Liverpool fans will need a bit of a boost after seeing their team drop five points over the last two games.
Philippe Coutinho returning quicker than expected from injury should provide said boost.
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The Brazilian playmaker, 24, suffered damage to his ankle ligaments in the win against Sunderland at Anfield on Nov. 26 and hasn’t played since.
He was initially expected to be out for almost two months and not play for the Reds against until 2017, but Coutinho has confirmed he may well be in contention to play against Manchester City on Dec. 31 in a massive game at Anfield.
“This is still my hope – to return for this game,” Coutinho told LFC’s website. “The rehab is going really well. I can now walk without crutches and I am working well with the medical team. So I’m pleased with how I am recovering.”
Coutinho’s absence has been felt by Jurgen Klopp‘s side, even if conceding goals has been their main problem over the past few weeks since their little magician went down.
He had scored five goals and added five assists in 13 PL appearances so far this season and Coutinho was forging a formidable partnership as the central cog in Liverpool’s front four with Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane alongside him.
Since losing him through injury the Reds simply haven’t looked the same and have been a little disjointed in the midfield area Coutinho usually drops in to.
If Coutinho does return to play some part against Man City, it will be a big boost for Klopp’s side against a title rival and a side they’ll likely be locked into a top four battle with for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.
With his long-range goals, inch-perfect through balls and ability to be the hub of Liverpool’s attacking intent, you can’t underestimate the importance of Coutinho to this team.