Coutinho tipped for first Aston Villa start after early team news pre-Everton - pundit
Philippe Coutinho will start for Aston Villa at Everton on Saturday.
That is the view of former Spurs and England goalkeeper Paul Robinson, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 29-year-old’s “amazing impact” at Villa Park.
Coutinho grabbed a goal and an assist after replacing Morgan Sanson in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United.
The ex-Liverpool star joined the Claret and Blue on a season-long loan deal from Barcelona on 11 January.
As quoted by Birmingham Live (17 January), Steven Gerrard revealed Jaden Philogene-Bidace has returned from injury while Ezri Konsa is a doubt for the trip to Goodison Park.
When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs if Villa fans should expect a first start for Coutinho, Robinson said:
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“Coutinho had such an amazing impact on that game, if he’s fit, he plays.
“If you look at his record over the past few seasons, he has not played regularly and he has not played every week. Villa need to be careful.
“They need to make sure that he’s fit. The last thing they want is for him to break down at any point.
“When he came on against United he looked fit and he looked sharp so if he’s fit, he plays. You don’t sign a player of his quality to sit on the bench. He’s not a player that’s been brought in to bolster the squad.
“He will start this weekend if he’s fit. If he gets back to his best, wow.”