Coutinho loss a test ail­ing for Liver­pool

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

LIVER­POOL’S Divock Origi says his team­mates must step up in the ab­sence of Philippe Coutinho as they pre­pare to face Leeds United in the League Cup quar­ter-fi­nals to­day.

The in­flu­en­tial mid­fielder sus­tained sus­pected an­kle lig­a­ment dam­age dur­ing Liver­pool’s 2-0 win over Sun­der­land on Novem­ber 26, and could be out un­til next year.

Af­ter re­plac­ing Coutinho Origi scored Liver­pool’s opener, and the Bel­gium striker be­lieves there is suf­fi­cient qual­ity in the squad to com­pen­sate for the un­avail­abil­ity of their Brazil­ian tal­is­man.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate with Philippe be­cause ev­ery­one knows how good a per­son he is and I think he was in top form, so I hope it’s not too bad,” Origi told the Liver­pool web­site.

Stur­ridge scored twice as Liver­pool over­came Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 2-1 in the fourth round. Liver­pool lost to Manch­ester United in last year’s fi­nal,

With Adam Lal­lana and Daniel Stur­ridge doubt­ful and Roberto Firmino un­likely to be risked af­ter tak­ing a kick to his calf against Sun­der­land, Origi seems cer­tain to start against Leeds.

Leeds, fifth in the sec­ond-tier Cham­pi­onship league, over­came Nor­wich City on penal­ties and are the low­est-ranked team left in the com­pe­ti­tion.

There could also be an up­set on the cards in to­day’s other fix­ture, where Premier League strug­glers Hull City en­ter­tain New­cas­tle United, who are fly­ing high at the top of the Cham­pi­onship ta­ble.

New­cas­tle saw an eight-game win­ning streak ended by a 1-0 loss at home to Black­burn Rovers af­ter Rafael Ben­itez made a raft of changes.

Manch­ester United will hope to shake them­selves out of their do­mes­tic tor­por to­mor­row when West Ham United re­turn to Old Traf­ford just three days af­ter the sides’ 1-1 Premier League draw.

United have drawn their last four home league games and have scored just four goals in their last five do­mes­tic fix­tures on their own patch.

United will be with­out mid­field­ers Paul Pogba and Marouane Fel­laini through sus­pen­sion.

Hav­ing started on the bench against West Ham on Novem­ber 27, Wayne Rooney will hope to start as he chases a record-equalling 249th United goal.

Arsenal will have more of a spring in their step ahead of their home game with Southamp­ton, hav­ing ended a run of three suc­ces­sive draws by beat­ing Bournemouth 3-1 on Novem­ber 27.

But Southamp­ton were also bol­stered by a pos­i­tive week­end re­sult that handed their for­mer man­ager Ron­ald Koe­man a 1-0 de­feat over Ever­ton. –

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