According to reports, Philippe Coutinho will be unavailable for selection against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve.

It has been the long-standing hope of many Liverpool supporters that Philippe Coutinho would return from his ankle ligament injury in time for a showdown with Manchester City at Anfield on New Year’s Eve. It would be a great way to end the year and a great way to return from injury – but there is no chance of it happening.

Despite returning to training, Coutinho is still not at the fitness levels that Jurgen Klopp demands of his players in order to efficiently carry out his high-pressing style of play. Tired players cannot sprint, no less an injured player – Klopp won’t want to run the risk of rushing Coutinho back and aggravating the injury.

Joel Matip is also likely to miss out as the Cameroonian continues to struggle with an ankle problem.

There is no doubting that Saturday’s game against Pep Guardiola’s City side will be a high octane affair. Both sides employ the high press and with Coutinho and Joel Matip missing, it’s likely Klopp will named an unchanged Liverpool side for the third time in a row for the first time as Liverpool manager.

The game is massively important in the context of the Premier League title race and it’s a must win for Liverpool to stay within touching distance of Chelsea who lead the pack by six points.

There are some whispers suggesting that Coutinho will not only miss the game against Manchester City, but he’ll also miss the next three after that and will only be free for Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford to face the other Manchester club. Regardless of that rumour, he is definitely out for Saturday’s game and Liverpool will just need to kick on without him.

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Michael Mongie
Just like you, I am a hugely passionate Liverpool supporter. I started Rousing the Kop in January 2015 and since then it has grown tremendously and has even been nominated as 'Best New Football Blog' in the Football Blogging Awards.

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