It’s never wise to read too much into a club’s pre-season form, but Liverpool’s excellent win over Bayern Munich in the semi-final of the Audi Cup on Tuesday has certainly given fantasy football fans plenty to think about.
Jurgen Klopp’s side thrashed the German giants 3-0, with a fully-fit Sadio Mane particularly impressing in the Reds’ forward line.
Dream Team 2017/18
Mane is still recovering from the knee ligament injury that curtailed his last campaign, but his performance in Munich showed a return of the sharpness, speed and skill that the Anfield faithful fell in love with last season.
New boy Mohamed Salah also impressed, scoring yet another goal during pre-season, while the likes of Alberto Moreno and Trent Alexander-Arnold showed encouraging signs ahead of the new season.
With Friday’s draw for the Champions League play-off stage looking, we took a good look at five talking points fantasy football managers might want to consider…
1 Alberto Moreno (yes, really) was thoroughly excellent
Ask any Liverpool fan which player has consistently frustrated them over the last couple of seasons, and they’ll probably tell you it’s been this guy.
Moreno started ahead of new boy Andrew Robertson against Bayern and produced an all-round stellar performance against the Bundesliga winners.
Defensively, he was sound, getting the best of Thomas Muller on the left-flank time and time again, while he was equally as thrilling going forward.
In fact, it was Moreno’s drilled cross that led to Mohamed Salah’s strike in the first-half.
But has he done enough to remain at Anfield this season?
2 Philippe Coutinho continues to impress in the middle
One of the most popular players on Dream Team last season continues to impress.
And if he remains at Liverpool this season (Barcelona want him, Paris Saint-Germain want him) then Klopp will do well to play him in the classic No 10 role.
He’s been simply awesome there throughout pre-season.
3 Trent Alexander-Arnold will challenge Nathaniel Clyne for a starting place
Another man who’s had a good summer is Alexander-Arnold.
The youngster once again got his chance in Klopp’s starting line-up, playing the majority of the match at right-back.
It doesn’t get much bigger than going up against the experienced Franck Ribery, and the 18-year-old showed he was no slouch
Nathaniel Clyne will have some competition this season.
4 Same old Daniel Sturridge
Oh Danny boy.
The England forward scored Liverpool’s third goal on the night and his first of pre-season with a wonderful chip over the onrushing Sven Ulreich, but limped off with a thigh-injury only moments after.
He may still have that killer instinct, but we reckon he’s one to avoid on Dream Team this season.
5 Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah form a devastating double-act
These two look very tasty together.
Bayern could do little to prevent the sheer excellent of Mane and Salah, who played together for the first time on Tuesday night.
Mane grabbed Liverpool’s first after only seven minutes – and was pivotal in the build-up for their second – combining well with Moreno for Salah to head home.
What will Liverpool new boy Salah bring to Dream Team?
- 15 goals and 11 assists in Serie A for Roma last season
- Had a higher rating (7.48) than Paulo Dybala (7.46) in Italy last season
- Quick, nippy winger with a point to prove after failed spell at Chelsea
- Get him in your Dream Team now
If Mane can stay fit this season, he could easily become Liverpool’s key figure as they compete on multiple fronts, including the Champions League.
Which fantasy football team names are the most popular?
Team names have become almost as important as picking winning sides in recent years, with the punnier the better the general perspective.
So whether it’s Giroud Sandstorm, Neville Wears Prada or Teenage Mutant Ninja Skrtel, check out our foolproof list to help you decide.
How did Ozil get on in fantasy football last season?
- 13 goals in all competitions – his highest since moving to Arsenal in 2013 – and 13 assists
- WhoScored rating of 7.30 – one of the highest performing midfielders in the Premier League
- 202 Dream Team points – more than Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino
- Want him in your fantasy football team? Sign up now
Who are the best bargains?
While we’d all like to be able to pick a team of superstars, that £50m budget means you also need to have an eye for a cheeky bargain.
This season there are quite a few intriguing options available, with Vincent Kompany (£3.5m) and Ander Herrera (£3.0m) both at eye-catching prices.
In attack, West Ham new boy and Manchester United favourite Javier Hernandez is £3.5m which seems like pennies for guaranteed goals.
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