Key players Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino have returned to training with Liverpool on Thursday, giving a huge boost to the Reds ahead of the weekend blockbuster clash with Manchester United. (Sky Sports)
Brazilian playmaker Coutinho played 86 minutes for Brazil in their final World Cup 2018 qualifier against Chile in Sao Paulo on Tuesday night. Although the Brazilians qualified well in advance, they fielded their strongest team, which meant Coutinho being given a run in the first XI.
He was replaced by Liverpool teammate Firmino for the last few minutes. The duo has rejoined their club teammates at Melwood on Thursday morning following their long flight back from South America.
It was important for Jurgen Klopp to see his key duo rejoin without any injury worries, with the big clash against United looming ahead. The German tactician is already without the services of Sadio Mane who picked up a hamstring injury in Senegal’s World Cup qualifying win over Cape Verde.
It is very frustrating for the Reds to lose Mane who has been excellent up front so far in the season. Liverpool enter this match placed 7th in the table with a not-so-bad but not-too-convincing campaign thus far.
The Reds have won three, drawn three and lost one of their League matches so far, to go with starting their Champions League group campaign with two draws. Klopp would certainly want to put some momentum back into their season and what better way than a win against arch-rivals United to do that!
With his failed transfer to Barcelona now a thing of the past, Coutinho would be looking to win back the fans and a huge performance against United would go a long way in achieving that.
Liverpool will continue to miss Adam Lallana who is still under rehabilitation from his thigh injury while defender Nathaniel Clyne is also sidelined with a back issue.
United have been frugal in the Premier League, conceding just twice in seven games so far. Coutinho and Firmino are vital for Klopp and together with Mohammed Salah, they will form a very dangerous attacking triumvirate. Let’s hope that the Brazilians can inspire Liverpool to a crucial win.