Klopp To Start Philippe Coutinho Against Manchester United

Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring their second goal with Sadio Mane.

Reuters / Jason Cairnduff

Jurgen Klopp is reportedly ready to throw Philippe Coutinho back into the first team fold and hand him a start against Manchester United.

Coutinho was out of action since November’s 2-0 victory at home to Sunderland, but made his return as a second-half substitute during the 1-0 defeat to Southampton in League Cup.

The 24-year-old Brazilian missed nine matches through injury, with Liverpool visibly missing his creativity from the left flank.

His compatriot Firmino somewhat lost the rhythm without his service, picking up his duties in a confused role alongside Origi and Sturridge.

This situation will definitely change at Old Trafford, with Jurgen Klopp most likely to introduce Coutinho in his starting lineup against Manchester United, as per the Telegraph’s latest report.

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“We have a specific solution and then we will think about the next game. We will try to figure out which one works best,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed, with Mane busy on duty at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal.

“It was the best news [of the night] at ­Southampton, that Phil is back. You can see immediately how ­important it is. He will of course not be 100 percent, but he can be ­important for us, and it is good he is back.”

The reintroduction of Coutinho could force Klopp to make some changes in attack, with Firmino probably keeping his place, but only one of Origi or Sturridge set to feature alongside him.

Lallana was used in a more advanced role against Southampton, but has been more effective in the middle this season, and could drop back into that role. This will eventually see Klopp restoring his most effective midfield trio of Lallana, Henderson and Wijnaldum, though both Emre Can and Lucas Leiva present further options.


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