The most popular pre-season quote associated with Liverpool every season is “This Year is Our Year”, which eventually switches to “Next Year is Our Year” at some point during the campaign.
The 2018-19 season saw Liverpool challenging for the title till the last game-week making it their best season by far in the Premier League era.
Liverpool scored 89 goals (6 less than Manchester City), kept 21 clean sheets and accumulated 97 points to finish second behind Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
There is no doubting that Manchester City are still the favourites to retain the title but there is a genuine optimism at Liverpool that this year could finally be their year.
Jurgen Klopp recently mentioned that the Champions League triumph has only made them more greedy for trophies and titles.
Irrespective of whether they win the title or not, there are a lot of FPL points up for grabs as Liverpool are definitely the most bankable team given that Pep tends to rotate his players more than Klopp.
Expected Line-Up and Formation
Liverpool are expected to line-up in a 4-3-3 formation similar to last year. Barring injuries and midweek Champions League football, the below team is likely to start for most of the game-weeks.
The core team of Allison, Van Dijk, Robertson, Mane, Salah and possibly TAA are not likely to be rotated too much.
It is a 3 way fight between Lovren, Matip and Gomez for the second CB spot and going by the pre-season games so far, it looks like Lovren is the front runner as of now.
But this could easily change before the start of the season. It is better to make all the important FPL decisions after the FA Community Shield match on the 4th of August.
With regard to Liverpool’s midfield, you can expect quite a bit of rotation here.
Here are some stats from the last season for minutes played;
- Allison played all 3420 minutes (38 games x 90 mins).
- Van Dijk started all 38 games finishing with a total of 3385 minutes.
- Salah (3256 mins), Robertson (3219 mins) and Mané (3085 mins) also started most games.
- The first midfielder in our list for maximum minutes played is Gini Wijnaldum with 2736 minutes (30.4 games if you divide by 90).
- Firmino (2617 mins) and TAA (2466 mins) missed a few games due to injury or rotation but they still managed more minutes than Fabinho (2012 mins, 22.35 games if you were to divide by 90), Henderson (1982 mins) and Milner (1786 mins).
- Milner played right back for a few games when Gomez and Trent were both injured.
Klopp also played a 4-2-3-1 formation for a few games last season, especially against teams that defended deep.
Liverpool would have 4 to 5 attackers in the box, with TAA and Robbo providing the crosses from the flanks. This formation will also see Origi get more minutes on the pitch.
From a pre-season perspective, Rhian Brewster, Harry Wilson, Ryan Kent, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Yasser Larouci have all been impressive but it is likely that we will only get to see Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain get more than 10 starts.
- Salah will take up penalty duty if Milner is not on the pitch.
- TAA is first choice for free-kicks and corners, followed by Salah, Shaqiri and Milner. Oxlade-Chamberlain is another candidate for corners as he did take a few corners for Liverpool two seasons back.
First 10 Premier League Fixtures
Liverpool have a fairly easy start to the season before they travel away to Chelsea and Manchester United. They also play Arsenal and Spurs at Anfield. Here is the list of their first 10 fixtures:
Norwich (H), Southampton (A), Arsenal (H), Burnley (A), Newcastle (H), Chelsea (A), Sheffield United (A), Leicester City (H), Manchester United (A), Tottenham (H)
Liverpool also have a mid-week UEFA Super Cup game against Chelsea at Istanbul on the 14th of August. So it would be wise to expect some rotation for the away game against Southampton in GW2.
FPL Assets To Consider
It would make sense to invest in two Liverpool players at the least. The must haves include one of Salah, Firmino or Mané and one of Allison, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Robertson or Virgil Van Dijk.
It should be noted that Mané is likely to miss the first game of the season against Norwich – Senegal made it to the final of the African Cup of Nations that concluded last week and Mane is expected back at Liverpool only on the 5th of August.
Origi could possibly get a start against Norwich if anyone fancies a one-week punt for £5.5 million.
Salah seems to be the safe bet however, given that he could take penalties and he is also not likely to be rotated too much.
In defence, Trent picked up 12 assists last season and is likely to take most of the corners and free-kicks – it should be added that he is a slight rotation risk however, due to the options available at right back, especially once we have mid-week Champions League football.
Robertson ( 11 assists) and Virgil Van Dijk (4 goals) are likely to start all game-weeks. Doubling up on Liverpool defence does sound tempting but I would probably wait till the end of pre-season to decide.
I hope to share an update on this last section concerning FPL assets the week after the Community Shield game.
Post Community Shield Update
I was wrong about Lovren partnering Virgil Van Dijk at center back. It could be one of Matip or Gomez. Matip started most of the pre-season friendlies alongside Van Dijk but it was Gomez who partnered Van Dijk against Manchester City. From an FPL perspective, I would avoid both of them for now.
Mane should be back in Liverpool today. He is not likely to start against Norwich but he could get a few minutes off the bench. Origi will start in his place in the front 3 along with Firmino and Salah.