FPL tips: Liverpool defence finding form ahead of run-in

Jurgen Klopp’s side provide all three defenders and the number one goalkeeper in gameweek 31’s recommendations.

By Press Association Published: 8 April 2021 - 4.07pm

Liverpool’s defensive woes may be behind them – and that in turn could shape your Fantasy Premier League fortunes from here on in.

Back-to-back clean sheets have put Jurgen Klopp’s side back on track and with a friendly run-in, there are options for armchair managers whatever your needs.

There are low-cost pick-ups to be had further forward as managers prepare for the season’s final push.

Paint the town Red

Top defensive picks for FPL gameweek 31
Liverpool lock out this week’s defensive picks (PA graphic)

Liverpool have endured a nightmare defensive season due to injuries, headlined by Virgil Van Dijk with Joel Matip and Joe Gomez also long-term absentees.

A deadline-day trolley dash brought in centre-backs Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies to supplement youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams and while Davies has not been seen yet in any competition, Kabak and Phillips have finally established a partnership in recent weeks.

Both are cheaply priced in FPL, Phillips a mere £4million with Kabak £1m more, which helps their standing in the PA news agency’s Transfer Score system.

The rating combines form with cost, ownership and fixture difficulty rating (FDR) and given Liverpool’s defensive form since the international break, ownership of 0.4 per cent for Kabak and 1.7 for Phillips as well as their low prices, and upcoming games against Aston Villa, Leeds and Newcastle, it is no surprise to see the pair riding high.

Top goalkeeping picks for FPL gameweek 31
Alisson Becker completes the Reds’ defensive domination (PA graphic)

The only defender ahead of them this week is team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose assist against Arsenal and back-to-back three-point bonuses lift him to a transfer score of 80 to Kabak’s 71 and Phillips’ 70.

Alisson Becker is our most fancied goalkeeper this week for good measure – and by a distance, with his transfer score of 72 putting him 12 clear of any other custodian.

Pereira on top after star showing

Top midfield picks for FPL gameweek 31
Matheus Pereira is gameweek 31’s overall top pick (PA graphic)

Another Liverpool player, Diogo Jota, ranks second in midfield but the standings are headed by Matheus Pereira after he almost single-handedly destroyed Chelsea last weekend.

The West Brom star contributed two goals and two assists in the astonishing 5-2 rout, making him the form player in FPL and lifting his transfer score to 91.

There are caveats – the international break and FA Cup quarter-finals mean the form rating, which counts for 50 per cent of a player’s transfer score, currently covers only two games for most clubs.

Matheus Pereira scores against Chelsea
Can the inconsistent Matheus Pereira build on his starring role against Chelsea? (Clive Rose/PA)

Pereira has also been wildly inconsistent this season, with those four goal involvements being his first since gameweek 21 when he had a goal (his fourth in three gameweeks) and an assist in the draw with Fulham.

Leandro Trossard, last week’s leading midfielder, holds on in third with a transfer score of 74, five points behind Jota.

Strikers finally showing up

Top attacking picks for FPL gameweek 31
Kelechi Iheanacho and Chris Wood stand out in attack (PA graphic)

Kelechi Iheanacho‘s recent run of scoring form made the Leicester striker the man to have last week and despite drawing a blank against Manchester City, he remains the top-ranked striker with a transfer score of 80.

Just two points behind is Burnley’s Chris Wood as the system offers up more appealing attacking options than has been the case for much of this term. The New Zealander has three goals, an assist and six bonus points in his last three games at £6.2m.

Alexandre Lacazette rounds out the attacking podium – the Arsenal man has scored in three of his last four starts, with only his £8.2m price tag capping his transfer score at 67.

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