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.

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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.

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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.

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