Brendan Rodgers has provided an update on the fitness of both Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson, ahead of Liverpool’s Capital One Cup clash with Middlesborough tomorrow evening.
Coutinho was left out of Saturday’s squad to face West Ham with a groin injury, whilst vice-captain Henderson sustained a hip injury during the defeat at Upton Park.
“We just need to assess one or two,” Rodgers explained to reporters gathered at Anfield for a pre-match press conference this afternoon.
“Jordan Henderson picked up a knock so we need to assess where he’s at. And Philippe Coutinho is highly unlikely for tomorrow as well.”
With so many injuries at present, Rodgers believes the Capital One Cup could provide an excellent opportunity for the young players in the Liverpool squad.
“We haven’t got any guys returning,” he said. “Glen Johnson is still out. Joe Allen and Emre Can aren’t fit. Daniel Sturridge won’t be fit. Young Jon Flanagan has obviously had his operation.
“So we’ve got a few injuries to cope with but it’ll always give a chance to one or two of our younger players, who are doing very well at the Academy, to get a chance to be in the squad. That’s my first look.”
One young player who looks likely to feature tomorrow, is 20-year-old Spanish full back Javier Manquillo – who was subbed with just 20 minutes on the clock at Upton Park on Saturday.
Rodgers added: “I spoke to him yesterday – it was purely a tactical decision. The boy has been fantastic since he came in. He’s fine.
“I felt that at 2-0 after 20 minutes, we were struggling in the game. I didn’t want to wait to make a change.
“We went to three centre-halves and changed to 3-5-2, just to give West Ham something else to think about. We got a goal, back to 2-1, but couldn’t find the finishing touch to get anything else.”