Millions of pounds of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talent met at the King Power Stadium on Saturday – but how did key Fantasy targets Liverpool and Manchester City get along?
Our latest Scout Notes article summarizes the main FPL talking points as well as Community Shield goals, helpers, and composition information.
LIVERPOOL 3-1 MANCHESTER CITY
- Goals: Alexander-Arnold, Salah pen, Darwin | Alvarez
- Aids: Salah, Darwin, Robertson
The sight of Erling Haaland (£11.5million) slamming a six-yard effort off the crossbar in second-half added time was quickly accompanied by the inevitable FPL mini-exodus.
Haaland’s ownership had dropped 3% in the four hours after full time, although that still leaves him in more than one in two Fantasy teams.
“He’s strong. He missed it and another time he’ll put it in the net. It happened – that’s football. He was denied another goal because the ball was out of line. He has that talent and he will do it. I’m not concerned or worried about it.
“I’d be happy if he scores and we win, but we’ve got a long season ahead of us. It’s so intense. He’s going to help us, I’m pretty sure of that. – Pep Guardiola on late failure by Erling Haaland
Unnecessary finish and white aside, the signs were actually quietly encouraging – despite what you may have read elsewhere.
Haaland’s three shots were all high percentage chances totaling 1.59 expected goals (xG), and it was against one of the best defenses in the Premier League. He even found the net with a smartly taken finish, only for play to be stopped as the ball was out of play.
Then there were the many unrewarded bending runs behind the last line – at the Jamie Vardy (£9.5m) – which required balls to be played to it, the type of “eye test” sighting not captured by Opta data bods.
As much as anything, it looked like City needed to adapt to him rather than the other way around; usually dead eyes Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m), strangely, was guilty of not picking him on a few occasions.
It might not happen as early as Gameweek 1 (match fitness seems to be an issue, for starters), so you can understand the temporary loss of confidence, but a handful of goals in 2022/23 seems inevitable.
“I love watching him live. It’s great to watch him. His movement is outstanding and it’s only a matter of time, especially when City find that sharpness again, in the future. There are goals to be had. come in. His movement is amazing.-Roy Keane
Liverpool’s starting line-up for the Community Shield was fairly easy to predict, with Roberto Firmino (£8.0m) starting in the middle as he so often does in games of this magnitude, but Darwin NunezThe (£9.0m) odds of leading the line for Liverpool in Gameweek 1 now look a bit better.
His alternate four-goal appearance against RB Leipzig was followed by another decisive cameo here, with the Uruguayan winning a late penalty which Mohammad Salah (£13.0m) converted before wrapping up the win with a close-range header.
Darwin had more shots than any other Liverpool player despite only playing half an hour, with the Uruguayan thwarted in another one-on-one situation by Ederson (£5.5 million).
Although they are different actors, there are FPL parallels here with the Diogo Jota (£9.0m) from last season: Concern over minutes and rotation, but ‘per 90’ underlying stats that threaten to be almost as good as Salah’s.
Klopp may still choose to ease Darwin into the fray even against such a suspect defense like Fulham’s, with his quotes below about ‘impact’, being ‘patient’ and ‘getting better with time’ casting doubt on a start, but he immediately looks more of a natural fit with Liverpool than fellow model man-bun does at City.
“It was good, it was really good. It’s definitely going to get better with time. We live in a world where everyone is judged at first sight and that doesn’t help anyone, but it happens all the time We weren’t today – both teams – not 100% of their usual physical condition, if you will. But in the first few games [of pre-season] we weren’t even close to today’s level of fitness.
“When he came in we passed him every bullet to chase him away and after the third bullet he was completely killed and then everyone judged his first touches and that sort of thing. It’s just a joke, but you have to live with it, he will come out of it brilliantly, we are patient, and we know he can do good things. I liked his impact today; I liked the effect. — Jurgen Klopp on Darwin Nunez
SALAH AND THE REST
Salah took the Liverpool kick despite James Milner (£4.5m) being on the pitch; it appears to be Milner who has had the last laugh in the past, suggesting that the veteran is now happy to hand the goal-scoring duties to the Egyptian even when the two are on the pitch.
The lively Salah ‘helped the assistant’ for his penalty and Liverpool’s third goal, also setting up the equally impressive Trent Alexandre-Arnold‘s (£7.5million) deflected the deadlock breaker.
Luis Diaz (£8.0m) was quieter, as it has been throughout pre-season, so it’s perhaps still a little premature to mention that in the same breath as Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) in talks around Liverpool’s third place in our FPL squads, especially when the cheapest Scotsman is so important in the opposition zone – here the left-back has not only helped Darwin’s strike, but also nodded a glorious chance of his own wide from close quarters.
As for City, Phil Foden (£8.0m) got his first minutes of pre-season as a second-half substitute after missing the United States tour. Foden’s inaction means that Riyadh Mahrez (£8.0m) Jack Greish (£7.0million) were lucky enough to land a marker for one of Gameweek 1’s wide roles, but both failed their King Power auditions and were snagged before the hour mark, with substitutes Foden and rookie Julian Alvarez (£6.5m) continues to be involved in City’s equaliser.
Joao Cancelo (£7.0m) was meanwhile stationed at left-back, where the consensus seems to be that he looks less effective, although let’s not forget that the bulk of his 11 FPL assists on the season last came from this very position.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Adrian, Alexander-Arnold (Milner 74′), Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson (Elliott 74′), Thiago (Keita 84′), Diaz (Carvalho 89′), Salah (Jones 90′), Firmino ( Nunez 59′).
Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne (Gundogan 73′), Bernardo, Mahrez (Foden 58′), Grealish (Alvarez 58′), Haaland
PRE-SEASON MINUTES TRACKING
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