LONDON – Philippe Coutinho has been left out of Liverpool’s squad to face Manchester City in the biggest Premier League match of the weekend, manager Jurgen Klopp said on Friday.
Klopp said the Brazil international, who was linked with a move to Barcelona following the departure of his compatriot Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, was in “a good mood” after returning to Merseyside following international duty.
Coutinho has not yet played for Liverpool this season, with the club citing a back injury, but he joined up with his national side for World Cup qualifiers and made two substitute appearances against Ecuador and Colombia, scoring against the former.
But Liverpool’s German boss said the playmaker would not feature against City.
“We have got all the numbers (on Coutinho) from the Brazilian FA – the training, the intensity of the training, stuff like that, and it was all okay. And he played twice – I think about 15 or 20 minutes,” said Klopp.
“He could have played 15, 20 minutes again in the City game, maybe longer, but I think really it makes sense (to leave him out).
“He agreed completely, so it was not as if he said ‘no, I don’t need training, I want to play’. It was a good conversation.”
Liverpool, who thumped Arsenal 4-0 in their last match before the international break, are second in the Premier League after three matches, with two wins and a draw.
Pep Guardiola’s big-spending City have the same number of points, but trail Liverpool on goal difference.