Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has insisted that Liverpool need a top performance from influential playmaker Philippe Coutinho against Everton.
The Brazilian international was a key performer for Liverpool early on in the season, and his tallies of seven goals and seven assists in 27 appearances in all competitions so far this campaign suggest that he’s been very important to the team.
However, it’s been a different story since he returned from injury in January, as in nine Premier League games since coming back, he’s managed just one goal and no assists.
Particularly in the absence of Adam Lallana through injury, Redknapp has insisted that Coutinho needs to be the player to step up and help Liverpool secure all three points.
“Coutinho has to show he is the main man, now. He has been Liverpool’s best player in the last few years, but he hasn’t done it recently for some reason,” he told Sky Sports.
“There is huge emphasis on him to play well, in that Lallana role. There are options for Liverpool, but Coutinho should be the focal point.”
Everton have a woeful record against their bitter Merseyside rivals, having failed to win any of their last 13 meetings with the Reds, while they haven’t won at Anfield since the turn of the century.
As a result, it all points towards a Liverpool victory on Saturday afternoon, but Jurgen Klopp will be fully aware that it won’t be that easy and especially with no Lallana to rely on, he needs others to step up and be counted to deliver all three points.
Coutinho was in good form over the international break as Brazil became the first nation to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, now he must take that confidence into Saturday’s showdown with Everton.