Probably the biggest news for FPL managers from this international break is that Firmino (£8.8m) has picked up a hamstring injury that may be out for some time, with Klopp describing the injury as ‘serious’. How ‘serious’ the injury actually is has not been disclosed at time of writing but the rumours appear to be that the Brazilian international will be out for a month or so.
Naturally, that lends itself nicely forDiogo Jota (£7.5m) to start on a regular basis in the striker’s absence.
A brief look at Jota’s stats demonstrate great potential for attacking returns. Jota sits third for xG amongst all midfielders for the whole season (behind Salah (£13.0m) and Mane (£11.9m)) and fourth for xGI. This is also with the fact that Jota has played 683 of the 990 minutes available. With Firmino injured, there are more minutes available for Jota. If you translate his mins/xG and mins/xGI, the Portuguese will score every other game and get an attacking return in 2 out of 3 games.
Getting Jota in will be a priority move for me. Not just Firmino’s likely absence for a period, but AFCON is in mid January meaning Salah and Mane will miss GW22 and 23 at least. Jota will also likely get plenty of minutes until the spring. I think Jota will be a great medium term hold.Embed from Getty Images
Personally despite talking up Son (£10.3m) in previous articles, Jota at almost £3m cheaper in a better attack is just too good to ignore.
There is always a but though. Liverpool seem to have come out of the international the worst with injuries and knocks galore.
Andy Robertson (£7.0m) came off with a hamstring injury playing for Scotland but it looked like he was involved in the end of game celebrations so it doesn’t seem serious.
It also looks like Liverpool are missing a number of midfielders, with Milner (£4.9m), Curtis Jones (£5.0m) and Naby Kieta (£5.0m) all flagged alongside Harvey Elliott (£5.3m). Jordan Henderson (£5.0m) who played excellently against Albania also went back to Liverpool early from international duty with a knock. In the short term, there may be a bit of weakened feel to the Liverpool lineup and if you have injuries elsewhere, I’d probably resolve those before forcing Jota in this GW with a tougher Arsenal visiting at the weekend.
This is the current team with 2 FTs:
My provisional plan is to drop Jamie Vardy (£10.7m) to a cheap bench striker to free up funds. I will move on Mbuemo(£5.5m) to Jota. The free cash may be spent on a Toney replacement.
Looking slightly longer term, I have an eye on getting back Manchester Utd attackers for GW16, either Ronaldo (£12.4m) or a wide forward like Rashford (£9.4m) or Greenwood (£7.4m) if OGS reverts back to a more familiar 4-2-3-1 formation. Freeing up cash allows freedom of choice.