Liverpool can cope without Philippe Coutinho if other things go their way

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho may be out for the whole of December, but if there is no more bad luck on the injury front, there is enough in the Liverpool squad to still inflict some damage on their opponents.

Jurgen Klopp remained defiant in light of the news that Philippe Coutinho could be sidelined for the rest of the calendar year after damaging ankle ligaments in the 2-0 win over Sunderland.

Klopp believes his side do have the resources to cope without the Brazilian for several games, but they will hope that injuries are otherwise kind to them. 

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho

The Reds' boss is quoted in the Liverpool Echo, saying: “Phil, as good as he is, cannot decide games on his own, even if it looks like that at times. He dribbles, he shoots and he is important but it is really a team performance that we have created.

“He’s a very important part of that but of course we can handle it. It’s not the best thing I can imagine or dream about, to show that we can play without Phil, but we have to show it and we will show it."

Within that, he is saying he will be missed, although there are performances that he can refer to that suggest Liverpool can cope without their in-form Brazilian. 

Earlier on in the season, he started the Reds' first home game on the bench in the 4-1 win over Leicester City. It was a game when Daniel Sturridge, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino combined well as a front three. There was even debate about how to get Coutinho back into the side for the following week's trip to Chelsea; a Firmino knock solved that particular conundrum.

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge comes on as a substitute to replace Sadio Mane

Coutinho was an unused substitute during last season's 3-0 win over Manchester City at Anfield, injured for the 5-4 win over Norwich City.

The point is Liverpool have shown they can score goals without Coutinho in those periods. Some would say they were not consistent when the Brazilian was absent last season, but that could be said for the side as a whole.

Whether he is the reason they are consistent this season remains to be seen. What would worry Klopp is if he gets a spate of injuries that affect that area of the field. Sturridge going down with a calf strain while Adam Lallana recovers from a groin problem and Firmino gets a kick on the calf makes things feel a little light. 

Lallana should be back for the league game against Bournemouth, and one would think that Firmino should be available, but having Sturridge and Divock Origi available somehow feels necessary. There still needs to be that competition, that extra option to use from the bench when things are not going according to plan. 

Liverpool's Divock Origi celebrates scoring their first goal

There have been one or two signs of the defence improving and goals coming from several areas of the team, and if that continues then Liverpool will fancy their chances of getting through this spell of games in touch with their rivals at the top.

The Reds just need some luck when it comes to injuries with the rest of the squad - or rather a lack of bad luck.

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