Coutinho in line to return for Liverpool's showdown with Man Utd

The forward is not expected to play against Plymouth and is unlikely to make the trip to Southampton but is set to return for the blockbuster meeting at Old Trafford

Philippe Coutinho’s recovery from ankle ligament damage is progressing well, with Liverpool anticipating that the Brazilian will feature against Manchester United on January 15.

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Jurgen Klopp revealed on Friday that the 24-year-old, who has been sidelined for the past eight games, is “on a very good way” but will not be in contention for Sunday’s FA Cup third-round match against Plymouth. 

He is also unlikely to be risked for the midweek trip to Southampton for the League Cup semi-final.

Joel Matip, who is nursing a troublesome left ankle, received the same prognosis as Coutinho. The centre-back is hoping to return to full training shortly.

Daniel Sturridge, meanwhile, has not had a session since limping off in the 2-2 draw with Sunderland. 

The England international, who had scored at the Stadium of Light during his first league start in 77 days, was withdrawn after taking a knock to his right ankle.

“He didn’t train until now – for no foul!” said Klopp.

“He will probably train today. It depends on how he feels, but it should be possible.”

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James Milner is also set to sit out the Plymouth game, with Klopp admitting that “rotation makes sense” given the exacting nature of the previous three fixtures in short succession.

“We were lucky that we didn’t have any proper injuries after the game so that’s all good,” the Reds boss explained.

“Milly had a little issue with his calf – we weren’t sure whether it was more because of the intensity but I’m pretty sure we will not take a risk with him for the weekend.”

Jordan Henderson, dealing with pain in his heel, will also not be involved.

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