It's understandable that less than a week away from Liverpool's first final in four years, minds may be mentally skipping over the little matter of the Europa League round of 32 return fixture against FC Augsburg on Thursday. However, that's not the mentality of the team, at least according to the players who have all been asked about it in the last week.
Philippe Coutinho can be added to that long list of players emphasizing the importance of progressing through this round of 32 game. No one doubts that Coutinho, who has been one of the team's best players since he transferred to Merseyside, deserves a chance to win a trophy with the Reds. The game against Manchester City is Friday's concern. Right now, the team has a good chance of beating FC Augsburg and advancing in the round of 16 for the first time in four years.
"Winning a trophy with Liverpool would mean a lot to me," Coutinho said. "It is a very important game but we have to think about Augsburg first and then the final. We have a good chance to win the trophy and we have to give everything to take this opportunity. Everyone knows it is very important."
And it is important, especially since European football hasn't exactly been in abundance for Liverpool over the last half a decade. A decent showing in the Europa League would buoy spirits, earn the team money, and attract better players in the summer. And that's not to mention the distant possibility of winning the tournament, which would be a feat unto itself, as well as guaranteeing Liverpool entrance into the Champion's League next season.