Jurgen Klopp has announced that Philippe Coutinho will not be included in Liverpool’s match day squad for Saturday’s visit to Etihad stadium. He has also played down suggestions that the Brazilian’s failed transfer could have an impact on his attitude.
“I decided to leave him out of the squad for City so we can use these four or five days for real and proper training. We got all the numbers from the Brazilian FA around the training and the intensity of training, it was all OK, but he played twice around about 15 or 20 minutes. He could have played 15 or 20 minutes again in the City game, maybe longer, but I think it makes sense for him to train. And by the way, he agreed completely; it was not that he said “No, I don’t need training, I want to play’ or whatever. It was a good conversation.”
This is what Klopp has said about his decision not to include the Brazilian in the Liverpool’s squad. Coutinho has returned from international duty with Brazil on Thursday and have already trained with Liverpool.
Coutinho is good condition, but need to train with Liverpool
During the transfer saga, which resulted in failure for Barcelona to bring him to Camp Nou, Coutinho hasn’t trained with the rest of the Reds squad and the official explanation for his absence was that he has had a back injury.
However, when Coutinho arrived in the Brazil camp last week, the team’s doctor Michael Simoni, who is also close friend of the player has said that his issues are caused by stress. Another medical official who examined Coutinho has said that he was in a “perfect condition to play”.
“Coutinho back problem? He is okay now. The back problem was a matter of stress, it was something emotional. The uncertainty about his future led him to feeling stressed. Everything is solved now. Coutinho and I are friends since years, I always treat his medical cases. All he needed was someone to give him a pep talk”, Michael Simoni.
If Simoni is right, then Jurgen Klopp’s decisions to give Philippe Coutinho another week to adapt, both mentally and physically, makes sense a lot. The German told the press during his pre-match conference that Coutinho is in a good mood and trained well, but he needed time.
“Phil came back the day before yesterday, but like Roberto, we sent them immediately home to get a few hours of sleep. We tried everything to organise as good as possible, as comfortable as possible, which is quite difficult in a week like this.
“Yesterday he was in and we had a very good talk, he was in a very good mood and his training was even better.
“But, I had to make the decision; it was so clear, we have seven games in the next three weeks. There will never be time to train, so we had this conversation. Before he went to Brazil, he couldn’t train for around about three weeks and that means we have to try to prepare him for the rest of the season and that’s quite difficult with our fixtures and our schedule.”
Liverpool to be ready for an intense game at Etihad
Klopp has also said that his players “have to be ready for the different situations in the game and against City it is probably the most intense game to play”. The German has showed admiration for Man City by saying that “without the perfect attitude without the maximum readiness to really work” Liverpool don’t have a chance to win on their visit to Etihad. He added that Man City play “too much football in interesting spaces for you to have a chance”.
According to the Liverpool’s manager, it’s not easy for the Reds to prepare tactically for their visit to Manchester City, because Pep Guardiola’s men are ready to play with different systems and are very good in changing their formation and the way they play during the games.
“They have the same problem that we have, they have one real session to prepare the game against us, that’s a real challenge”, commented Klopp on Man City. He has added that Liverpool will use the Friday’s training session to be prepare for the game at Etihad.
Liverpool are title challengers!
In his pre-match press-conference Pep Guardiola said that he can not underestimate the challenge posed by Liverpool.
“Even though they didn’t win the Premier League for a long time they are one of the challengers”, said Guardiola.
His team would be without captain Vincent Kompany after he picked up a minor calf injury on his international duty Belgium.
Guardiola addressed the transfer speculations around Raheem Sterling and said that tehre is a “zero chance” of him leaving Man City.
“Arsenal wanted to make a swap with Raheem. They talked to me and I said no chance. Zero chance. Not 1% chance to make a swap with Sanchez and Raheem. He is 22 years old. He is English. He has a lot of improvement to do”, said Guardiola. He has also revealed that Arsenal have accepted an offer for Alexis Sanchez, but the transfer failed because the Gunners were unable to find a replacement for him.