Roberto Firmino back in the running for the bosses of the Dream Team until the return of the CAN assets
LIVERPOOL had a momentary scare on Sunday when Shrewsbury took the lead in the FA Cup third round at Anfield.
However, that was as far as the magic spread as the Reds rallied to beat the League One side 4-1 to secure progress in a competition that has generally frustrated Jurgen Klopp.
Roberto Firmino (£ 3.8million) came off the bench midway through the second half and scored a back heel from close range to take the score to 3-1 and clear the last vestige of danger for the hosts .
It might not have been the most important goal of the Brazilian’s career, but it was a timely strike given the task ahead this month.
With Sadio Mane (£ 4.6million) and Mohamed Salah (£ 8.2million) on international missions for Senegal and Egypt respectively at the Africa Cup of Nations, Firmino is expected to play a role. key in the coming weeks.
The 30-year-old has only completed 90 minutes once since being injured against Atletico Madrid in October, but if Klopp’s side are to gain ground over Man City in the race for the Premier League title, he will have to deal with Diogo Jota (£ 5.1million) transparently.
Naturally, then, Firmino is again a potentially viable option for the Dream Team gaffers.
It’s easy to forget that the Liverpool No.9 was having an impressive season ahead of his dismissal.
Everyone now knows that goals are almost secondary where Firmino is involved – they exist primarily to tie the first three together into a cohesive unit.
While that remains true, the goals have passed easily for him when he has been on the pitch this season.
In fact, he averages one goal every 104 minutes in 2021/22 across all competitions.
If you add in any assists, he produces a goal implication every 73 minutes – a stat that should appeal to any self-respecting Dream Team manager.
Despite Firmino having only started four league games this season, he is only 11 points from the Dream Team’s top ten.
Obviously, the fixture list is more subject to change in the current environment than ever before, but Liverpool are set to face Arsenal (x2), Brentford, Crystal Palace and Cardiff ahead of the CAN final.
How many points will Jota and Firmino produce on these games?
Importantly, the Portugal international holds 27.5% while the Brazilian only appears in 2.5% of squads.
Those in need of a differential should consider Firmino rather than Jota, although the drastic option of selecting both has potential as well.
Jarrod Bowen one of five players who joined the 100 Club ™ this weekend
Max Kilman and Michail Antonio feature in Game Week 18’s best dream squad
Dream Team awards confirmed for Philippe Coutinho and Kieran Trippier
CUT IN TWO MINDS
What would Philippe Coutinho bring to Aston Villa and Dream Team?
3 transfer suggestions that could revolutionize your Dream Team in January
Manuel Lanzini emerges as a potential short-term option for Dream Team bosses