By Harry Sykes
John Aldridge has claimed Philippe Coutinho will be on the bench for Liverpool’s Champions League clash against Sevilla on Tuesday night.
The former Anfield striker predicted that manager Jurgen Klopp will stick with the same front three of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane who started Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Manchester City.
Coutinho, who was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer, is yet to play for Liverpool this season due to a back injury.
The Brazil international, 25, was left out of Klopp’s matchday squad for Saturday’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City but is back in contention against Sevilla.
However, former Liverpool striker Aldridge reckons Klopp will select Coutinho as a substitute due to his lack of game time.
Aldridge believes the EFL Cup trip to Leicester on 19 September would be the ideal time to recall the playmaker to the starting line-up.
Discussing Klopp’s likely team selection, Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo: “There’s Philippe Coutinho available, of course. But I think he’ll be on the bench for this.
“The front three will be the same, and given that he’s not had a lot of football in the last month, I’d not expect him to start just yet.
“He’s more likely targeting the League Cup against Leicester for a start. But he might just be able to give us something off the bench before then.”
Liverpool will be desperate to improve on their last meeting with Sevilla after they lost 3-1 to the La Liga side in the 2016 Europa League final.
The Merseyside giants host Sevilla at Anfield tomorrow night as they kickstart their Champions League campaign in Group E, with fixtures also scheduled against Spartak Moscow and Maribor.
In other Liverpool team news, personal terms have been agreed as the Merseysiders finalise the signing of a big-name ace in January.