Liverpool have set up ‘special arrangements’ for Philippe Coutinho to return from international duty early, as Jurgen Klopp looks for his Liverpool stars to get through the international break unscathed.
Coutinho will travel more miles than any other Reds player this week, having already featured as a substitute in Brazil’s 3-0 win over Ecuador in Quito on Thursday.
The 24-year-old’s impact in that win could see him start in the World Cup qualifier against Colombia on Tuesday.
But the game will take place at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus, which is renowned for its stifling weather.
Kick off is at 9.45pm local time – 1.45am Wednesday BST - but the temperature is still expected to be around 26 degrees, with 85 per cent humidity forecast.
The choice of Manaus as one of the host cities for World Cup 2014 was criticised due to its extreme climate, as well as its location in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.
The late kick off time, in addition to the 5,000-mile journey from Manaus to Merseyside, means Coutinho will have little time to train ahead of Saturday’s clash with champions Leicester.
Klopp refuses to criticise the timing of the international break, but revealed the club have done their utmost to get him back at Melwood quicker than anticipated.
“I don’t get frustrated by things I cannot change,” he said. “Actually, I don’t think any manager in this moment is happy about the international break.
“For Coutinho, he is coming back Thursday morning at 9am and only because we make a few special arrangements with flights otherwise he would come Thursday night so nobody wants this.
“But we cannot change so why should I complain? Not to change. It’s not the best moment in the season for splitting the squad again.”
Coutinho is one of 11 senior players on international duty, with Emre Can pulling out of the Germany squad due to injury.
Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson will both line up in midfield for Sam Allardyce’s first game as England boss on Sunday, although Daniel Sturridge and Nathaniel Clyne have been overlooked for the opening World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.
Allardyce has chosen Tottenham duo Kyle Walker and Harry Kane ahead of the Liverpool pair.
Four players - Ragnar Klavan, Gini Wijnaldum, Simon Mignolet and Divock Origi – have fixtures on September 6, but none will face the 12,000 miles Coutinho will have travelled over the past week.
Sadio Mane, meanwhile, will return back to Merseyside following Saturday’s African Nations Cup qualifier for Senegal against Namibia.
Source: Liverpool Echo
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