World Football

Philippe Coutinho Fit for Liverpool vs. Norwich, Confirms Brendan Rodgers

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Coutinho of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on November 23, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2013

Philippe Coutinho is fit for Liverpool's game against Norwich after overcoming yet another niggling injury problem, as tweeted by James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:

Brendan Rodgers was forced to name Coutinho on the bench for the Reds' 3-1 loss to Hull City, but the tricky Brazilian came on and received 24 minutes of action, per WhoScored.com.

Although he was unable to influence the game, Rodgers suggested the 21-year-old did well to make an appearance at all, per the club's official website:

Young Philippe never trained all week. He had a high ankle sprain and had some injections to even get on the bench today. He did quite well to even make it onto the field.

Coutinho returned to action following six weeks out at the beginning of November, per Ben Jefferson of the Express.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool runs with the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on November 2, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Confirmation of his fitness is a major boost for Liverpool after a difficult week for the club.

Not only was the KC Stadium defeat a major dent in their Premier League title hopes—placing the club seven points behind Arsenal at the top and equal with city rivals Everton—but Daniel Sturridge was also ruled out for up to eight weeks, per the club's official report.

Coutinho's importance is galvanised during the busy period, which sees Liverpool host Norwich and West Ham across the next week.

HULL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Brendan Rodgers, manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Liverpool at KC Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

After this, a run of five games across the Christmas break ensures the squad will be stretched, especially when it is considered that Rodgers' team face Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City before the new year.

Coutinho has scored one goal in his eight Premier League appearances this season, but his dribbling ability, excellent vision and turn of pace is likely to be one of Liverpool's major weapons across the coming weeks.

Rodgers will be praying for the mini maestro to remain fit, as without the former Inter Milan player, attacking numbers are beginning to look remarkably short for the Merseyside club.

 

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