Liverpool: Reds boosted by Coutinho return

Philippe Coutinho Liverpool

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Liverpool fans will be happy to learn that Philippe Coutinho came through his brief return at the weekend unscathed and is set to start against Norwich on Wednesday.

The young Brazilian, at 21 years of age, is already seen as an integral part of the midfield, however he injured his ankle in the Merseyside derby and needed pain-killing injections before he was brought on to replace Raheem Sterling after 66 minutes at Hull City on Sunday.

His cameo appearance was not enough to stop the Reds from slumping to a 3-1 defeat, but on a positive note he produced more passes in just 24 minutes than any of his colleagues could muster, and it is that ability that can be put to good use to set up striker Luis Suarez.

With leading scorer Daniel Sturridge now out for eight weeks with an ankle injury of his own, Coutinho’s service becomes even more of a key factor as Brendan Rodgers tries to get his side back on track for a top-four finish by gaining maximum points from Norwich on Wednesday evening and then West Ham at the weekend.

Coutinho’s excellent form since coming over from Italy has not gone unnoticed, with Real Madrid reportedly set to make a double bid of £65m for the young Brazilian and Suarez. The latter has long been a target, but Real boss Carlo Ancelotti is looking for a replacement for Mesut Ozil and sees Coutinho as the ideal candidate.

Rodgers has already had to endure a summer of fending off suitors of Suarez, so will know exactly what to expect if and when the double bid does land on the table after Christmas.

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