Liverpool Confirm Major Fitness Doubt For Champions League Clash

Liverpool Confirm Major Fitness Doubt For Champions League Clash

Liverpool Confirm Major Fitness Doubt For Champions League Clash

The wantaway Brazilian is yet to feature in a competitive match for the Reds this season after being denied a move to Barcelona, a saga which prompted Coutinho to submit a transfer request.

The 25-year-old, who has scored three goals in six appearances this season, reported to the club's Melwood training ground but was sent home as a precaution.

The best and worst of the 2017 Liverpool side were on show when they beat Hoffenheim in last month's play-off to reach the Champions League group stage.

The main criticism of Jurgen Klopp's sides over the years has been their defensive frailty, and that's arguably why Liverpool lost to Sevilla in the Europe League final a couple of seasons ago.

The former Liverpool striker also insisted the Reds will be desperate to put Saturday's 5-0 drubbing at Manchester City firmly behind them with a good performance against Sevilla.

After thrashing Arsenal the previous week, Liverpool were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat in Saturday's early kick-off. For Sevilla's initial games, the striker has proven himself to be a bit profligate, as 3.91 shots per 90 minutes for zero goals thus far suggest.

Liverpool and Sevilla last met in the Europa League final in 2016, with the La Liga side running out 3-1 winners.

It's perhaps expected that Liverpool's front three will break Sevilla's stubborn back-line at some point in the match, especially with home advantage. Coutinho is likely to be in the squad but may have to settle for a place on the bench. Pace in behind causes them particular problems, and Sevilla have a number of rapid forwards capable of exploiting that weakness. Ever Banega is available for the away side after serving a suspension at the weekend. These two factors, a better team than Sevilla, and a buzzing Anfield should propel Liverpool to a victory. But with no offers forthcoming, they now look set to form a potent partnership in the centre of midfield.

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