FPL Liverpool Guide: Best Players, Set Piece Takers and Fixture Analysis

Liverpool are the number one team to target in Fantasy Premier League from the offset. Consequently, their assets are a must for your FPL team and we discuss exactly which of their players are the best.

From there the article will also look at how their system and resulting formation benefits or hinders their players. Their opening fixtures will also be analysed.

When Jurgen Klopp had a fully fit side for the majority of their title winning season, Liverpool won it by a landslide (18 points). The acquisition of Ibrahima Konate to bolster the defence, refining of players and hunger to win the league back after what would be considered a poor campaign last time around; Liverpool look well set.

There is little evidence to suggest Liverpool won’t start well. Consequently, the former Premier League winners’ assets are already looking appealing.

Liverpool Best Players FPL

The best players to pick for Liverpool in the 2021/22 Fantasy Premier League season are:

  1. Mohammed Salah (£12.5m)
  2. Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m)
  3. Andrew Robertson (£7.0m)
  4. Sadio Mane (£12.0m)
  5. Diogo Jota (£7.5m)
  6. Ibrahima Konate (£5.5m)

Here is our analysis as to which of these Liverpool players you should have in your FPL team:

  • Salah – Non-negotiable, he is a must-have
  • Alexander-Arnold- Best defender, don’t sacrifice him to improve mid-tier midfield assets
  • Robertson – Only double up at the start if Virgil Van Dijk is back
  • Mane – Don’t choose him over Kane, justifiable to choose him over Bruno, don’t be scared to do it. Expect a strong campaign
  • Jota – Wait and see, at a price point which is easy to jump on at a later date
  • Konate – Last case resort, full-backs have a much higher ceiling

Formation

Formation: 4-3-3

There’s every reason to be bullish on this Liverpool side. However, the alteration regarding the in-game system towards the back end of the season is what makes their assets even more appealing.

Klopp implemented a 3-2-5 approach mid-season following a poor start which resulted in losses to Brighton, Everton, Fulham, Manchester City, Chelsea and Leicester.

3-2-5 Hinders Salah and Mane

There were many problems with the system which particularly hampered FPL assets, Salah especially. When operating in a 3-2-5 one of the wingers hugs the touchline to provide width in attack.

In this case Trent Alexander-Arnold was seen as the better full-back in regards to attacking capabilities and as such Salah was pushed further wide. Consequently, TAA operated in the channel similar to the one an inside forward would occupy, just slightly wider.

The eye test highlighted this alongside the underlying statistics showing Salah wasn’t seen to have the involvement anywhere close to what we have seen previously (xA of merely 0.58 between Gameweek 24-29). Resultantly Liverpool struggled only scoring four goals in the given time frame.

Another problem of the system was how centrally Sadio Mane was playing, almost next to Firmino. In theory should seem ideal for Mane. This wasn’t the case, however, as he benefits from his explosiveness amongst other traits, and in tightly confined areas (central areas of the pitch) there is less opportunity to showcase and use this as attribute to his benefit.

The defence struggled as the two in midfield were left isolated constantly, and there were huge gaps between the lines on transition due to the “Gegenpress”. The defence therefore had no protection.

Robertson was the only beneficiary of the system as him playing as a part of the front 5 on the ball, facilitated him with enough width and volume of crosses to make a meaningful impact.

4-3-3 Benefits Liverpool Players

Klopp swiftly adjusted to allow for their excellent run of form in the back end of the season, and given the extensive insight we have seen in regards to that system, major positives can be drawn regarding their assets.

Salah and Mane now operate as inside forwards again, heavily increasing their xGI (Salah; 6.83 and Mane; 4.94 between Gameweek 31-38). The full-backs operated in a hybrid of a full back which constantly utilises width and an inverted one (Cancelo), the standard Klopp full-back. In the time frame above Trent amassed an xGI of 2.95, higher than any defender in the league.

Mane has acknowledged as much saying: “It was not my best season, which I know. Like I always said, it can happen in football but I think it won’t be the same [next] season. For sure, I am more ready, mentally, physically, everything, so I think it will be for myself an exciting season.”

He’s been rested and preparing well and the above suggests the Mane of old is likely to return.

On the ball the move to use the No. 6 or No. 8 to drop into a back three provided a greater sense of stability for the defence, and limited counter attacking options.

Finally in Diogo Jota’s hot streak last year we saw what he was truly capable of, and given the overall media speculation that he will start the season in the front 3 as a false 9, he could provide excellent value for managers. He’s got a serious finishing ability, something which Firmino has struggled with in recent times and what you need in central areas.

The information above shows why and how the assets are ranked as they are.

Fixtures

There is no need to overcomplicate the problem. From whichever standpoint you choose to observe (time-frame), given the calibre of their team they have the best fixtures.

In the first six fixtures they do play Chelsea but also two newly promoted sides, in addition to Burnley and Crystal Palace. The latter will likely set up in a low-block, invite mass amounts of pressure and let Liverpool dictate the game. It would be frustrating if Liverpool didn’t pick up three clean sheets at a minimum in these fixtures.

Then from a slightly longer term perspective across the first 10 Gameweek’s it still looks very promising. Manchester City will of course be the most difficult game but Watford and Brighton Gameweek 8 and 10 respectively will approach the match similar to Palace. We all saw what happened last time Salah met Watford, if that’s fair to take into account.

In regards to the Manchester Utd fixture, Liverpool’s players and system counters theirs nicely.

They then face a good run up till Gameweek 17 as well. The more difficult fixture patches are in the second half of the season, so a Trent and Salah double up at the start could excel and wouldn’t need caring to for 17 Gameweeks – a rare FPL luxury.

Sides which approach with a low block will struggle to score against Liverpool in particular amongst the top sides due to Fabinho’s excellent ball retention in the centre of midfield.

Sides looking to play in an expansive manner will suffer from the “gegenpress” which will be at it’s peak in the first half of the season following a restful break for many of their stars.

Liverpool Set Piece Takers

Team Penalty Takers Free Kick Takers
Liverpool Salah, Milner, Mane Trent, Robertson, Salah

Penalty Taker

Salah is cold blooded when it comes to goal scoring and his tally, if he is on the pitch he will take the penalties regardless of Milner’s record.

Salah will likely accumulate more game time than anyone else in the front line, so the probability of him taking at least 90% of Liverpool’s Premier League penalties is almost a guarantee.

Mane will step in if neither is on the pitch.

Free Kicks

The majority of free kicks which have the basis for a good goal scoring opportunity are likely to be taken by Alexander-Arnold. Salah will take some from the right side of the field, given the angle.

Indirect free kicks will be taken by the full-backs. Please use this table for a list of all FPL set piece takers.

Corner Kicks

Liverpool’s corner kick taker switches between Alexander-Arnold and Robertson. The former takes them from the right whereas Robertson takes them on the left.

Articles predominantly consist of FPL theories resultant of the eye test and tactical analysis.