WATCH: Brazil take boat ride through Melbourne

Tuesday saw the Selecao enjoy some recreational time as the coaching staff made sure they got out and about to combat the jetlag of a long journey

Brasil Global Tour has officially arrived in Australia for this month’s double-header against Argentina and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The players returned to the training ground on Tuesday, but not before taking in their picturesque new surroundings via a boat tour of the city.

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With the players battling jetlag following their long journey down under, coach Tite has arranged a number of extracurricular activities to fill their down time that would usually be spent relaxing at the team hotel.

Local time in Melbourne is some 13 hours ahead of Brazil, and eight ahead of Europe.Tite and his staff are desperate to ensure the players adapt to their new time zone as quickly as possible.

After completing their trip on the water, the players headed to a local mall for more recreational time as the current coaching team are more relaxed about the players interacting with the local public.

Brazil later returned to the Lakeside Stadium for Tuesday’s training session, though some players remained behind to work in the gym or with the physical preparation team.

Coutinho: Liverpool in a race with Man City – we must win

The Brazil international stressed the importance of Sunday’s game as the two sides look to gain an advantage in the battle for second place

Philippe Coutinho says only victory is acceptable for Liverpool as they seek to gain an advantage in the battle for second place when they visit Manchester City on Sunday.

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City are currently level with Tottenham and Liverpool are a point back in fourth having played a game more than both.

Coutinho feels the game at the Etihad Stadium will be imperative in the battle for the runner up spot and expects Pep Guardiola’s side to be focused as they look to bounce back from their Champions League elimination at the hands of Monaco.

“It’s going to be a very important game,” the 24-year-old told the club’s website. “City are one of the big clubs in England, no doubt about that, and right now we are in a race with them for second place in the table. We need to win it.

“After being knocked out of the Champions League they will be even more focused on the Premier League, so we have to be ready. For us, this match is like a final because we have to beat them to move ahead of them in the table. That’s our aim.”

Poor results in 2017 have curtailed Liverpool’s hopes of winning the title as Chelsea now sit 13 points clear at the top, but the Brazilian believes they are improving.

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“The players here are very ambitious and at the start of the season our dream was to win the title. But results have changed things. We are a long way from the top in the league and we are out of the FA Cup too.

“But our challenge now is to finish second in the table and to make sure we are back in the Champions League next year.

“We think we have really serious chances to do that. So we know how important this match is. We know what we can do. This is a club which should be in the Champions League and we want to get there.”

'He's missing consistency' – Klopp aware Coutinho yet to rediscover best form at Liverpool

The Reds boss acknowledges that his Brazilian playmaker is still short of his early-season standards after working his way back from injury

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is aware that Philippe Coutinho is yet to find the consistency in his game which made him such a threat over the early part of the season.

As the Reds enjoyed a productive first half of the 2016-17 Premier League campaign, their Brazilian playmaker was at the centre of much of their best work.

Coutinho’s creative ability and eye for goal made him a handful for any opponent, with the target found six times in all competitions before early November.

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He was, however, to suffer an ankle injury against Sunderland which kept him out of action for the best part of two months.

Since returning to the fold in January, the 24-year-old has been unable to rekindle his talismanic spark, with one consolation effort netted in a 3-1 defeat at Leicester.

Klopp acknowledges that the key man has left room for improvement over recent weeks, but he is prepared to be patient with a prized asset and is confident that his best form can be found.

HD Jurgen Klopp Phil Coutinho

The German coach said ahead of a crunch clash with Manchester City on Sunday: “That’s the life of an outstandingly good football player like Phil.

“The influence of him on the game is really big. If he is not at 100 per cent you miss something, that’s how it is.

“But two weeks ago we played Arsenal and he did really well. Yes, Burnley again was not the best game, but he misses in this moment – which is pretty normal after a long injury – this kind of consistency.

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“But the training week so far was perfect, he presented himself really well; it was fluent, confident and looked really well.

“There are always steps in this direction. Sometimes it works. It’s about, in this moment, consistency but he is in a really good way.”

While Coutinho has not been firing on all cylinders of late, Liverpool have played their way through a new-year wobble to pick up three wins in their last four outings and keep themselves on course for Champions League qualification.

Liverpool told me I'd replace Coutinho, says Marseille star Lopez

Maxime Lopez says he was wanted as a long-term successor to Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool, only to reject the club’s advances.

Rising Marseille star Maxime Lopez claims he turned down the chance to join Liverpool two seasons ago.

The 19-year-old has forced his way into Rudi Garcia’s first-team plans at Stade Velodrome this term, making 22 starts in all competitions.

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Barcelona have been linked with a move for the midfielder but he pledged his future to Marseille only last month by signing a new four-year contract.

Lopez has now said that he could have moved to Anfield in the 2014-15 campaign as a long-term replacement for Brazil star Philippe Coutinho, who was himself linked with Barca before renewing his own contract in January.

Fier d’avoir prolongé avec mon club de cœur! Merci à tous pour votre soutien! Prochain objectif: Rennes samedi!  #TeamOM  #ML27 #2021

— Maxime Lopez (@lopezmaxime1) February 16, 2017

Confirming concrete interest from Liverpool he told L’Equipe: “They said to me: ‘In five years, you’ll be playing in Coutino’s spot’. They approached me in a positive way. I even met Steven Gerrard at the stadium after the game.

“I wanted to go there but I also wanted to stay at OM. Leaving like that, at that age – even with your family – is very tough. I noted that they had a squad of 30 youth players, not to mention the first-team players. You really have to be mentally prepared.”

Liverpool star Coutinho has lost his magic – Redknapp

The Brazilian has scored just once in his past 13 outings and the player-turned-pundit is looking for him to step up his form in his remaining games

Jamie Redknapp believes Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho has lost some of the magic that he displayed at the start of the season, and has called for Jurgen Klopp to find a way of rekindling the Brazilian’s form.

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The Reds overturned a 1-0 deficit to claim a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Burnley on Sunday afternoon, with Coutinho being replaced by youngster Ben Woodburn in the second half.

Having hit five goals in his opening 10 appearances this season, Coutinho has scored just once in his last 13 outings, something which former Reds midfielder Redknapp believes could potentially cost the club if a solution is not found. 

“The one worry for me is Philippe Coutinho at the moment,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.

HD Jurgen Klopp Phil Coutinho

“He was on fire earlier in the season, he was the difference for Liverpool. But some of the magic has gone and he needs to get that back. That’s the manager’s job.

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“Especially at Man City where he’s had a lot of success in the last few seasons.

“That’s a bit of a worry for me because he makes such a difference. When he plays well, so do Liverpool.”

Coutinho claims top-four finish, not title push, was always Liverpool's target

The Reds were in contention for the Premier League crown prior to the turn of the year, but their Brazilian is eyeing Champions League qualification

Philippe Coutinho says Liverpool’s priority this season was to secure Champions League qualification, with a title tilt considered to be a bonus.

The Reds positioned themselves in contention for the Premier League early in the 2016-17 campaign, with positive progress made to the turn of the calendar year.

Klopp: Trophies a must for Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered a new year hangover, though, with their season in danger of imploding at one stage.

Disappointing exits were suffered in both domestic cup competitions, while the Reds slipped off the pace set by Chelsea at the English top-flight summit.

HD Phil Coutinho

They were, however, to offer signs of encouragement against Tottenham in their most recent outing and Coutinho claims they remain well placed to reach their targets for the campaign.

“From the start, the aim was to qualify for the Champions League,” he told the club’s official website.

Liverpool won’t ‘do a Leicester’

“It is important for Liverpool to play in these competitions, fighting with the other great teams, and of course we have not given up anything.

“We expect to give great performances and to accomplish our goals.”

A 2-0 victory over Spurs has helped to repair dented confidence at Anfield, but they need to start turning things around on the road – with painful memories still fresh from a 2-0 defeat at Hull City in their last away date.

HD Liverpool Hull City

“[We can learn] that we have to be focused from the first minute,” added Coutinho.

“We were not 100 per cent focused in the Hull game. I do not know why, sometimes it happens.

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“In the second half, we came back better but, of course, in the Premier League if a team plays a first or second half badly, it becomes complicated. 

“What we have to try to do is the same as we did in the game with Tottenham. That game should serve as an example – [we have to] play well from the first minute.”

Klopp lets us do whatever we want, says Liverpool playmaker Coutinho

The Brazilian says the German coach at Anfield encourages individual freedom in his tactics, with the collective effort taking care of itself

Philippe Coutinho has hailed Jurgen Klopp’s management style at Liverpool, revealing he lets players do whatever they want.

The playmaker has paid tribute to the Anfield boss after being presented with the Samba Gold award, given to the best Brazilian player in Europe.

Coutinho named Europe’s best Brazilian

Voted for by fans and journalists as well as current and former players, Barcelona forward Neymar finished in second place for the 2016 award, with Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro coming in third position.

After Coutinho was presented with the trophy on Wednesday, he thanked Klopp.

“We work hard as a group and of course Liverpool has great players,” Coutinho said to the club’s website. “The coach demands a lot from the group.

“Everyone has been playing well this season and has done what the coach has asked for. And in relation to that, the coach lets us do what we want on the field. 

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“Of course, everyone has their responsibility, when they do not have the ball, they should mark, be in their position, defend. 

“But he lets us do what we want. No one feels pressure to determine who will make decisions and who will defend. Everyone works together, as a group.” 

@Phil_Coutinho has his hands on the Samba Gold award!

His delight at receiving the prize:

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 23, 2017

Of his award success, Coutinho added: “It means a lot. I’m very happy to know that this past year I have been recognised by many people. 

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“It was an important year for me and I’m very happy to win this award. It was a good year. As a team, we played very well and we managed to get to two finals, but unfortunately we lost them.

“That was a very difficult time but it certainly made the group stronger.”

Coutinho beats Neymar to best Brazilian player in Europe award

The Liverpool star has pipped Neymar to this year’s Samba Gold award, preventing the Barcelona forward from making it three wins in a row

Philippe Coutinho has been named the winner of this year’s Samba Gold prize given to the best Brazilian player in Europe.

The Liverpool star prevented Neymar from claiming the prize for the third straight year by topping a poll of fans, journalists and current and ex-players.

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Coutinho earned 32.13% of the overall vote, with Barcelona forward Neymar placing second on 27.88% and Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro rounding out the podium on 13.35%.

Casemiro’s Madrid team-mate Marcelo (6.81%) and Coutinho’s forward partner Roberto Firmino (6.25%) complete the top five.

Neymar Gabriel Jesus Brazil 2016

“It means a lot,” Coutinho told Liverpool’s official website. “I’m very happy to know that this past year I have been recognised by many people. It was an important year for me and I’m very happy to win this award.”

Neymar won both the journalists’ and players’ vote but Coutinho proved more popular with fans, taking 45.60% of the votes cast online compared to 19.44% for the Barca man.

It is the first time Coutinho has won the award since its inception in 2008 and prevents Neymar from drawing level with Thiago Silva for the most all-time wins, with the Paris Saint-Germain defender receiving the accolade three times.

Kaka, Luis Fabiano and Maicon won in the award’s first three years of existence before Silva was named the top player three years in a row.

After helping Liverpool to the League Cup and Europa League finals last season, Coutinho has been in outstanding form for the Reds during the 2016-17 campaign thus far.

“It was a good year,” he added. “As a team, we played very well and we managed to get to two finals.

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“Unfortunately, we did not win the finals, we lost. That was a very difficult time for us to deal with the defeat [to Sevilla] but this certainly made the group stronger.

“We started the season very well, at a high level. We all played very well, so, of course, 2016 was a good year. In the end I got injured, I missed a few games at the end of the year, but it was a positive year.”

Klopp: Coutinho is trying too hard and needs to relax

The Liverpool boss feels that his star attacker is attempting to force things in matches and needs to let his natural talent come through to succeed

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged Philippe Coutinho to stop trying so hard as the club struggles to find consistent form.

The Reds have not won a Premier League game since the start of 2017, while Coutinho has not scored since November.

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Klopp has backed the Brazil international to turn things around, and says that he is now telling him to relax more during games.

“Yes, we try everything,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo.

“Phil is the type of guy who takes everything in games. It’s not been easy for him. He takes all the responsibility in the world.”

Klopp has been impressed with Coutinho’s impact in training, but believes he is still trying to overdo things when he gets on the pitch.

Despite the 24-year-old trying too much in matches, the former Borussia Dortmund boss believes his form in training is more indicative of his ability.

“Yeah, that’s him,” Klopp responded when asked does Coutinho try too hard. 

“He has had a very good week in training. We have seen some very good signs from him.”

Klopp has also praised Sadio Mane’s efforts on the training ground this week, stating that he needs time to settle back in after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Mane helped Senegal to the quarter-finals of the competition, but was less than impressive in his first start this year as Liverpool lost 2-0 to Hull City.

“It was the same thing with Sadio coming back from Africa,” the German said.

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“You saw the first half, you saw the second half and you think: ‘Okay, that is not how he usually is.’

“You cannot know before. You have to take it. But he is another one who has had a really good week in training. That’s how it is.”

The band's back together: Fab Four of Coutinho, Mane, Firmino and Lallana can restore Liverpool’s beat

At Hull City, the Reds are set to end a three-month period – spanning 12 Premier League games – without their explosive quartet operating in tandem


Ninety days, 18 fixtures and five defeats later, Jurgen Klopp can finally field his formidable attacking foursome from the off again for Liverpool.

‘Liverpool must be clever like Chelsea’

Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana have not featured together since the 6-1 demolition of Watford at the start of November. 

HD Liverpool Firmino Coutinho Lallana Mane

At Anfield on that afternoon, five of the goals directly came from one of the above: Senegal international Mane scored the first and the fourth, England’s Player of the Year Lallana recorded two assists, Coutinho was on the scoresheet and set up the opener, while his fellow Brazilian Firmino bagged one and was the supplier for two more.

The fluency between the front three, with Lallana superbly supporting them from midfield, was the Liverpool asset opposition managers most referenced being troubled by during the opening months of the campaign.

Beyond their exceptional quality on the ball, the quartet are also synchronised by their affinity for pressuring their markers into ceding possession. 

HD Liverpool Jurgen Klopp

And at Hull City on Saturday, Klopp is set to end a three-month period – spanning 12 Premier League encounters – without having the full extent of that chemistry and cohesion through injury and other enforced absences.

Liverpool team news & likely line-up

The ankle ligament damage Coutinho suffered in the 2-0 win over Sunderland was compounded by Lallana’s struggle with a groin issue. The latter, not at 100 per cent sharpness, replaced Mane who had taken a knock after 68 minutes in the 3-2 defeat at Bournemouth.

The first loss of the season, away to Burnley, came with the £30 million summer signing missing out through a shoulder injury.

HD Sadio Mane Phil Coutinho

His subsequent departure to the Africa Cup of Nations at the turn of the year then meant Liverpool were without their direct, daring speedster as well as their ‘gold dust’ in Coutinho. 

And it also saw Lallana, so effective in midfield, operating further ahead on occasion, lessening his influence on proceedings.

Incredibly, Klopp has only been able to start all four attackers together seven times in the Premier League, with six wins as well as a draw at Tottenham recorded in those fixtures.

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And in the 2-1 victory away to Swansea, they were only on the pitch at the same time for 23 minutes as Lallana was replaced through injury.

With 29 top-flight goals between them this season, it’s applaudable that Liverpool are one point off second in the standings despite the limited availability of their collective powers. 

HD Roberto Firmino

In fact, 24 of the Reds’ 52 successful attempts at goal in the league were registered when all four were named in the starting XI.

Of course, Liverpool’s worries during a most miserable January was not all down to the absence of Firmino, Coutinho, Mane and Lallana featuring in tandem.

Jordan Henderson’s battle with a persistent heel problem as well as Joel Matip’s troublesome ankle, plus his AFCON wrangle with Cameroon, did not help during a nine-game month, which saw fatigue increase while form did the opposite.

But if Liverpool are to finish “as strong as possible” as per their manager’s demand, their fab four will be instrumental in ensuring the sun comes out after a long cold lonely winter.