Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has given supporters some positive news by confirming that Philippe Coutinho will be in the squad for Wednesday night’s EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Southampton.
The Brazilian has been absent for the last six weeks, missing the entire festive schedule, but could provide a timely return.
Not only could he get some minutes under his belt at St Mary’s, but the playmaker, who returned to training last week, could feature against Liverpool’s arch rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford this Sunday.
In his pre-match press conference, Klopp told reporters:
“I think Phil is fit enough to be a big part of the squad. [It] means there could be minutes. It depends on the game.
“It’s been six or seven weeks. It’s long. But no final decision has been made until now. I think [it was] the third complete session, tomorrow is the fourth.”
Coutinho was in fine form when he suffered the ankle ligament injury during the Reds’ 2-0 win over Sunderland on home turf on November 26.
He had scored six goals and created five assists in 14 appearances, but Liverpool did not suffer too much without him.
In seven Premier League games, Klopp’s men lost one (a 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth) during Coutinho’s absence, and they also progressed into the semi-finals of the EFL Cup by overcoming Leeds United 2-0.
The Reds suffered a slight dent at the weekend in the FA Cup when they were held to a goalless draw by Plymouth Argyle in the third round, but Klopp made wholesale changes to the team, starting numerous youngsters from the academy.