
Although Danny Ings looks like a good fit for Liverpool’s style of play, he’s bit overpriced (7.5m) for a squad rotation player. Origi (6.0m) is a fine prospect and a cheaper solution but you can get a certain starter like Berahino for almost the same money (6.5m).
FPL Liverpool scout report: conclusion
If I had to use that maximum of three players from Liverpool in my FPL team they would be: Clyne & Henderson as starters and Ibe on the bench. Since I’m not obliged to do such a thing, Henderson is the only certainty for me now. I shall also keep a close eye on Mignolet, Milner and Coutinho as they price could easily go up if they impress early on against Stoke and Bournemouth. Benteke could also be an option during these first fixtures – he will be eager to impress his new manager and justify his large transfer fee.
And what do you guys make of this? Milner or Henderson? Coutinho or Firmino? Is Benteke a better option than Lukaku? Let us know what you think in the comments below.