Tuesday 16 October 2018

Philippe Coutinho will miss Liverpool vs Huddersfield with abductor strain

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s problems have increased with Philippe Coutinho out of this weekend’s visit of Huddersfield.

Coutinho has an abductor strain, forcing him to miss this weekend’s Premier League fixture and making him doubtful for the visit or Maribor in the Champions League in midweek.

He is also face a race to be fit against West Ham next weekend.

After a troubling performance at Spurs last weekend, it is another significant setback for Klopp who is still without Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana.

Klopp had already promised changes for this weekend after the Spurs debacle. Plenty will be sweating as Klopp finalises his line-up after some harsh words in the aftermath of the 4-1 defeat at Wembley.

The manager’s biggest decision centres on Dejan Lovren, who was substituted after 31 minutes on Sunday.

Klopp may yet start Lovren this weekend, despite the criticism the Croatian received during and after the game. Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez are alternatives, but Klopp is considering his option.

“We will see. That is our job,” he said.

He advised his defenders to ignore the ongoing criticism.

“That is the world out there. If you find someone who makes a mistake, we go on him,” he said.

“We all make a mistake. I never would let them down. Never would that happen. I hope they were smart enough not to read it. I am 50 and I am clear I don’t read it. It does not help. It makes no sense. Should I read someone say I do not have a clue about football? It would be good if boys do the same. On the other side it is not the biggest problem in the world. If people say we made a mistake - if people say that - we knew before. It is about reacting. If you do not feel well you have to change the situation. That is what we have to do.”

Liverpool keeper Danny Ward’s hopes of challenging to be number one for club and country over the next few weeks have been dashed by an untimely back injury.

The Wales goalkeeper has been waiting patiently for an opportunity since returning from a successful loan spell with Huddersfield last season.

Neither Simon Mignolet nor Loris Karius have impressed at Anfield this season, the duo currently being rotated between domestic and European football.

Ward’s only first team appearance was in the Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester.

But any thoughts manager Jurgen Klopp might have had of offering the third choice stopper a promotion are on hold. Ward has been nursing an injury since pre-season and is not available to face the side where he enjoyed promotion – he was a hero in the play-offs.

That means Klopp’s decision is again between the Belgian and German goalkeeper.

Wales forthcoming international friendly with France would also have given Ward the chance to push Wayne Hennessey for the number one spot, particularly as Hennessey has recently lost his place at Crystal Palace.

It is tough timing for the 24-year-old who was blocked from going on loan again last summer because Klopp wanted three goalkeepers to choose from.

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