Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho are both sidelined by injury and Michael Mongie is here to deliver the latest news on their fitness.
Liverpool managed to break their winless run with a convincing and telling win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday evening. There were a number of absentees for the travelling side but the available players got the job done and then some.
A brace from Adam Lallana and a fine team goal finished by the imperious Divock Origi saw off a spirited Boro side who don’t really know when to give up.
Even though Liverpool were highly convincing in their performance and the scoreline reflected their dominance, the fact that there is a number of missing players was obvious by the lack of attacking substitutions.
Philippe Coutinho’s absence isn’t felt as far as goalscoring is concerned, but when the intensity drops and there seems to be very little way in behind the opponent, Liverpool are visibly in need of the Brazilian’s magical touch to work a little bit of space or score an audacious goal from range.
You could also say that Emre Can’s presence goes a long way to raising the intensity levels and keeping Jurgen Klopp’s side on the front foot. The German isn’t one to play many sideways or backwards passes and this pro-active mentality is commendable. That being said, Jordan Henderson’s controlling presence at the base of the midfield triangle is one that allows the Reds to keep the ball as long as they do.
Fortunately, Emre Can won’t be out for long and is expected to feature in the Merseyside Derby but he is still in a considerable amount of pain.
When quizzed about Can’s injury status in his pre-Middlesbrough press conference, Klopp said, “Emre was a challenge with Divock [Origi] in training, knee on knee. Both trained on and both could do the rest of the training, but Emre had a little bit more pain so we looked a little bit more exact on it and how I said yesterday, I never heard about this ligament, but it’s a little bit damaged.”
“He’s already on a good way and I’m not sure – he’s in doubt for Wednesday, but I think Everton he will be back for sure. It would be cool if he could train tomorrow, we will see. It’s painful, not really more.”
Where Coutinho is concerned, the Brazilian’s timeline stretches a little bit further and it would seem as though all Coutinho wants for Christmas is to play against Manchester City a week later.
“The rehab is going really well,” Coutinho said.
“I can now walk without crutches and I am working well with the medical team. So I’m pleased with how I am recovering.
“Straight after the game, when I first saw the pictures and videos of my injury, I was a little scared.
“But after the scans, of course, it was bad, but not as bad as it could have been. I am happy, as it could have been a lot worse.”