Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that the New Year’s Eve clash with Manchester City will come too soon for Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazilian playmaker had hoped to return for the top-of-the-table clash at Anfield after suffering a bad ankle injury last month in the win over Sunderland.
While he may well have made good progress to this point, Klopp has confirmed that he won’t have Coutinho available for selection this weekend after initially hoping that he would be back in time to face Pep Guardiola’s side.
“No [he will not return], but he’s in a good way,” Klopp said at his pre-match press-conferences, as reported by The Mirror.
“The City game for sure is too early, pretty sure the Sunderland game is too early too.”
In contrast, Klopp did see Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson and Nathaniel Clyne all put in good shifts on the training pitch this week and will hope that all three can play leading roles in getting his side all three points this weekend.
In their defence, Liverpool have done surprisingly well without Coutinho having now won their last three consecutive Premier League games, but having him back will be a huge boost for all concerned as it will add a real potency to their attacking play.
As a result, Klopp will hope to have him back in the New Year as soon as possible, but he’ll have to rely on other individuals to help his side get the job done this Saturday with City looking to derail Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes and leapfrog them in the table with a win.