Our analysis of the Premier League games of the weekend from a fantasy perspective continues as we highlight the main talking points of Liverpool’s victory over Crystal Palace.

For a recap of Saturday’s six games, click here.

LIVERPOOL CRYSTAL PALACE 3-0

  • Goals: Sadio Mane (£ 11.9million), Mohamed Salah (£ 12.5million), Naby Keita (£ 5.0million)
  • Assists: Salah, Virgil van Dijk (£ 6.5million)
  • Premium: van Dijk x3, Salah x2, Alisson (£ 6.0m)

ALEXANDER-ARNOLD “MALAISE”

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£ 7.5million) missed Liverpool’s meeting with Crystal Palace due to illness, but Jurgen Klopp confirmed the right-back’s illness was unrelated to Covid, adding:

“This morning after breakfast, Trent was not feeling well. We actually planned to launch it, but Millie did an amazing job.

Thiago Alcantara (£ 5.4million) also had a calf problem in the 3-0 win over the Eagles, which Klopp hopes is no big deal.

KLOPP TO TURN MORE?

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The start of the UEFA Champions League group stage usually means more rotation at Manchester City, but we haven’t seen so many from Jurgen Klopp in recent years.

This season could be different, however.

The Liverpool boss had previously discussed how he didn’t want to turn Andrew robertson (£ 7.0million) out of the side in 2020/21 due to disruption from injuries elsewhere. With just five weeks into the current campaign, he has already done something he didn’t do in the Premier League last season – put his first-choice left-back on the bench.

Kostas Tsimikas (£ 4.0million) was the beneficiary again against Crystal Palace, earning five FPL points as the Reds recorded their fourth clean sheet of the season.

When asked if the intention was to cut and change a bit more in 2021/22, Klopp said after full time:

“Yes. I think we have done it in the past but maybe if you ask me like that then maybe not often enough, I don’t know. You want to field the best possible team and there are different factors; one is who played together. Today it was “rhythm or freshness? and we went for the freshness. Otherwise we could have replayed one or the other, but we didn’t want to. not.

“Joel {Matip]isn’t injured or anything, we just let him completely out of the squad so we don’t risk bringing him in or whatever. Trent, we planned to bring it [in] but that’s been sorted out too, so that’s it.

“We’re going to shoot, we’ve always shot, but you see in the last row over the last few years we couldn’t really shoot because there was always a maximum of two tweaks. [centre-backs] very often – and the third was already a midfielder. In the midfield hopefully we’ve got the numbers to go [it] and we need it because, like I said before the game, this is the team’s engine room and we have to make the changes there. Up front we also have different opportunities so that’s good. How often we do it, I haven’t already made a plan for the season, but as often as necessary and possible. – Jürgen Klopp

SET-PIECE PROWESS AND JOTA FRUSTRATION

Mohamed salah (£ 12.5 million) and Sadio Mane (£ 11.9million) are, until at least Sunday’s games, now first and second in FPL points among midfielders this season.

Salah reached 50 FPL points faster than in his previous five campaigns.

Both players followed rebounds from corner kick situations to find the net against the Eagles, while Naby Keïta (£ 5.0million) whipped a third to complete a deadball hat-trick.

More than a third of Liverpool’s goal attempts this season have come from set pieces, with a total of 43 shots in dead ball situations far greater than any other team. Another reason, of course, why Alexander-Arnold is such a valuable FPL product.

Diogo Jota (£ 7.7million) however suffered another frustrating afternoon in front of goal, blazing four yards with his best effort.

Even the absence of Roberto Firmino (£ 8.8million) hasn’t stopped him from being hooked for the fourth time this season and the Brazilian is back in full training this week to further weaken Jota’s grip on a point of departure.

ANOTHER ENCOURAGING DISPLAY FROM PALACE

The latest news on Alexander-Arnold disease as Klopp talks about future rotation

Crystal Palace opened their 2021/22 campaign with a stinging loss to Chelsea, but while the score was identical at Anfield, the performance was more encouraging.

Liverpool were generally frustrated with open play and the Eagles carved good openings on the other end, with Alisson (£ 6.0million) clawing a Wilfried Zaha (£ 6.9 million) of effort on woodwork and Christian Benteke (£ 6.3million) also hit the post – an offside flag was raised in this case but a VAR call would have canceled it.

Alisson earned his bonus point with a few broomsticks, advancing to stifle a few promising palace attacks behind the heavily modified baseline and preventing the substitute Odsonne Edouard (£ 6.5million) to follow a big luck late.

“I think losing 3-0 is quite difficult and severe [given] the number of chances we have created or the situations we have created. We were really poor on set piece defense and you can’t concede three set pieces at Anfield if you want something out of the game.

“Right now it’s more frustration. We knew how difficult this game was and I think sometimes we played really good football. The frustration was conceding those three goals on set pieces because you would expect, especially when playing here, [you are more likely] concede open play. – Patrick Vieira


Liverpool XI: Alisson, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Van Dijk, Konaté, Thiago (Keïta 62), Henderson (Origi 88), Milner, Mané, Salah, Jota (Jones 76).

Crystal Palace XI: Guaita, Ward, Guéhi, Andersen, Mitchell, Kouyaté (Olise 82), McArthur (Riedewald 65), Gallagher, Ayew, Zaha, Benteke (Edouard 65).

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