Liverpool FC’s manager Jurgen Klopp won’t like to suffer a double blow in the same week, but he is in a situation he couldn’t avoid. He has already suffered a big blow, being helpless in avoiding Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona and in the same week Premier League’s table topper will pay a visit to his side at Anfield.
Premier League leader Manchester City hasn’t suffered a defeat in their last thirty matches and they have already defeated Liverpool this season heavily at Manchester Stadium. Klopp would like to avoid the double defeat against Pep Guardiola’s side in the same season, but he knows Coutinho’s departure has affected the morale of the side.
Coutinho was a big asset for the Red side and he had been the key player since Luis Suarez’s switch to Barcelona. Teams going to play against Liverpool were always worried about Coutinho’s presence on the field and he has been instrumental in Liverpool’s performance in top flight games. His departure from Anfield is a real mess for the Reds hoping to lift the Premier League trophy for the first time.
However, Reds have plenty in their arsenal to go against the Man City side, but no one particularly matches the skill set of the 25-year-old Brazilian star. Mohamed Salah has been impressive since his arrival at Anfield, but former Roma & Chelsea man knows he can’t fill the void left by Coutinho in Red’s side.
Sadio Mane is the another man who had an impressive spell last season, but he still needs to find his form this season. Firmino knows that he’ll left alone at front without Coutinho’s assist from the deep in middle or from anywhere on the pitch. Adam Lallana is miles away from finding his touch again after injury and no one in Red’s side is near Coutinho to make a difference.
Klopp will have to find another star to fill the void left by Coutinho, but in the meantime he needs to prepare a side ready to face the Premier League leader. A 5-0 defeat against City earlier in the season, which was Klopp’s heaviest defeat as a top club manager is still fresh in his memories and he needs to avoid another disturbing result.
The German manager had a say in last defeat against City as he gave excuse that Sadio Mane’s red card wasn’t fair. But this time, he won’t have his best player and he would have the make the best of his remaining troops. He can’t say that Coutinho’s departure affected the morale of the side after a poor result, and he must find solutions tomorrow to avoid them.
It will be a litmus test for Klopp’s Liverpool against Manchester City without Coutinho, and we need to wait to see how Anfield’s crowd reacts to the little magician departure. Whether they still believe in their manager or they give up their title hope after losing one of Premier League’s jewel to Laliga’s giant Barcelona.