Trent, Robertson or both? Investing in the Liverpool defence
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson have both been on excellent form this season. With FPL managers looking to sell their Chelsea defenders ahead of their blank Gameweeks 24 and 25, as well as plenty of active wildcards which of the Liverpool assets should managers invest in? Indeed should FPL managers be doubling up on the Liverpool defence?
Liverpool have kept 11 clean sheets so far this season. Only Manchester City have kept more clean sheets than that Merseyside reds with 13 over the course of the 2021/22 season so far. The Liverpool defence has therefore been a ‘must invest’ for FPL managers all season with Trent Alexander-Arnold owned by 49.9% of the game.
Whilst Alexander-Arnold has been a popular investment for FPL managers this season his defensive team mates have far lower ownership stats:
- Andy Robertson 4.4%
- Virgil van Dijk 16.2%
- Joel Matip 2.5%
- Ibrahima Konate 1.1%
- Konstantinos Tsimikas 12.0%
In previous seasons Alexander-Arnold and Robertsons ownership have been more even, however Alexander-Arnold’s £8.5m price tag has made owning both premium Liverpool defenders more difficult, especially with Robertson costing £7.1m.
Trent has registered two goals and ten assists so far this season. Alongside being the most expensive defender in the game he is also the highest scoring defender with 144 points recorded in the opening 23 Gameweeks of the season.
Alexander-Arnold has taken 89 corners so far this season which is nearly the double the number of the next highest defender Matt Richie with 48 corners taken.
He is also second for defenders for attempts on goal with 34, only Man City’s Joao Cancelo has more with 46.
His 752 touches in the final third is also second among defenders, only Cancelo again has more with 777 and Robertson sits third with 591.
Alexander-Arnold’s xA is also highest for defenders at 8.76, significantly higher than Cancelo who is second with 4.04.
Robertson has now returned in all bar one of his Premier League games since Gameweek 13. In that time he has recorded 66 FPL points from one goal, nine assists, 13 bonus points and four clean sheets.
Since Gameweek 12 Robertson has a better xG than Alexander-Arnold as well as better goal involvement stats.
Robertson’s £7.1m price tag is £1.4m cheaper than team mate Alexander-Arnold, as a result some FPL managers are considering swapping Alexander-Arnold for Robertson to enable budget for other key assets such as Mo Salah when he returns from AFCON at the end of the competition.
Should FPL managers double up?
Owning both Alexander-Arnold and Robertson will cost FPL managers £15.6m which is a significant chunk of their FPL budgets. Is it worth it?
Robertson and Alexander-Arnold are first and third in the ICT Index for defenders, only Cancelo divides them. They also both appear in the top five for bonus points, top four transfers in ahead of Gameweek 24 and top three for value.
Whilst owning two Liverpool defenders ahead of a fixture run which includes Leicester, Burnley and Norwich in the next three Gameweeks FPL managers should remember than Liverpool will blank in Gameweek 27 for the League Cup Final.
If managers do want to double up it seems sensible to own Alexander-Arnold, however it doesn’t necessarily need to be Robertson.
Van Dijk has registered more FPL points than Robertson so far this season with 100 to Robertsons 92. Van Dijk is also £0.4 cheaper than Robertson which may be more budget friendly for managers.
However with Cancelo scoring high on all statistics, as well as the growing popularity of Lucas Digne after his move to Villa is the double up wise?
There are plenty of wing-backs such as Sergio Reguilon, Keiran Trippier and Aaron Cresswell who have good fixtures on the horizon, plenty of motivation including European ambitions and a relegation battle. These players are significantly cheaper than the Liverpool defenders, have the added potential of games in hand to be rearranged and therefore could allow managers to score well from their defenders whilst spending that all important budget on the midfield options.
There is plenty to like about doubling up on the Liverpool defence, however managers shouldn’t discount the wingback options at other clubs too.