Wednesday 18 October 2017

Origi backs Coutinho to shine as Liverpool chase Champions League spot

Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho is the man for the big occasion, according to team-mate Divock Origi
Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho is the man for the big occasion, according to team-mate Divock Origi

Liverpool striker Divock Origi believes playmaker Philippe Coutinho's taste for the big occasion will help them secure Champions League football.

The Reds host already-relegated Middlesbrough on the final day of the season on Sunday in a match they will most likely have to win to guarantee a top-four finish.

Having struggled to get past sides at home Coutinho is likely to be a key figure against the Teessiders who, if they follow the game plan adopted by most teams visiting Anfield, will be difficult to break down.

The Brazil international will be boosted by his man-of-the-match performance with two goals and an assist in last weekend's must-win game at West Ham.

"He has moments of magic," Origi, a goalscorer at the London Stadium, told liverpoolfc.com.

"I think he has a lot of talent and he's a top player and an experienced player and he's still only 24, so I think that's very special.

"He helps us a lot, is there in the big moments and for me he is a joy to play with."

The 4-0 win at West Ham also saw Daniel Sturridge start his first match since early January and open the scoring and Origi believes his strike partner will also have a role to play on Sunday.

"Daniel as well is a big talent and of course he has experience. He showed his qualities again for Liverpool and he's very important," he added.

Origi insists the players are confident as they head into their Champions League decider on the final day of the season.

However, having taken just two points from their last three outings at Anfield - losing to Crystal Palace and drawing with Bournemouth and Southampton - the atmosphere is likely to be tense.

But Origi said the squad do not see it that way despite the club's stumbling towards the finishing line in recent weeks.

"It will be like a final so we will give it everything.

"We just have to continue playing our game and I think if we show the same attitude as at West Ham we have a big chance of doing this.

"We have worked hard all season to reach a goal and that was to finish the highest possible.

"We will be at home which is very good and I think we can go with a lot of belief and a lot of confidence.

"Our fans give us very big support, they're a 12th man - and so I think 12 against 11 can be difficult, so we will try and do everything to win this game against Middlesbrough."

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