Jurgen Klopp has deemed Philippe Coutinho not fit enough to feature in Liverpool’s lunchtime fixture with Manchester City on Saturday. The Brazilian has not played for Liverpool this term after handing in a transfer request to leave the club, and it appears the club won’t risk Coutinho with a tough slate of games upcoming.
It was believed that the playmaker would be in Klopp’s team for the match at the Etihad. However, the Reds won’t risk Coutinho after returning from international duty with Brazil on Wednesday.
Ahead of tomorrow’s match, Klopp spoke to the media about his decision to leave the Brazilian out of the team.
“I decided to leave [Coutinho] out of the squad for City so we can use the time for extra training,” Klopp said.
“We have to prepare him for the rest of the season and that is quite difficult with our fixtures and schedule. He agreed – he didn’t want to just play 15 minutes.”
Although Klopp won’t risk Coutinho, he is expected to play new signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in some capacity on Saturday.
“He can fit in a few positions,” Klopp explained.
“We want to have him on the pitch as often as possible. He is a very good football player and fits really well in the squad.”