Published: Sun, September 10, 2017
Sports | By Mabel Barber

Coutinho and Kompany out of Liverpool-City showdown

Coutinho and Kompany out of Liverpool-City showdown

But Klopp told a news conference Coutinho still requires further work on his fitness having missed the opening weeks of the season with a back injury - a stance the player agreed with following talks ahead of the crunch clash at the Etihad Stadium. He was in very good mood yesterday. We have seven games in three weeks.

Coutinho has not played for Liverpool this season after trying to force a move to Barcelona, and despite playing for Brazil in their recent World Cup qualifiers and returning to full training, he'll be held out once again. "The last seven, eight, nine games last season he played no problem". The tally included a rampaging 4-0 win against Arsenal at Anfield.

Kompany, who has been beset by fitness problems over the past few seasons, was injured while on duty with Belgium during the recent worldwide break, but Guardiola said the centre back was not facing an extended spell on the sidelines.

"Yes, he went to the national team and trained normally, but now we have to prepare for a normal season so we have seven games [before the next global break] and we saw training this morning and thought "OK, maybe we should use him immediately" because he was really good, but that doesn't make sense", the former Borussia Dortmund coach explained.

City are favourites for this one, but with both teams unlikely to want to cede early ground to their rivals, I think Liverpool can keep that unbeaten record going, and get at least something at the Etihad.

The transfer window is closed and, for some, it couldn't come soon enough. We give ourselves the freedom to learn with the first team and play wherever we need him.

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"I don't think there will be any problems reintegrating him, particular with teammates". It's not like I had to say anything about it.

John Stones also comes into the team in place of the injured Vincent Kompany, while Kyle Walker is back from a ban to replace Bernardo Silva in the right wing-back role.

"It's always a decision for one game, and the players react really well in situations like this".

"That's the past now", he said.

Liverpool have won three of the four Premier League games Klopp has managed against City, with a 1-1 draw in March the only time they have failed to earn three points in Manchester.

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