By Dominic Toner
Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho has revealed that he could be available to make his return from injury against Manchester City.
The Reds host title rivals Man City on New Year’s Eve and could be boosted by the return of their playmaker.
Coutinho has missed the club’s last three games through injury and they have dropped points against Bournemouth and West Ham in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old was initially expected to be sidelined for six weeks after sustaining ankle ligament damage against Sunderland on 26 November, but he is targeting a full return in time for the Man City clash.
Coutinho has explained that he is recovering well from his ankle injury after a challenge with Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong.
“This is still my hope – to return for this game (against Manchester City),” Coutinho told the club’s official website. “The rehab is going really well. I can now walk without crutches and I am working well with the medical team. So I’m pleased with how I am recovering.”
Liverpool managed to safely book their place in the EFL Cup semi-finals against Southampton after beating Leeds at Anfield, but were dramatically beaten by Bournemouth 4-3 in the Premier League.
The Merseyside club slipped to a 2-2 draw on Sunday against the Hammers and are now six points behind league leaders Chelsea in the title race.
Divock Origi has stepped in well during the absence of Coutinho, but the club will be hugely grateful to have their star player back in action.
Coutinho had been in dazzling form before his injury, scoring six goals and supplying six assists in his 14 appearances.
The Brazil international has excelled on the left wing for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season and formed a deadly partnership with team-mate Roberto Firmino.
Liverpool will hope to manage without Coutinho in their next few matches against Middlesbrough, Everton and Stoke in the Premier League.
In other Liverpool team news, Klopp has delivered a fitness update on the club’s midfielder.