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Analysis: How Liverpool Will Cope Without Injured Brazilian Playmaker Coutinho

Coutinho’s injury would be fatal to Liverpool’s top four hopes if Suarez wasn’t returning from suspension…

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Liverpool’s brilliant young Brazilian Coutinho will be out for up to six weeks his club have confirmed...

We look at how the Reds will get through the next match against Southampton in his absence, and then the rest of the forty-odd days until his return…

Probable line-up verses Southampton: 

football formations

With the creative hub of the team missing out with an injury, Brendan Rodgers will have to look through his sparse resources to find a replacement. Thankfully for him, Victor Moses scored on his debut, and gave every indication that he’s going to be very successful at Anfield – meaning the Northern Irish boss has only Coutinho’s problem position to fill…

Iago Aspas came on for Coutinho during the Swansea match, but didn’t show that he could provide Liverpool with anywhere near the same kind of creative spark. At home to Southampton, Liverpool would still be expected to dominate the game – and could get away with taking more of a risk and playing young Raheem Sterling instead. Sterling was in the England squad for their recent internationals, but has been underused by Rodgers so far this term. He is far more talented than Aspas, and is more dangerous going forward – but would be the riskier selection choice due to his small stature and lack of defensive acumen.

Daniel Agger is likely to miss the weekend match, too – so Martin Skrtel will continue to deputise alongside new £18m signing Mamadou Sakho in defence. The Frenchman had a mixed debut, but showed enough promise for Rodgers to keep faith in him.

Glen Johnson is also out for the month, so England Under-21 skipper Andre Wisdom is likely to deputise for the remainder of Johnson’s absence – after putting in a solid performance at the Liberty stadium on Monday night.

Probable line-up for the coming month:

football formations

If Liverpool can win their home match against Southampton, they have the perfect incoming replacement for the injured young Brazilian…

Luis Suarez will return from his suspension and inject some much needed goals into the side to ease the burden on Daniel Sturridge’s shoulders. Until Coutinho returns in a month’s time, Liverpool will have Moses and Suarez flanking him. This attacking trio is jam-packed full of pace, directness and finishing – and while it arguably lacks Coutinho’s technical ability and intricacy – it could be just as effective.

In defence, vice-captain Daniel Agger will return to form a potentially formidable partnership with Mamadou Sakho. With Skrtel and Kolo Toure in reserve, this position is more than catered for, and Toure could even deputise at right-back if Wisdom’s inexperience gets the better of him.

The midfield trio of Lucas Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson should remain a constant all season. While Gerrard and Lucas can sit back and dictate play, Henderson can snap at the opposition and win back possession – giving it to one of his midfield partners to start an attack with their precise zipped passing.

While Coutinho’s injury is a huge shame for the Reds, Suarez’s return means the Reds have a ready-made and raring to go replacement.


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