Liverpool Team News: How Will Jurgen Klopp Fit Philippe Coutinho Into His Star-Studded Attack?

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp at Sheraton Sheremetyevo Airport Hotel, Moscow, September 25. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty

The problem, for Jurgen Klopp this week, is that four doesn't go into three. It's a nice problem, one he wanted to have, was determined to have, but now finally faces.

His Liverpool team is in Russia, preparing to take on Spartak Moscow in the second game of Group E, having drawn the first with Spanish side Sevilla. After recovering from a back injury, and his desire to leave Anfield in the summer, Philippe Coutinho is available for selection in Moscow.

The Brazilian midfielder, who was reportedly the subject of a £140 million offer (about $188 million) from Barcelona last month, returned to action for Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Burnley 10 days ago. He fitted in, conveniently, for Sadio Mane, who was suspended after being dismissed for a high boot in the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool, and showed his quality against Leicester Sunday.

But Mane is available for European action, along with new signing Mohamed Salah, who has eased into life at Anfield with five goals, and Roberto Firmino. So Klopp has all Liverpool's weapons at his disposal.

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The German prefers a front-three of attacking players with two deeper midfielders behind. Should he remain with this formation, one of the four will have to watch from the sidelines Tuesday night.

Alternatively, Klopp could go all out attack, play the quartet together and look to overpower Spartak with talent; Firmino upfront, Mane on the left and Salah on the right, with Coutinho picking up the number 10 role in behind.

The issue for Klopp of late has not been his team's attacking potential, though. Defensive woes have haunted the Liverpool manager, cost his team crucial points and irritated him in press conferences. So he may be unwilling to leave his defense even more exposed by adding to the attack.

Liverpool, meanwhile, has no new injury concerns. Klopp is still without Adam Lallana (thigh) and defender Nathaniel Clyne (hamstring).