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Can, Coutinho Expected to Feature for Liverpool U21s vs. Porto

After returning late from holidays, Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho are expected to feature for the U21s when they face FC Porto on Sunday afternoon.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers will have gone to work straightaway after returning from the preseason tour to try to integrate Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke, his highest-profile signings of the summer, into the squad. Both are expected to play a significant part in the first team this season, and much will be expected given their respective records prior to joining Liverpool as well as the money spent to bring them to Anfield.

Both recently arrived at Melwood, and they were joined by another pair of young, high profile squad members in Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can. The former was arguably Liverpool's player of the season in 2014-2015, scoring a number of memorable goals and maturing into one of the more exciting midfield talents in the Premier League. The latter spent much of the season either on the bench or in a less familiar central defensive role, but he still managed to impress and should play an important role in Liverpool's midfield.

Supporters will be anxious to see each of the four involved as soon as possible, and in the case of Can and Coutinho, it looks as though the wait will be cut short by a week, as they're expected to take part in Liverpool U21s' second fixture of the Steel Park Cup, hosted by Corby Town FC, on Sunday against Porto's B squad.

Michael Beale's side opened the weekend today by drawing 3-3 with PSV Eindhoven. Jack Dunn scored twice and Samed Yesil added another, and Beale handed starts to Rafa Paez, Cameron Brannagan, and Sergi Canos. Jerome Sinclair and Ryan McLaughlin each played the entire second half as well.

If Can and Coutinho do feature, it's likely they'll feature for 45 minutes apiece in a match that kicks off at 4:00pm BST/11:00am EST, as neither will have had much more than a few days' worth of training after only arriving back on Merseyside midweek. At present there is no way to follow the match live other than through Twitter commentary by those present, but that could change if the club decide to expand their coverage given the presence of two hugely popular senior squad members.

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