By Emma Sanders
Liverpool face an anxious wait to see whether Philippe Coutinho will be fit to face Southampton ahead of their clash on Saturday afternoon, according to a report.
The Liverpool Echo reports the attacking midfielder is believed to have undergone a scan at Spire Hospital in Merseyside after he was photographed there.
Coutinho returned to Liverpool on Wednesday evening alongside compatriot Roberto Firmino after both featured for Brazil during the international break.
The 24-year-old did not take part in full training on Thursday but neither did Firmino after they flew back to Liverpool after Brazil’s game with Peru in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Coutinho played 170 minutes in Brazil’s two games and scored a wonderful goal in the World Cup qualifier.
Liverpool already face an injury scare with Adam Lallana expected to miss the game on Saturday after he picked up a minor groin injury during England’s 2-2 draw against Spain.
Coutinho would be a huge miss for Jurgen Klopp’s side because he has scored five league goals already this season and has added a further five assists.
Alongside Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, the midfielder has been in emphatic form and their attacking displays has helped Liverpool storm to the top of the Premier League table.
Should he be forced to sit out the clash against Southampton, Daniel Sturridge would be expected to start up front after scoring during England’s 3-0 victory against Scotland.
Football Insider verdict:
Coutinho has clearly been Liverpool’s star player so far this season and it would be a massive blow for the side if he is forced to sit out on Saturday. Klopp’s attack has been spearheaded by the attacking trio of Mane, Firmino and Coutinho and the Brazilian’s possible exclusion, alongside that of Lallana at St Mary’s Stadium, would certainly change the dynamics of the Liverpool team. Sturridge and Wijnaldum would be the obvious replacements but Coutinho’s ability to produce goals out of nothing is irreplaceable and any side with him in would be far stronger. The doomsday scenario is if the injury was more long-term, something Liverpool fans will not want to consider at this stage.
In other Liverpool news, Steven Gerrard has made contact with this League One club in a surprising move.