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FPL 2020/21 GW6 preview : Will Van Dijk’s absence impact Liverpool returns?

Home » FPL 2020/21 GW6 preview : Will Van Dijk’s absence impact Liverpool returns?

GW5 had plenty of action and drama as six out of the ten fixtures resulted in draws with 28 goals being scored and clean sheets for five teams. The average score of GW5 had an increase from GW4 (48) to 60 despite less goals being scored (36 in GW4).

Despite all that, the biggest headlines came from the Merseyside derby with Virgil Van Dijk potentially suffering a season ending injury. We hope he recovers soon. In this article we’ll discuss about the impact of Van Dijk’s absence on the rest of the team, top 5 differentials and our team selection for GW6. So, let’s get started.

• Top 5 differentials for GW6

5. Neal Maupay (BHA)

TSB – 6.6% Price – £6.6m

Neal Maupay has had quite a mixed start to the season starting with a wonderful brace against Newcastle followed by a heartbreaking defeat to Man United and since then it has been on and off for the Frenchman. However, the stats are pretty decent for Neil Maupay this season with the Brighton forward scoring 34 points in 5 games at the rate of 6.8 points per game and West Brom provides the perfect opportunity to increase that score with the Baggies conceding 13 goals in their five matches.

4. Michy Batshuayi (CRY)

TSB – 0.8% Price – £5.8m

The absence of Jordan Ayew has been a setback for Crystal Palace but it couldn’t have come at a better time for Michy Batshuayi who started his first game for Palace in the weekend and provided the assist for Wilfried Zaha in the 1-1 draw against Brighton. Having Michy playing upfront could also be a boost for Zaha as the Belgian can link up the play and get in those scoring positions.

The fact that Palace are playing Fulham also makes Batshuayi a tempting differential ahead of GW6. Fulham are yet to win a single game this season and the Cottagers have conceded a massive 12 goals in their five games.

3. Ross Barkley (AVL)

TSB – 4.0% Price – £6.0m

Ross Barkley has hit the ground running at Aston Villa, with some great performances against two top teams in Liverpool and Leicester City. The Chelsea loanee has scored 18 points in his first two matches at 9 points per game.

What makes Ross Barkley a tempting pick is his influence in the pitch, he can hit one from long range as we saw against Leicester City last weekend, he might be in the mix for taking set-pieces too which is always an advantage for your team.

2. Max Kilman (WOL)

TSB – 6.4% Price – £4.1m

Every year we discover some hidden gems in the Fantasy Premier League. In 2018, we had Raul Jimenez. In 2019, we had John Lundstram (Lord) and this year Max Kilman could be the potential game changer for us.

An injury to defender Marcal opened the door for Max Kilman to stake his claim and did he not make the most out of his opportunity. Since the 23-year old has started for Wolves, he has scored 21 points in two games and Wolves haven’t conceded a single goal during this time. At just £4.1, Kilman offers great value for price and is potentially one to keep for the long-term.

1. Che Adams (SOU)

TSB – 1.6% Price – £5.8m

Che Adams tops our list of top 5 differentials for GW6 and he deserves it after his wonderful performance against Chelsea, both scoring and assisting a goal in the 3-3 draw. However, Che Adams won’t be facing a team with a dodgy defense this week, Everton have been very solid this season and will do everything in their power to stop the Saints from scoring. Southampton on the other hand have been struggling defensively but their attack is a joy to watch. The front duo of Danny Ings and Che Adams can threaten any defense in the league and it will be interesting to see if Adams can continue his goal scoring and keep us FPL owners happy.

• Team selection for GW6

GK : Emiliano Martinez

DEF : Max Kilman

DEF : Tariq Lamptey

DEF : Andrew Robertson

MID : Ross Barkley

MID : Wilfried Zaha

MID : Mo Salah

MID : Heung-Min Son (V)

FWD : Timo Werner

FWD : Dominic Calvert-Lewin

FWD : Harry Kane (C)

• Will Van Dijk’s absence impact Liverpool returns?

It was made official by Liverpool Football Club that defender Virgil Van Dijk will undergo surgery for a major knee injury and is unlikely to make any more appearances this season. This comes after the Everton game where Van Dijk was caught at the end of a strong tackle from Jordan Pickford.

Virgil Van Dijk was arguably Liverpool’s best player and will the Dutchman’s absence impact the other players in terms of returns and results? Of course it will.

Let’s discuss this in three phases, the attacking phase, the midfield phase and the defensive phase. First the attacking phase, the front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane will have the least impact as they will still keep scoring goals but yeah they’ll miss those tasty long balls from Van Dijk and may need to step up their defensive duties too.

The midfield phase, a lot rests on the shoulders of the midfield now in terms of maintaining their shape, avoiding errors and most importantly the leadership. Van Dijk was a leader on and off the pitch which was one of the major reasons Liverpool always looked so comfortable. It doesn’t have to be a single player like Jordan Henderson or Gini Wijnaldum but everyone being a leader on the pitch to make up for what’s lost.

Finally the defensive phase, I fear that Van Dijk’s absence will affect Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson the most in terms of FPL. Why do I think that? This is because when Van Dijk plays, Liverpool can play a high defensive line and that allows the fullbacks to bomb forward and contribute to the attacking phase. Virgil Van Dijk’s greatest trait is not his aerial ability or physicality but his ability to read the play and position himself accordingly. That is why Liverpool can play a high line in the first place. No doubt Joel Matip is a good defender but a defensive duo of Joe Gomez and Matip would be a feast for any striker. Hence, I feel this is where Jurgen Klopp needs to adapt and push back the defensive line in order to concede less and keep winning.

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