Liverpool to assess Philippe Coutinho ahead of Tottenham game

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Philippe Coutinho spent the whole of Brazil's 2-2 draw away to Paraguay on the substitute's bench and only played the final 23 minutes in another 2-2 draw against Uruguay, so Liverpool fans would fully expect to have their favourite playmaker back from the international period fighting fit.

Jurgen Klopp would have undoubtedly been happy to see Coutinho play little football during the international break, especially as he goes into the weekend's game against Premier League title contenders Tottenham, but all is not well, according to the Liverpool Echo.

They report that Coutinho is facing a late fitness test ahead of the game against Tottenham not because of anything he did on a football pitch but because of the sheer length of time he has spent travelling over the past week.


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Indeed, Coutinho faces a 13-hour flight back from South America on Wednesday in the final leg of a 6,300-mile round journey. Before he can be signed off as fit for Saturday's clash against Spurs, Klopp will have to assess how much the journey has taken out of him.

That could leave the Reds without their talisman for the crucial encounter, which could go a long way to deciding who wins the Premier League title. A win for Liverpool would also boost their chances of securing a Europa League place.

Other players

Liverpool saw 19 first-team members leave on international duty last week, many of which joined up with Roy Hodgson's England side for friendly games against Germany and Holland.

Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Daniel Sturridge all played a part in one or the other fixtures, which saw the Three Lions beat Germany in Berlin before losing to Holland at Wembley.

Christian Benteke and Divock Origi returned early after injuring themselves whilst on duty with Belgium. The former withdrew with a knee complaint while the latter suffered a more serious thigh injury. That leaves Sturridge – hardly the most reliable when it comes to fitness – as the team's only fit senior striker.

Lovren troubles

Another notable story from Liverpool's international players was Dejan Lovren, who drew scathing criticism from Croatia's head coach Ante Cacic after appearing to refuse to warm up properly.

Lovren was named as one of the substitutes and was asked to warm up on the touchline. He did so without complaint but returned to the dugout early.

"He did not refuse to get on the pitch... because no one invited him to come on," Cacic said, according to Sportske Novosti. "But do you think it is up to Lovren or any other player to decide how long will he warm up? Or is it [the] coach's decision?

"Also, I didn't specifically tell him to warm up, I told all the benched players because it was cold in Budapest. So all of them went to warm up. I will not tolerate such behaviour because no one is more important than the team. Lovren made [a] step backward, away from our squad.

"We didn't talk after the match, we will see what is going to happen, but I will not tolerate such acts and he made [a] wrong move."

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Brazil Football
Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Philippe Coutinho

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