Liverpool are back in the big time. The Reds have built on last season’s run to the Champions League final and are now flying in the Premier League, and with more than half of the season gone, they look on course to win a first league title since the division was formed.
Jurgen Klopp has brought in a highly aggressive play style to Anfield, in both defence and attack, making his side one of the most difficult to play against and most brilliant to watch in the league. Can you recreate this success on FIFA 19’s Career Mode, however? With a frightening forward line, solid defence and strong depth, everything is set for you to deliver a first Premier League title.
Surprisingly, it’s only a four and a half star rating for Liverpool on FIFA 19. They have an 88 attack, but an 82 midfield and 80 defence lets them down.
Recently, Jurgen Klopp has switched to a 4-2-3-1 wide formation, but you should revert back to the 4-3-3 false 9 that started the season and saw them make the Champions League final in 2018. If you prefer to play with a conventional striker, go for a 4-3-2-1 or 4-3-3 attack.
Summer signing and world class goalkeeper Alisson (88 GK reflexes) kicks us off, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, the solid Virgil van Dijk (92 strength) and Andrew Robertson in the back four.
Fabinho, Naby Keita and Georginio Wijnaldum link up in midfield, whilst star man Mohamed Salah (90 finishing), Roberto Firmino (88 ball control) and Sadio Mane (87 composure).
Simon Mignolet, Joel Matip, James Milner, James Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri and Daniel Sturridge make up the bench.
Tactics and instructions
Changing Liverpool’s formation means you will have to tweak a few things tactically, but with so much attacking talent it’s all about getting the balance right an Anfield.
That attack if fuelled with pace and intelligent movement, so despite lacking a creative midfielder, you shouldn’t have to try too hard to unlock defences, especially with full backs that love to get forward.
Instead of a number 10, there are two number 8s starting for Liverpool, both of whom like to run from midfield. Naby Keita (89 agility) and Georginio Wijnaldum (84 dribbling) can both beat a man, which will then open up space for the attackers. As for Fabinho (84 composure), he will dictate the tempo if the game slows down.
That front three of Mohamed Salah (90 positioning), Roberto Firmino (87 positioning) and Sadio Mane (86 reactions) will get away from the defenders, whether it be on the edge of the area or in the six-yard box for a tap in. You also have the attacking full backs of Trent Alexander-Arnold (83 crossing) and Andrew Robertson (87 crossing) who offer a second wave of attack and swing balls into the box.
Your instructions can help you get the most out of your players, whilst also balancing out the attack with defence. That starts with defensive midfielder Fabinho (86 standing tackle), who should ‘stay back while attacking’ on attacking support.
In attack, it’s all about Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian king’s defensive support should be altered to ‘stay forward’ and his support runs to ‘get in behind’ to make the most of his 94 acceleration. Sadio Mane (93 sprint speed) should also ‘get in behind’.
In your training sessions you should use your high growth players to make the most of your time. At Liverpool, this includes Alisson, Naby Keita, Andrew Robertson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £94 million
Starting wage budget: £232,000 a week
Who should go
With Liverpool making a sharp surge towards the top of the Premier League, there are many players who no longer make the grade at Anfield. The most high-profile of these are Joel Matip and Adam Lallana. Matip is the third-choice centre back but with Joe Gomez showing great potential and another centre back needed, the Cameroonian should be shown the door. It’s similar for Adam Lallana who has fallen well behind in the pecking order in central midfield. The pair should collect you around £9 million each and save you a total of £179,000 a week in wages.
Lazar Markovic is still on the books but it is now clear he has no future at the club, so look to sell the Serbian for £4.5 million and free up £55,000 a week in wages. The rest that can go are they younger players including Pedro Chirivella, Nathaniel Phillips, Caoimhin Kelleher, Connor Randall and Conor Masterson. All five will collect you just short of £1.5 million in total, and save £39,000 a week in wages.
There are some contenders for loans at Liverpool, with a hefty gap between the first team and the rest. England U17 World Cup winner and top scorer Rhian Brewster has a bright future, but with Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi ahead of him in the pecking order, you should loan him out for the season to get some game time. Bobby Adekanye, Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones can all also be loaned out for the season.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £118 million
New wage budget: £502,000 a week
Interim right back
Trent Alexander-Arnold could go on and become the best right back in the world with no player in the same position having a greater potential on FIFA 19. However, the England international is the only recognised right back at Liverpool, and with him also the weakest player in the starting lineup, a short-term replacement would be a smart move.
Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi would be a smart choice, with the 27-year-old available for around £25 million and wages of £64,000 a week. Stats of 90 stamina, 87 agility and 87 volleys take the Italian international to an 82 overall which can rise to 83.
|Dani Carvajal||26||Real Madrid||Spain||84||85||£36m||£163k|
|Joshua Kimmich||23||Bayern Munich||Germany||85||87||£46m||£81k|
Defensive partner for Van Dijk
Sticking with the defence, Virgil van Dijk still doesn’t have a regular defensive partner, and although Joe Gomez looks like the future, a more reliable option needs to come in the interim.
It may sound ambitious, but PSG hard man Thiago Silva would be the perfect signing. The 33-year-old has attributes of 90 jumping, 89 standing tackle and 89 interceptions which give him an 88 overall. The Brazilian international will set you back around £32 million with wages of £145,000 a week.
|Jerome Boateng||29||Bayern Munich||Germany||85||85||£36m||£101k|
You have a few decisions to make with contracts as seven players have deals expiring at the end of the season at Anfield. Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi provide back up in attack and out wide, and although neither have long-term futures, they are useful to keep around for a couple more seasons.
The 19-year-old Bobby Adekanye should be loaned out this season, but that should not stop you from getting him on a new contract to see if he can reach his potential.
Alberto Moreno has been well and truly benched behind Andrew Robertson, and with just a year left on his contact, there is little point in renewing it. Look to bring in a new left back next season.
As for Conor Masterson, Connor Randall and Tony Gallacher, these are players you should be selling before their contracts expire.
With Liverpool’s star rating a little behind the other Premier League big dogs, you do have more leeway in your managerial objectives. For domestic success, you will only need to finish in the top four and reach the FA Cup final. However, you will need to win the Premier League by the end of next season.
For continent success you will be expected to reach the Champions League final for a second successive year, so it’s clear what your focus will be this season.
Brand exposure has a critical importance, and here you will need to gain £176 million from shirt sales and also earn £334 million from prize money within three seasons. Bringing in big name signings and picking up quick wins in pre-season tournaments will help with both of these.
Youth development only has a low importance, with a youth player needed to be signed to the first team and played in five matches over the season. You must also grow a youth player by five overall points and play them in five matches.
Lastly, your financial goal requires you to finish the seasons with a £66 million profit margin.
Finally strike Premier League gold
In your first season, look to get a feel of the side, but puts all your eggs in one basket and target the Champions League. It may be a stretch to win the competition but target a trip to the semis and make sure you finish in the top four in the league.
In your second season you will have a tough job, as you look to lift both the Premier League and Champions League. If you sign well and add even more depth to this already strong squad, you can then go toe-to-toe with Manchester City on all fronts.
Can you take Liverpool back to the glory days of old?
Full Liverpool player ratings
|Caoimhin Kelleher||19||GK||Rep. Ireland||58||72||£200k||£2k|
|Virgil van Dijk||26||CB||Holland||87||89||£44m||£158k|
|Joe Gomez||21||CB RB||England||78||88||£13m||£53k|
|Conor Masterson||19||CB||Rep. Ireland||61||73||£300k||£5k|
|Connor Randall||22||RB RWB||England||61||69||£300k||£9k|
|Nabil Keita||23||CM CDM CAM||Guinea||83||88||£30m||£106k|
|Georginio Wijnaldum||27||CM CDM||Holland||83||83||£20m||£114k|
|Jordan Henderson||28||CDM CM||England||82||82||£16m||£110k|
|James Milner||32||CM LB||England||81||81||£12m||£106k|
|Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain||24||CM RM||England||80||85||£17m||£83k|
|Lazar Markovic||24||RM RW||Serbia||74||76||£6m||£55k|
|Pedro Chirivella||21||CM CDM||Spain||66||75||£1m||£15k|
|Curtis Jones||17||CM CAM||England||61||82||£500k||£6k|
|Mohamed Salah||26||RW ST||Egypt||88||89||£61m||£224k|
|Roberto Firmino||26||CF ST CAM||Brazil||86||87||£47m||£172k|
|Sadio Mane||26||LW RW||Senegal||86||87||£46m||£172k|
|Xherdan Shaqiri||26||RW RM CAM||Switz.||82||82||£21m||£123k|
|Divock Origi||23||ST LW RM||Belgium||77||82||£11m||£73k|
|Rafael Camacho||18||LW RB||Portugal||61||81||£500k||£7k|
|Bobby Adekanye||19||RW LW||Holland||60||80||£400k||£6k|