Beware the wounded animal.
Liverpool may have salvaged last season with a successful late surge for Champions League qualification but the Reds were under par for much of 2020/21.
This is partly because they have set such high standards for themselves under Jurgen Klopp having won a sixth European Cup and an historic Premier League crown.
Plagued with injuries, particularly in defence, Liverpool will be seeking to re-establish themselves as one of Europe’s absolute best teams once the campaign gets underway.
And the vast majority of Dream Team gaffers will have at least one Anfield resident in their XI come August 13th – but who to back?
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First things first, Mohamed Salah (£6.0m) is the most-popular player in Dream Team right now (58.4% ownership) and with good reason.
Harry Kane (£7.0m), Bruno Fernandes (£6.5m) and Joao Cancelo (£5.0m) may have dominated their respective positions last season but zoom out further and the Egyptian King reigns supreme.
Salah has scored more points than any other player since he signed for Liverpool – such relentless brilliance has made him a Dream Team essential.
The fact he’s £1.0m cheaper than Kane is also a factor.
Here’s a surprising stat for you: Sadio Mane (£5.5m) scored just one point fewer than Son Heung-min (£5.0m) last season.
The Senegal international was criticised at times last term but his healthy points returns went under the radar somewhat.
While it’s true 2020/21 was his worst season in terms of goals since 2016/17, he cashed in big time on his good days – only Kane claimed more Star Man awards.
With Liverpool starting against Norwich and Burnley, a few Dream Team bosses may feel it’s worth starting with both Salah and Mane.
Diogo Jota (£4.0m) enjoyed some of the very best Dream Team form of all before injuries intervened – it might be wise to wait and see where he sits in the hierarchy before locking him in.
It’s generally been the case that Liverpool’s midfielders are best avoided.
The likes of Jordan Henderson (£2.5m), Thiago Alcantara (£2.5m) and Fabinho (£2.5m) are excellent footballers in their right but their talents rarely translate to Dream Team points.
The Reds have lacked a consistent goalscorer from midfield for a few seasons now and until that changes, you’re generally better off shopping elsewhere in the middle of the park.
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What Liverpool lack in midfield potential they more than make up for in defence with Trent Alexander-Arnold (£4.5m) and Andy Robertson (£4.0m) providing a potent attacking threat down the flanks.
The pair combined for 14 league assists last season –a tally that plenty of winger combinations would be satisfied with – and that number is actually below their average.
Klopp’s first-choice full-backs have 72 assists between them in the Premier League alone!
Robertson and Alexander-Arnold also benefit from clean sheets of course and in this regard they rely heavily on the efforts of Virgil van Dijk (£5.0m) and Alisson (£4.0m).
The duo were crucial recruits in the story of Liverpool’s rise under Klopp and generally horde Dream Team points when available.
The problem is that both have spent more time on the sidelines than the Anfield faithful would like in the last year.
The colossal No4 missed the majority of last season and Euro 2020 after suffering a ruptured cruciate in a Merseyside derby – many believe his absence was the primary reason Liverpool weren’t able to challenge Man City in the manner of previous years.
An ownership of 22.7% suggests that while some Dream Team managers are hesitant to spend £5.0m of their budget on a player returning from a lengthy layoff, plenty are happy to back Van Dijk from the get-go.
It will be interesting to see whether new signing Ibrahima Konate (£3.5m) establishes himself as Van Dijk’s regular partner at centre-back.
If he does and the Reds appear solid at the back then the 22-year-old would become a highly appealing asset.
Given their first two fixtures (Norwich and Burnley), it wouldn’t be overkill to stock up on four or five Liverpool players for August.
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