With the Premier League season fast approaching, many fantasy football managers are racking their brains and trying to pull the best possible fantasy XI together. The issue comes however, when we are spoilt for choice and this is clearly the case when it comes to the Liverpool midfield. Last season we all had the FPL dilemma of picking either Firmino or Coutinho, however this season, Klopp has added to the dilemma by bringing in Sadio Mane, who has a proven FPL past.
Clearly the middle of the park for Liverpool is full of fantasy football potential with the likes of those mentioned, but there are also others such as; Henderson, Can, Milner, Wijnaldum and Grujic, just to name a few. This has caused some heavy debate on who you should bring into your FPL teams, with the majority sticking with one of Firmino, Mane or Coutinho. Therefore, below we will try to and create a solution for one of the most heavily debated FPL dilemmas.
Sadio Mane (9.0m)
One of the new boys on the block at Anfield, Sadio Mane joins Liverpool from Southampton for £35m this summer. Mane was clearly one of the star men at Southampton, however it isn’t clear whether or not he will have the same impact that he had at St Mary’s. The Senegalese international managed to find the back of the net on 11 occasions last season for the Saints, whilst also providing an impressive 9 assists. The addition of Mane to Klopp’s attacking front line does provide an exciting fantasy football prospect and whilst he will play alongside players such as Henderson, Coutinho and Lallana, he will provide that much needed pace, which may provide that cutting edge this season for Klopp and his men.
It is clear that there is going to be heavy competition in midfield, and with a Fantasy Premier League price of 9.0m it could be considered quite a hefty price for a player that will be adapting to his new team, despite being an experienced Premier League player. FPL managers are clearly spoilt for choice in this department, but with a current team selection of just over 7%, Mane could prove a huge differential if he hits the ground running in his new team.
Roberto Firmino (8.5m)
Firmino is one of those players on Fantasy Premier League that arguably could be listed as a forward. The Brazilian has operated as a striker in the past, but he often lines up on one of the wings in a variety of Klopp’s attacking line-ups. With a full season under Firmino’s belt, this campaign could see him excel under Jurgen Klopp, as his debut season was a resounding success.
It did however take Firmino a while to get to grips with the Premier League but when he did find his feet, he shone and showed that by ending the season with 10 goals and 8 assists to his name. Firmino finished his debut season with 155 fantasy football points from 31 games, seeing an attacking return every 109 minutes. This compared to his Brazilian counterpart, Coutinho, was significantly better as Coutinho saw an attacking return every 142 minutes. Firmino will look to pick up from where he left off this season and there is little reason to believe that he won’t.
Philippe Coutinho (8.0m)
Liverpool’s second Brazilian, Philippe Coutinho, has shown his class at times as he scored some absolute screamers last season. He ended the season with 8 goals and 6 assists in 26 appearances, which isn’t to be sniffed at from a midfielder. However, he does have a habit of being a bit inconsistent and going missing and it could be argued that he does have the potential to produce a lot more attacking returns and fantasy football points!
With Coutinho likely to be on a few set pieces and at 0.5m cheaper than Firmino and 1.0m cheaper than Mane, he could find himself sitting in many fantasy football teams. Currently, the Brazilian is the most selected Liverpool midfielder at 13.8% overall, although he is only the 9th most owned midfielder overall. Coutinho was rotated last season too which could put FPL managers off the Brazilian, however with no European action this season, he should be more nailed down and will look to impress.
Who to pick?
At 9.0m, Sadio Mane is the most expensive out of the 3 midfielders included in this FPL Dilemma and although he was the key man in the Saints team last season, he may not have the same impact in a team that will see a lot of competition in the middle of the park. He may be able to take his chance but considering both Coutinho and Firmino are cheaper (8.0m & 8.5m), it could be a bit of an unnecessary risk.
Looking at the Brazilians, there is just 0.5m between the two of them and should therefore be fully considered. Coutinho has 13.8% ownership overall, compared to Firmino’s 7.7%, however Firmino clearly outperformed his counterpart last season; 10 goals and 8 assists compared to 8 goals and 6 assists. It should also be noted that Firmino played 23 minutes less than Coutinho and although Firmino is slightly more expensive, he is likely to be worth that extra 0.5m!
Written by FPL Avids (@FPLAvids)