English Premiership

Coutinho handles rough treatment

2014-09-19 07:15
Philippe Coutinho (Getty Images)

London - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he has no concerns over Philippe Coutinho's ability to handle the physical side of the Premier League ahead of his team's clash with West Ham on Saturday.

Coutinho was given some rough treatment in Liverpool's 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa at Anfield last weekend which appeared to knock him off his game.

But Rodgers claimed the diminutive Brazilian playmaker can deal with that aspect of the game ahead of another potentially tough afternoon against the Hammers at Upton Park.

"I don't think it's a question now if he can cope with the demands of the Premier League," Rodgers said.

"He's been here 18 months and has been absolutely brilliant. You only need to measure him since he's been in and look at the big games where he's been absolutely brilliant.

"But there's no doubt he has the pace, power and strength for the Premier League.

"I've got no qualms about him; he's a big, big talent. He has lit up the Premier League since he came to the club.

"He's going to have some games where he won't be at his best, but he always gives his best and that's all I ever ask of the players.

"The kid is a great boy who wants to do well. He's very conscious that I have absolutely no doubts about him."

Liverpool are boosted by the return of centre-back Martin Skrtel after a knee injury, while right-back Glen Johnson is also poised to return to training after a hip problem, although Saturday's game is likely to be too soon for him.

The Reds are still without striker Daniel Sturridge (thigh), midfielders Joe Allen (knee) and Emre Can (ankle) and defender Jon Flanagan (knee).

Rodgers added: "Martin is back training with the team, which is great news for us. Glen should be back training over the course of the weekend.

"Daniel Sturridge should hopefully be back training at some point next week. Joe Allen is still out and he'll be out for a few weeks yet."

Meanwhile, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits to having mixed feelings about the departure of Luis Suarez from Liverpool.

Allardyce is relieved his side do not have to face the Uruguay international this weekend.

But he also feels Suarez's switch to Barcelona has had a detrimental effect on the Premier League as a whole.

"From a selfish point of view, I am glad he has gone. From a Premier League overall view, no," Allardyce said.

"He's a player you want to keep in this country and play in this country. There has been a huge amount of talent brought by Liverpool on the back of that fee.

"It looks like they took a stand on the basis that it was time to sell him after the troubles he has had.

"He is sorely missed in terms of his talent but, obviously with him not playing against us. We are rather glad about that."

West Ham have lost both their league games at Upton Park this season but secured a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Hull last time out in a game marked by an outstanding debut goal for Ecuador forward Enner Valencia.

"We brought nine players in this summer, similar to Liverpool," Allardyce said.

"When you try and integrate them into the team it's difficult because we don't know everybody's strengths and weaknesses yet.

"We got a decent result on Monday against Hull having come back from goals down twice.

"We're in a good frame of mind, the players always look forward to the big games."

West Ham remain without midfielder Kevin Nolan (shoulder), full-back Joey O'Brien (knee) and striker Andy Carroll (foot) who are all long-term absentees, while winger Matt Jarvis will have a fitness test on a thigh complaint.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea, The American Express Community Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v Huddersfield Town, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Everton v West Bromwich Albion, Goodison Park 17:00
Leicester City v Watford, King Power Stadium 17:00
West Ham United v AFC Bournemouth, London Stadium 17:00
Burnley v Manchester United, Turf Moor 17:00
Manchester City v Newcastle United, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 21 January 2018
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
Monday, 22 January 2018
Swansea City v Liverpool, Liberty Stadium 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.