Many had initially thought that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp rested Liverpool’s man of the moment Philippe Coutinho in Rubin Kazan this evening, but it seems as though the Brazilian is actually carrying a hamstring injury.
After his heroics in the Reds massive win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend, it seemed entirely feasible for Klopp to have intentionally given the midfielder the night off during his side’s Europa League tie, but in his post-match comments (which can be read on the link attached above) the German admitted that Coutinho is in fact not 100% fit.
This is of course great news for Alan Pardew and his players, who would make rather take on the red side of Merseyside without the likes of Coutinho in their ranks, but after seeing on the bench last night, you would assume that he will at least play some part in this Sunday’s fixture if required to.
Currently unbeaten in their first six games under new boss Klopp, there is an undeniable sense of optimism beginning to permeate Anfield once again, but given our recent history with them, we will represent a very realistic threat to their unbeaten run, especially when you consider that Dwight Gayle is expected to be given the chance to lead the line once again on Sunday after his impressive performance against Louis Van Gaal’s stuttering United side.
Whilst Liverpool still have a huge number of midfield options available to them ahead of the game, Coutinho would undoubtedly be one of the first names pencilled into the starting line-up if he was in fact fully fit and ready to go, leaving both Klopp and his coaches with an intriguing dilemma over who would be best to replace him with as they bid to win a fourth consecutive game under his tutelage.
Let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed than Philippe continues to struggle with a niggling hamstring for a few more days at the very least. You could call it harsh, but needs must. Beyond this weekend, I wish him well, but for now, I’m praying he’s forced to watch the game from the comfort of the director’s box rather than the bench.