By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Jurgen Klopp has ruled Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren out of Liverpool’s marquee clashes against Arsenal and Manchester United next week.
The pair pulled up with hamstring strains in the first half of of the first leg of the team’s semi-final clash against Stoke on Tuesday, which the Merseysiders won 1-0.
Speaking on Thursday morning, Liverpool manager Klopp revealed that Coutinho’s injury is the more serious of the two and that the Brazilian playmaker is out until February, while Lovren will be sidelined for at least 10 days.
The absence of the key duo is a huge blow for the Merseysiders as they are gripped by an injury crisis that has sidelined 12 first-team players.
Kolo Toure became the third Liverpool player on Tuesday night to break down when he suffered cramp in the closing minutes of the clash and he has been ruled out of Friday night’s FA Cup clash away to Exeter.
“Coutinho is more serious than Dejan,” revealed Klopp at his media briefing on Thursday. “Kolo is only cramp but it won’t be possible for him to play the next game.
“Lovren should be back after United. Coutinho will need a few weeks longer.”
Liverpool host Arsenal in the Premier League next Wednesday and then Manchester United visit Anfield four days later.,
Coutinho is also set to miss matches Norwich in the Premier League on 23 January and Stoke in the League Cup semi final return leg on 26 January.