Straight out of the gate, there’s good news. We’ve waited and waited for good news concerning Liverpool’s injured players and I’m happy to say it’s finally arrived. Today, manager Jürgen Klopp confirmed that the wounded triumvirate of Joël Matip, Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho have made it through training with flying colors. All were likely presented with their injury-free field badges and sent to padded storage for the next two days with thoughts on Sunday’s match against Manchester United.
“They all were in training yesterday,” said Klopp. “So we have to wait for any reaction before we make decisions. We have to wait. The last game was only two days ago so we have to wait for these players, too. And then we make a line-up.
“But they are closer than they were before any game in the last few weeks.”
A return of Jordan Henderson to Liverpool’s midfield is essential. There is much and more than the captain does on the pitch that goes unnoticed. Emre Can has struggled to fill in, as has Gini Wijnaldum or any other player tasked with doing the Henderson business. Come in, captain. Over.
Matip’s inclusion in the starting eleven is, although just as crucial as Henderson’s, not nearly as plausible for the weekend’s match. The German defender will probably have to be content with a spot on the bench. Still. Progress. Good news.
The third man is Philippe Coutinho, who was able to shake off some of his long-layoff rust in the game against Southampton. A few days training with no further problems and I think the little Brazilian gets the start. Maybe comes off in the second half to roars of joy for being amazing and securing victory. Just maybe.
“When Phil is not playing you miss his creativity, his finishing and all that stuff,” said Klopp.
Don’t forget his tenacity, his dancing with Roberto Firmino, and his whole Coutinho face.