Fantasy Premier League

The Mane Man?

The Mane Man?

The Mane Man?

In association with Premier Punt

With injuries playing a significant part in many manager’s FPL team selections this week, many of us are left scouring the league for the top replacement options – and with lingering doubts over Adam Lallana (pretty much a definite to miss out this week), Philippe Countinho (highly likely to miss out this week) and Alexis Sanchez (a possible to miss out on a starting place) most of the headaches are coming from midfield. Add to concerns over Dele Alli and Nacer Chadli and there is even more worry in the center of the park.

The pertinent question of the week seems to be of who to replace these midfield options with and in the case of the classy Coutinho the question of whether you should drop him is a tough one to answer when you consider the proposition of a home fixture against Sunderland in game week 13.

Before we assess the options, a little bit of positivity comes from Stamford Bridge as Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Diego Costa appear to have survived slight injury scares and are likely to start at Middlesbrough this weekend. 

A Pool of Talent

Liverpool have outscored all of other teams in the Premier League so far this season and they largely done this without a recognised striker playing for the team. Much has been made of Coutinho this season as he finds himself the second best midfielder in the league (second only to Eden Hazard) but he is not the only reason Liverpool have been so prolific in front of goal. In fact, Sadio Mane has scored 6 goals compared to 5 from the Brazilian and has gone quietly unnoticed by many FPL managers. Adam Lallana has gone even further unnoticed with only 10% ownership but he also looks set to miss out this weekend. Lallana and Coutinho have been the assist kings at Liverpool with 5 each and if they are both missing this weekend it could be a concern for bringing in another Liverpool midfielder this weekend.

Who is the Mane Man?

Staying with Liverpool for a second and there is a serious case to be made for doubling up on their midfield options. As poor as they have been defensively at times this season, they have more than made up for with the goals they have scored as a team. The fluid nature of Lallana, Coutinho, Mane and Firmino in front of Henderson and Wijnaldum has meant that the top four have returned huge points this season.

Sadio Mane is the goal threat and could return to Southampton in game week 12 with a bang. Mane will be off to the African Cup of Nations before long and Jurgen Klopp will be looking to utilise his explosiveness as much as possible up to Christmas. As much as Liverpool might struggle without Coutinho and Lallana this weekend, Mane is a good option and at just £9m he won’t break the bank like a KDB, Hazard or Sanchez. We are awaiting the results of the Coutinho scan and it could well be that he will be missing for longer than just GW12 – if this is the case then you will want to make sure you have Liverpool cover so bringing in Mane would provide that for the visit of bottom club Sunderland next week.

The best of the rest?

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