FPL: Which Liverpool players should you pick or drop in gameweek 9

Club football is finally back this weekend, and that means one thing and one thing only: it's time to get your Fantasy Premier League squads in order!

The second dreaded international break is over and Jurgen Klopp's full focus has now turned towards the Merseyside derby at Anfield this weekend.

However, with Cody Gakpo only just returning from injury and Andy Robertson now unavailable for selection, not to mention the fact that Liverpool's South American contingent were playing internationally as recently as Wednesday morning, it's safe to say the boss has a lot to consider when picking his starting XI.

Also with lots to consider in terms of player selection, millions of FPL players (myself included) will be scouring for clues and tips on who will get the nod for the massive derby.

There are already some obvious picks and drops, but there are certainly some players who may be going under the radar in game week nine, and Anfield Watch is here to help you make the big decisions before the deadline.


BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 8, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the American Express Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I said it in gameweek six, I'm saying it now - Mohamed Salah is an absolute must have all year round in FPL.

It doesn't take a genius to suggest the Egyptian King as a cracking pick, but he is still just 35.7% owner amongst the player base and there doesn't seem to be an obvious reason why.

His price point is understandably high (currently sat at £12.6m, the second highest in the game behind Erling Haaland), but the premium price is more than justified by his superb attacking returns.

Statistically, Salah is now not only the highest scoring midfielder so far (59 points), but he has the joint-most points out of anyone in the entire game, alongside Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins.

To put this in perspective, Erling Haaland costs £14m and is owned by 88.2% of players, despite returning four points fewer than Liverpool's talisman.

When you combine that with the fact that Salah is the only Reds forward that is guaranteed to start against Everton, and the fact that he has incredibly favourable fixtures going forward (Nottingham Forest, Luton, Brentford), the 31-year-old is not just a must-start for this game, but for the long-term too.

He's a set and forget player, if you will.

KOSTAS TSIMIKAS (IN)

Kostas Tsimikas

This one is certainly a gamble, but if it goes right for Kostas Tsimikas and you've capitalised on it early enough, you could rocket up your FPL mini-leagues.

You would have been crazy to have the 'Greek Scouser' in your team at the beginning of the season, but after the news that the injury Robertson picked up while on Scotland duty could leave the starting left-back sidelined for an extended period, Tsimikas at just £4.4m is a no-brainer.

The 27-year-old is the only specialised left-back in the squad other than the Scotsman, and the January transfer window isn't exactly close, so if Robertson's injury is as bad as initially feared, Tsimikas could be in for a lot of game time.

To have a starting Liverpool defender, let alone a full-back who loves to cling to the byline and assist from the cross, for that cheap is unheard of. For context, Trent Alexander-Arnold is £7.9m, Virgil van Dijk is £6m and Robertson, before he was injured, cost £6.6m.

Also, Liverpool could well be in for some clean sheet points in the coming weeks. So far this season, clean sheets have been very rare, but the Reds face the likes of Everton, Nottingham Forest, Luton, Fulham and Sheffield United in their next seven games – not a bad run to turn the tide defensively!

DOMINIK SZOBOSZLAI (IN)

Now could be a fantastic time to buy Liverpool's new star boy number eight. His game time is all-but-guaranteed, he has been in superb form for club and country and the upcoming fixtures could see his goal contributions rocket (much like his actual goals) in the coming weeks.

When it comes to midfield FPL assets from a Reds perspective, actual midfielders are often overlooked. Salah, Diaz and Jota, despite playing as part of the club's forward line, are listed as midfielders in the game and subsequently get more points for scoring goals.

With how prolific the trio are, it's no wonder why they get the FPL headlines in midfield. However, Dominik Szoboszlai is valued at just £7m, is just 5.6% owned and has set-piece responsibilities.

In fact, the Hungarian is coming back to Merseyside off the back of scoring a penalty and assisting via a corner to rescue his nation a point Lithuania - he's immense from a dead ball situation. Not to mention his tendency to score a long-range thunder****...

With the aforementioned fixtures and the 22-year-old guaranteed a stating position, unlike many of Liverpool's forwards, this could certainly be an under the radar pick.

DARWIN NUÑEZ (OUT)

Darwin Nunez, Propaganda

For the more cautious FPL managers, Darwin Nuñez could be one to avoid this game week, but in truth, you'd be best avoiding every Liverpool attacker who isn't called Salah.

Despite the fact that Liverpool's attack is so heavily rotated in Premier League games, Nuñez has been a great pick this season because even though he's playing fewer minutes than his counterparts, he is keeping up with the pack in terms of his goals and point returns.

Nunez is the eighth highest scoring forward in the game so far this season with 33 points, and he is within ten points of every single striker ahead of him barring Manchester City duo Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez.

That is in spite of the fact that he has played significantly fewer minutes than most high-scoring forwards this year and demonstrates how good of an option he has been this season.

Although, for the second time already this season, somehow, the Reds have been given the early kick-off slot directly after the international break, which means that the club's four South American's – including Nuñez and Luis Diaz – have a game against Everton just three days after games on a different continent.

Thankfully, both stars, as well as the previously injured Cody Gakpo, were all pictured in Liverpool training on Thursday morning, but which one, if any, starts against Everton is a complete lottery at this point. It's best to avoid Nuñez, and most of the Reds' attackers this week for that reason.

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