Liverpool Attackers – Who will fire for them this season?
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The Minefield of Liverpool Forwards:
When picking your Fantasy Premier League team for the new 2015/16 season you want to ensure that you have balance in your squad and that means spreading your money out through your squad and not being top heavy. The sort of imbalance that we currently see in the Liverpool forward line is of course not possible in FPL but it does provide you with a headache if you are considering choosing a Liverpool player in your team.
With no less than 7 forward listed on the Liverpool FPL transfers page we thought it would be prudent to assess the serious Liverpool candidates who could and should make your team:
Danny Ings - £7.5m
At an affordable £7.5m and the highest scoring Liverpool forward from last season, you would be forgiven for thinking that Ings will be a top choice for FPL managers this season. However, his ownership is less than half that of Benteke at 11.2% but that could offer more differential than the £32m ex-Villa hitman.
Ings was a solid performer in a less than average Burnley side last season and he did well in the second half of the season following a fairly slow start. It remains to be seen whether or not he belongs at a top 6 club but he should get much better supply in this Liverpool side to try and add to the 11 goals and 4 assists he had in 2014/15. At 23 years of age he could be considered one for the future and the biggest concern for FPL managers this season is the potential for his rotation in the squad. If he gets a good run of games then he could be a potential star performer this season, but for now we are saying watch and see how Brendon Rodgers treats him.
Christian Benteke - £8.5m
Many people are questioning whether or not Benteke will fit in to Brendon Rodgers style of football and Tim Sherwood certainly made his feelings clear when trying to hang on to his prized asset. But the truth is that Benteke is a versatile player. Yes, of course he offers a more physical presence and yes he does thrive on crosses from out wide. But he can also play with the ball at his feet and 42 goals in 3 seasons (including time out for injuries) speaks volumes of a player who for the most part of that time was playing in a team that did not play an attacking style.
Benteke wanted this move to a ‘bigger club’ and he now has a stage to prove himself at a high level. To those people who say Benteke does not fit in, I have to disagree. The signings of Milner and Clyne in particular point to a more varied style of play – Clyne was key for Southampton last season bombing down the wings and swinging in crosses and now he has the perfect front man to aim at. Although Milner has been promised a more central role he is one of the best crossers in the game and will be over free kicks and corners to swing in those sweet balls for the big Belgian to nod home – we foresee a very big season for Benteke and he will be in our team… we just hope the 24% ownership doesn’t increase.
Rickie Lambert - £6m
It is looking increasingly likely that Rickie Lambert will be on his way out of Anfield with West Brom being a likely destination. At £6m, Lambert is not even slightly on our radar and he shouldn’t be on yours either. Avoid!
Daniel Sturridge – £10.5m
With Daniel Sturridge being out of action for the (we expect) first month or two of the season it is almost inbelievable to think that even 0.1% of managers own him in their teams – but they do! That makes around 3000 people who have chosen him! There is no doubting that if he is fit he is a good prospect but we are way off this at the moment so keep clear until you see him firing again.
Mario Balotelli - £7m
Super Mario must be wondering what he has done wrong… never has there been so little written about him in the press and he is almost the forgotten man at Anfield – perhaps he should go and set up an indoor firework show to reignite his career?
Considering he finished last season being valued at £9.2m, a £7m price tag looks like a bargain but it does look highly unlikely that he will feature in the first team being left out of Liverpool’s Pre-Season Tour and when asked if Balotelli had a future at Liverpool, Brendon Rodgers telling the BBC “I'm not sure, that will entirely be up to Mario”. He has been left to train in the UK with Borini and Jose Enrique who both look likely to move away.
For now – Balotelli is not an option for your Fantasy Premier League team selection – more fool the 9000 FPL managers who have currently selected him!
Fabio Borini - £5.5m
A classic example of a player who got a big money move, overrates himself and then consequently refuses to move on. However, it does look like this season will be the one where he moves on after being frozen out of the team last season and he is not a prospect for your team.
Divock Origi - £6m
Having spent last season out on loan in Ligue 1 with Lille, Origi is back for Liverpool and has featured in pre-season chipping in with the odd goal. For part of last season he kept Benteke out of the Belgium team and the 20 year old looks a good prospect for the future. He could be the surprise package this season in the Premier League if he gets the opportunity to play. We expect to see him predominantly used as a substitute this season but he is certainly above Balotelli in the pecking order and around level with Ings.
With 8 goals in 22 appearances last season, he is one to keep a close eye on.
A word on the attacking midfielders: Ibe and Firmino
Although these two players are not classed as attackers in FPL, Firmino has played the strikers role at his old club Hoffenheim, making 6 appearances as a striker. However, he also excelled in his more natural attacking midfield position predominantly playing central or left side. He scored 7 goals and made 10 assists last season but at £8.5m we will want to see him settle before putting him in to our team as he didn’t take part in the pre-season tour due to match fitness following the Copa America.
Jordon Ibe is a seriously hot prospect for this season at just £5m. He has featured and scored in the pre-season tour and looks firmly in Rodgers’ plans. The sale of Sterling really paves the way for him and we expect to see him start around 50% of games this season. At £5m he is a snip and a top quality squad player for your team.
Who will be the Liverpool Starting 11?
This is hard to pick, but given what we have seen in pre-season a probable line up might look like this:
Benteke (Origi sub)
One thing is for sure, Rodgers has plenty of work to do to keep these players happy and he has a much better squad to choose from than he did last season. It looks like it will be a good season for Liverpool ahead – so choose your FPL players wisely.
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