Jurgen Klopp has stated that Philippe Coutinho and Loris Karius could feature in Liverpool’s EFL Cup semi-final against Southampton.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp fielded the youngest eleven in Liverpool history as they took on League Two side Plymouth in the FA Cup on the weekend. The minnows held the Reds to a goalless draw and lived to fight another day when Home Park plays host to the replay.
However, it will not be more of the same from the German manager, as he is likely to bring in key players for the EFL Cup semifinal against Southampton. In his pre-match press-conference, Klopp confirmed that Coutinho is likely to return to the matchday squad.
According to the Liverpool Echo, he said, “I think Phil is fit enough to be part of the squad. That means then there could be minutes. How many, whatever, I don’t know. It depends on the game.
“He’s on a good way. It was six weeks, seven weeks, that’s long. He needs minutes in training especially, but of course as soon as possible he needs minutes in games. We will see. No final decision made until now.
The Brazilian will need to regain match sharpness quickly as the Reds are already bereft of the services of Sadio Mane who is out on international duty. However, after a seven week layoff through an ankle injury, Klopp will certainly not be looking to rush the 24-year-old into the team as it could aggravate his recovery.
Club captain Jordan Henderson is certain to miss out through a heel injury and will be returning to training the day after the Southampton match. This game appears to have come too soon for defender Joel Matip as the Cameroonian is unlikely to feature. Reserve striker Danny Ings is also a confirmed absentee as he is handed an extended spell on the sidelines.
Klopp also stated that Loris Karius is likely to retain his spot between the sticks. Simon Mignolet has played in the last few league matches for Liverpool, but the German could be the club’s undisputed number one should he pick up from what he left off in the Bundesliga last season.
For Southampton, summer signing Sofiane Boufal withdrew from Morocco’s African Cup of Nation’s side and is expected to be out for three to four weeks. Captain Jose Fonte has handed in a transfer request and will not feature until his future his sorted out.