Brazil duty means Philippe Coutinho won’t be back in training with his Liverpool teammates until Thursday, but the attacker is already looking forward to the chance to get another derby match under his belt, saying he’s been looking forward to the match during his time away with the national team.
“The week before the game, you can’t wait to play and if you win, the level of joy you give to the fans is amazing,” Coutinho told Premier League Productions when asked about Liverpool’s upcoming match against local rivals Everton. “They’re the victories you always enjoy. It’s very important.”
It’s going to be important for Liverpool’s top four hopes that they win, too, and not just for the sake of local bragging rights. Liverpool are currently four points ahead of Manchester United, but with United having two games in hand, it’s a narrow advantage and the Reds can’t afford to slip up.
If the past is anything to go by, though, they should at least be able to count on a strong performance from Coutinho in support of that goal. The diminutive Brazilian may be better known for his playmaking skills, but he has a history of saving his best performances for the most intense matches.
“The rivalry is like any derby, it’s intense,” Coutinho added. “I’ve experienced these games both home and away and the intensity is equal with the fans. You’re always on TV, it’s one of the most difficult games, and I don’t think this one will be any different.”