After game week 7, I wrote an article putting forward strong case to support the argument to select three Liverpool midfielders. The points were as follows:
- Any three out of five of the attacking Liverpool midfielders scored at least 5.24 points/player/game over the first 7 game weeks.
- Liverpool’s top 3 midfielders scored as many points (127) as Arsenal’s, but at a much lower cost.
- Liverpool has 4 players in the list of 15 top scoring midfielders.
- After the home game against Man Utd in game week 8 they have very good fixtures.
What has happened since game week 7? Did I triple up on Liverpool midfielders? Is there still a case for three Liverpool midfielders? This article will hopefully answer these questions.
Table 1 has been updated to show the points per game distribution to game week 11. The players are ranked in “points per 90 mins” order, as of the end of game week 7. The top 3 Liverpool players were Coutinho, Milner & Lallana, who collectively averaged 7.2 points per game and the top 5 Liverpool players at that time averaged over 6 points per player per game.
Yet from game week 7 the average points per player per game of Coutinho, Milner & Lallana dropped to 5, mainly because Milner’s points dropped on the back of Liverpool not winning any penalties. So let’s update the analysis for the season to date, up to game week 11.
In the top three players, Milner has been replaced by Firmino, yet the points per player per game has remained at 7.2 points per player per game, suggesting that when Fimino is fit and plays, he is a better option than Milner, and also suggesting Lallana is very consistent in his FPL points earning making him a good choice for H2H players.
With an average of over 21 points per week, game week points-distribution shows than owning 3 Liverpool midfielders is still is a good option.
So what about looking forward, looking at the fixtures, Liverpool have a tough away game to Southampton in game week 12, and the derby in game week 17 may not be that easy. The remaining fixtures are good.
An additional analysis I carried out was to see how Liverpool’s midfield compared with the midfields of other teams in the league. At the end of game week 7 only three teams had three midfielders that combined to score over 100 points, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City.
Table 4 shows the Points Scored and Cost for the top 3 scoring midfielders in every Premier League team this season. Now at the end of game week 11 only Liverpool has three players that combined to score over 200pts. Note, after the return to form of Hazard and Pedro, Chelsea has moved into the top three.
Table 5 is a list of the top 15 scoring midfielders where Liverpool account for 4 of the top 8 players. Indeed, Liverpool has increased the number of players it has in the top 15. At the end of game week 7 it was 4 now it is 5. They have scored a total of 312 points.
Table 6 is an drill-down by team of these top 15 scoring midfielders. This to me demonstrates that single selections are available, for example, Chelsea’s Hazard at £10, Watford’s Capoue at £5m, but the goal-creation workload from Liverpool’s midfield combined with the striker-less formation makes them very attractive options.
What did I do after game week 7?
At the end of game week 7 I had Coutinho & Firmino and said that I would wait until game week 9 or 10 before bringing in another Liverpool player, who would probably be Milner.
In game week 9 I rolled a transfer and then in game week 10 brought in Allen & Ozil. One reason I did not bring in Milner was because he was ill and did not play. Another is that Allen was in form and Ozil was a direct swap for Walcott.
In game week 11 Valencia was injured and so he was replaced by Fuchs.
As of now, I have not brought in a 3rd Liverpool midfielder. Maybe that is a good thing as if I were to bring in a 3rd player now it would be Lallana, not Milner.
Liverpool MIDs continued to perform after game week 7, increasing the number of players in the list of 15 top scoring midfielders from 4 to 5. Liverpool’s top 3 midfielders averaged around 21 points per game, or 7.2 points per player per game, and while Milner’s form my have dropped because of the lack of penalty opportunities, Firmino has now joined Coutinho & Lallana in the top 3.
They continue to have good fixtures, and I argue there is still a strong case for triple Liverpool in midfield.
This is my team as it stands.
Hazard is the league player in form and I would like to bring him into my team. I cannot do this without making two transfers and taking a hit. So my current plan is to sell Ozil & Bellerin to buy Alonso and Hazard for game week 12.
Baring any further injuries, Sterling will go in game week 13. Liverpool play Sunderland at home. This is the time when I could bring in Lallana!