Coutinho loss a test ailing for Liverpool
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. –