Coutinho to return for Liverpool; Firmino burgled

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Philippe Coutinho is close to a return for Liverpool.

[ MORE: Fonte saga continues ]

Coutinho, 24, has been out injured with an ankle issue since November but he has returned to training and Jurgen Kloop has confirmed the Brazilian playmaker will be in Liverpool’s squad for the EFL Cup semifinal first leg at Southampton on Wednesday.

Klopp stated that Coutinho lacks match fitness but it is a big boost for the Reds that their influential midfielder is back in business ahead of this semifinal and a huge Premier League clash against Manchester United on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

“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,” Klopp said. “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.”


In other Liverpool news it has emerged that Coutinho’s countryman Roberto Firmino had his house burgled on Dec. 22.

The house of Firmino, 25, was broken into by thieves last month by a gang of men who stole jewelry, clothes and watches.

Firmino, his wife and his two children were out at the time and have since relocated to live in a hotel in the city center.

Just over 24 hours after this event took place Firmino was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Liverpool in the aftermath of the Reds’ dramatic late 1-0 win at Merseyside rivals Everton in the Premier League. On Dec. 26 Firmino was charged with drink-driving and will appear in court on Jan. 31.