Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has raised his concerns over the recent form of Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho after he disappointed on Sunday.
The Brazilian ace was replaced after an hour by Ben Woodburn in the 2-1 win over Burnley at Anfield as he continues to struggle with having an influence on Liverpool’s play.
Coutinho has scored just once in eight Premier League games since he returned from injury in January, and he has failed to register a single assist in that time.
Jurgen Klopp has stuck by him throughout that period though, with Sunday the first time the 24-year-old has played less than 60 minutes in his last six league outings.
As a result, the statistics also back up Redknapp’s point, and for a player that has an excellent record of scoring goals against Manchester City, Liverpool’s opponents next weekend, he’s concerned that the Brazilian international may not be able to turn it on with his confidence low.
“The one worry for me is Philippe Coutinho at the moment,” he told Sky Sports. “The man was on fire earlier in the season, he was the difference.
“But some of the magic has gone and he needs to try and get that back. That’s the manager’s job this week.”
Liverpool have won five of their last six league meetings with City, with Coutinho scoring the winning goal in three of those encounters and he clearly relishes facing the Citizens.
As a result, if there is a fixture that can bring the best back out of him then it’s this one, although his recent form wouldn’t promise too much as he continues to struggle.
It’s arguably no coincidence that Liverpool’s form has dipped too in that time, and so Klopp will have to get things right with Coutinho sooner rather than later to enjoy a strong finish to the campaign and get his entire team firing on all cylinders.