Liverpool head in to the this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final clash with Aston Villa knowing that England’s oldest domestic cup is their last chance of saving their season.
The Reds currently lie four points behind Manchester City and the all-important top-four places, having lost key encounters against Manchester United and Arsenal in recent weeks.
However, the Merseysiders deserve credit for the amount of ground they previously made up following a near three-month unbeaten run inspired by the brilliant Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazilian international playmaker has been such a key player for the Reds this season, and he heads in to Sunday’s Wembley encounter as one of the Premier League’s best players on form.
|Shots per Game||Key Passes per Game||Take-Ons per Game||Touches per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Appearances||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, since the beginning of March the former Inter Milan youngster has excelled in a number of key attacking categories
The 22-year-old has averaged 3.5 shots per Premier League encounter over the past six fixtures and has created numerous opportunities for his teammates via key passes.
His fellow teammates attempt to seek him out with regularity, demonstrated by his high average number of touches and accurate passes, and he is often the most intelligent player capable of providing the spark.
Coutinho has averaged 4.5 take-ons per match which is by far his side’s highest average, whereas his hard work in the final third hasn’t gone unnoticed, recording an impressive 6.5 ball recoveries per match.
Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa side have improved immensely since for former Spurs boss took over the mantle at Villa Park, but the Villans will have a tough job stopping the Reds on Sunday.
Brendan Rodgers’s men will know how important this game is to in regards to turning an average season in to a good one, and in Coutinho they have the quality to unlock what will be a very stubborn opposition.