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Klopp Explains Coutinho’s Halftime Withdrawal

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The Brazilian is not quite back to full fitness.

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Leicester City v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

After Liverpool got dumped out of the League Cup by Leicester City on Tuesday, questions were asked about about Klopp elected to remove Philippe Coutinho — arguably Liverpool’s most dangerous in the first 45 minutes — at halftime.

With so much drama swirling around Coutinho and his reintegration back into the team, his removal raised some eyebrows. After the match, in his post-game interview, Klopp cleared up any confusion.

"That was the plan before the game, he needs match time but it was not for a second the plan [to keep him on] and it was not allowed to let him play again for 90 minutes, or 60 or 70 or 80 or whatever," Klopp said.

"It was clear that 45 is the limit, we need to make him fit but we cannot push him through. That’s all."

It appears that the plan is to keep Coutinho fit for when the Reds return to King Power Stadium on Saturday to take on Leicester again in the league. Whether Coutinho’s back injury was legitimate or Barcelona-induced, he still missed significant playing time in the first month. Considering how prone the player is to niggles and injuries, Klopp is right to carefully monitor his fitness.

Sadio Mané is set to miss the next game as well, so Liverpool will need Coutinho to contribute up front. After that, god willing, we may finally see the two of them, along with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino tearing up the pitch together.