Liverpool have received a huge boost with the news that Philippe Coutinho could make his return earlier than expected.
The Reds have picked up just one point from their last two Premier League games, and while they haven’t had any problem scoring goals, Coutinho’s absence certainly hasn’t helped matters.
It’s likely that the Brazilian will still miss much of the festive period and will sit out games against Middlesbrough and Stoke, as well as the Merseyside derby against Everton in between.
However, the playmaker has revealed he is hoping to be back to play against Manchester City at Anfield on New Year’s Day.
When asked by Liverpool’s official website if he could feature against Pep Guardiola’s side, he replied:
“This is still my hope – to return for this game.
“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.”
The 24-year-old has been in superb form this season for club and country, scoring nine goals and assisting another five in all competitions.
It’s remarkable that Liverpool have scored five goals in two games in his absence and all the focus has been on stopper Loris Karius, but Guardiola must know City’s task is going to be even more arduous if he returns in time.