Time to take Liverpool Seriously? The Klopp Effect
Liverpool: The Klopp Effect
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Liverpool’s 6-1 thrashing of Southampton on Wednesday night might have raised a few eyebrows amongst the football fraternity but their Premier League form of 3 wins in their last 4 games including convincing away victories over Man City and Chelsea was already a pointer as to the effect that Jurgen Klopp has had on a club steeped in top flight tradition (if not Premier League success). As game week 15 is about to begin and with Liverpool about to embark on the easiest fixture run out of all of the top 6 sides, we ask the question – is it time to get your fill of Liverpool players in your Fantasy Premier League team?
Until Klopp took over Liverpool were dire in front of goal, hence a return of just 18 goals from 14 Premier League games – but since Klopps arrival they have scored 10 in their last 6 Premier League games and also put 6 past Southampton with ease in the Capital One Cup this week. The team seems to be flourishing under the German manager’s tutelage and there are a couple of bargains to be had if you can find space in your FPL team for them.
The next 6 fixtures for Liverpool read as follows:
West Ham (a)
The fixtures in terms of the teams they are facing are favourable and although they have 4 away games out of 6, their away form has been brilliant under Klopp and should play to their counter-attacking strengths. 4 of their fixtures are against teams that find themselves in the top 8 for goals conceded and surely the only question remaining is who to choose from the array of attacking talent that they have.
Who to pick from Liverpool for your FPL team?
The out and out obvious choice has to be Philippe Coutinho who has the most shots per game of all Liverpool players (4.6) with 5 goals and 3 assists to his name in the Premier League this season from just 12 appearances. Liverpool have the 4th highest amount of shots per game (14.9) with only Spurs, Arsenal and Man City above them on that count.
We have it on good authority that Coutinho will be fit for the game this weekend (blame @BenDinnery if not) and playing against a Newcastle side that look so woeful this season, he could be ready to return to double figure FPL points having scored double digits in his last 2 Premier League appearances.
Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Christian Benteke
All of these strikers are top players (and we spoke highly of Origi in pre-season before you say anything) but the concern is whether Klopp is prepared to play all of them in the same team – it is highly unlikely, more concerning is the fact that he is unlikely to play 2 of them in the same team and so making a choice here become extremely difficult. Sturridge would be my pick out of the 3 but he is also the most costly. It is almost like a game of roulette to pick who Klopp will choose to play – and for now, it is best to avoid the strikers if you can. Having said that, if Sturridge starts against Newcastle then we would want him in our team – a tough call!
So Coutinho and who else???
So Philippe Coutinho is a must pick in my opinion in the lead up to Christmas, but who are the other options if we are pretty much ruling out the strikers? The main stay of the team has been James Milner and Klopp has been very high in praise for the ex-Man City midfielder who is also on penalty duty – whether or not Henderson resumes that is another matter – but at the cheap price, Milner is a decent pick.
The other key player for me is Alberto Moreno who has just crept up to £5m after we tipped him on Wednesday afternoon (again – pre-goal and assist). Since winning his place back in the team he has been a consistent performer and he will get plenty of joy to raid forwards against many of his opponents in the next 6 weeks. He is a relatively cheap option and the attacking power of Liverpool’s upcoming opponents (with the exception of Leicester) is not much to be concerned with so he could pick up some clean sheets too.
For me, you want to fill your FPL team with players from top 6 clubs. If Liverpool continue their current run then they will have some lofty ambitions well within their grasp and that means you are going to want their players. I would be looking at Coutinho and Moreno for now, with an eye on their attack and who is becoming the regular starter and perhaps a view to bring the attacker in next week or the week after.
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