Thursday, September 21, 2017

Klopp unlikely to pick fit and healthy Coutinho

SoccerNews in English Premier League 7 Sep 2017

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Philippe Coutinho may have returned from international duty fit and healthy but he is unlikely to feature in Liverpool’s Premier League trip to Manchester City, says Jurgen Klopp.

The Brazilian playmaker – who was a target for Barcelona during the transfer window – has yet to play for the Reds this season due to injuries and illness.

However, he made two substitute appearances for Brazil in their recent World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia, scoring the second goal in a 2-0 win over the former.

Brazil coach Tite said the 25-year-old is fully fit and, although Klopp agrees with the national boss, the German does not expect him to be involved at the Etihad Stadium.

“Both [Coutinho and Roberto Firmino] are fit, so that’s cool. They’re healthy, so now we have to see,” he told the club’s official website.

“It’s of course different because Phil, I know what people think, but Phil had the back problem a few weeks ago and couldn’t train, so that means he missed around about three weeks.

“Yes, he went to the national team and trained normally, but now we have to prepare for a normal season, so we have seven games [before the next international break] and we saw training this morning and thought ‘OK, maybe we should use him immediately’, because he was really good, but that doesn’t make sense.

“We have now to continue with the pre-season, not too long, but in a few sessions we have to give ourselves the time because in the next month we have seven games.

“We always have the same decision to make, ‘does he need training or can he play?’ and all that stuff.

“Yes, he will now do a little bit more than the other boys but he showed up in a very, very good mood and looks really promising.”

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