Liverpool 3-0 Leicester
- Buts: Diogo Jota (6,6 M £), Roberto Firmino (9,2 M £)
- Own goals: Jonny Evans (£ 5.5million)
- Aide: James Milner x2 (5,3 M £), Andrew Robertson (7,1 M £)
- Points bonus: Robertson x3, Milner x2, Alisson x1 (£, Jota x1
FABLiverpool’s injured defense turned the Fantasy Premier League narrative on Gameweek 9 as they retained a first clean sheet at home of the season against Leicester City.
The fantasy community largely turned their backs on members of the Reds’ backline after the international break, but the much-needed return of Fabinho (£ 5.4million) may have already changed their minds.
Jurgen Klopp paired the Brazilian midfielder with Joel matip (£ 5.4 million) in the heart of the Liverpool defense against Leicester, intensification superbly to a late charge of the visitors.
Anyone wondering about the Reds’ defensive potential for the upcoming games against Brighton (away), Wolves (home) and Fulham (away) need only consider the tactical implications of keeping a white sheet against a shaped one. Jamie Vardy (10,2 M £)
On Sunday, Liverpool pinned Leicester in their own half practically from the kick-off, usually something to suit the Foxes’ center forward’s ability to punish the space behind the defense – but the Reds didn’t give him still not given a shift and the professional was accused of Leicester.
Leicester simply couldn’t string together enough passes to get Vardy through the space he thrives in, with Brendan Rodgers’ men often rocked in possession by the constant wave of attacks from Liverpool. An extremely impressive achievement considering the number of shortages at the rear.
“We had a good opportunity on the clock with Harvey Barnes, but overall, when you’re passive like that, your football is not quite the same. We weren’t aggressive enough. – Brendan Rodgers
“Centerback, I try to always be in good communication with my teammates – Joel (Matip), Robbo, the players around me. They help me a lot. We knew we were playing against a very good team and a very dangerous striker [Jamie Vardy] but communication was also very important for this. – Fabinho
NECO THE WOODS
Not surprisingly, the focus was on the back side of Liverpool against Leicester, improved defensive control help Andrew Robertson (£ 7.1m) at 12 points thanks to his third assist of the season and his maximum bonus.
“But above all (the second) goal, Jota couldn’t have scored without an exceptional cross from Andy Robertson. What a situation in the whole construction. All these passages and then I think it was Joel at Robbo. Albrighton tries everything to win the battle, the small challenge there and Robbo is really a good first touch. Then a sensational cross. – Jurgen Klopp
The fantastic opportunities will however have had their eye on the right rear bunk, where the setter kick taker James Milner (£ 5.3m) completed for Trent Alexander-Arnold (£ 7.3million) and recorded two assists for an 11-point run.
“There were a lot of good things. I can not pick one that most appealed to me – perhaps the performance of James Milner to the right rear. He played an exceptional game, first there and then in midfield. This is what we expect of ourselves. The injuries were a huge shock at that point, but the boys have to come up with solutions. We have half-centers, they are really young. They have no experience, you saw the bench tonight. – Jurgen Klopp
Milner’s midfield classification might be enough to delay investment in him, but Fantasy managers will be keeping an eye out for the implications of injury for Naby Keïta (5,2 M £)
When he was forced to leave with a hamstring problem in the 54th minute, Milner took his place in midfield, leaving Neco Williams (£ 3.9million) to finish the game at right-back.
If Keïta stays on the sidelines for the same length of time as Alexander-Arnold, we could finally have a reliable budget starter in Liverpool’s defense long enough to justify the investment.
“(Keïta) felt his hamstrings and couldn’t continue playing, otherwise he would have stayed on the pitch. – Jurgen Klopp
DO I STAY OR DIOGO?
Diogo Jota (6.6 million pounds) start asking serious questions to managers of fantasy when he scored again in a 3-0 victory against Leicester.
He became the first player in Liverpool history to find the net in each of his first four competitive home games and has averaged seven points per game since week six.
The old man Wolves earned five bonus during this time and could easily have left Anfield with a shot in double figures against Leicester, operating Mohamed Salah‘s (£ 12.2million).
Kasper Schmeichel (£ 5.5million) has been called twice to turn Jota off at the near post as Roberto Firmino (£ 9.2million) hit the woodwork twice either from the Portugal international’s pass or a bouncing shot, with the Brazilian’s slight reluctance costing him two assists.
The question now, of course, how often can it start with Salah returning to the fold after a period of self-isolation?
Fortunately, we have a Champions League game against Atalanta midweek to see how ready Klopp is to send the Egyptian straight back to the starting lineup.
“I heard, yes, that [was] negative today. I think he’s pretty normal now in testing. Tomorrow, we have the UEFA tests for the Champions League and I’m pretty sure it will be part. He can now train with us tomorrow, that’s all. He will have two tests in the next two days, so, yes, he will be tested like all of us. – Jurgen Klopp
That said, even though Salah returns for the Gameweek 10 trip to Brighton, Jota still kept his promises while sharing the pitch with him.
The two forwards started together in Gameweek 6, when Jota recorded a score of nine points. And even though a return from Salah pushes the former Wolves man onto the bench, he came in for 20 minutes against West Ham and walked away with eight points.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson, Fabinho, Matip, Milner; Keïta (N Williams 54 ′), Wijnaldum, C Jones; Mané (Minamino 89 ′), Firmino, Jota (Origi 89 ′).
Leicester City XI (3-4-2-1): Schmeichel; Fuchs (Praet 62 ‘), Evans, Fofana; Justin, N Mendy, Tielemans, Albrighton; H Barnes (Ünder 62 ′), Maddison; Vardy.
Lessons from FPL Gameweek 9
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