Manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed yesterday that Philippe Coutinho won’t be in Liverpool’s matchday squad for their Premier League clash with Manchester City in Saturday’s early kickoff. But how will that affect the Reds’ chances of returning to Merseyside with all three points?
Well, the first point of interest is how well the Brazilian has fared in this fixture throughout the years. No side has conceded more Coutinho goals than the Citizens throughout his career, five (and one assist) in seven appearances across all competitions, and the attacking midfielder also ranks in the top five goalscorers in this fixture throughout Premier League history.
That being said, Liverpool have hardly suffered in attack without the South American so far this season – in fact, they’ve notched up 14 goals in just five games already, and despite the praise his form received last season, Coutinho wasn’t as pivotal as many believed. Although he was involved in the most goals of any of Liverpool’s front three, the difference was marginal, while Liverpool enjoyed a significantly better win-rate with Sadio Mane in the side – undoubtedly linked to the Senegal star netting the most game-winning goals (defined as goals which put Liverpool into a lead they either extended or held onto).
Likewise, although Liverpool’s overall win-rate dropped by a single percent without Coutinho last season, the Reds actually produced the same number of chances per match and averaged more goals per match when the 25-year-old wasn’t in the side. No doubt, Coutinho is a fantastic player, but that statistics suggest he isn’t as big a loss as some might assume.
Will Liverpool beat Man City in Coutinho’s absence, Liverpool fans? Let us know by commenting below…