Ahead of Sunday's match against Swansea, Brendan Rodgers told reporters Daniel Sturridge and Daniel Agger are both ready to play and that he's considering giving a start to Philippe Coutinho.
"Daniel will be fit for the weekend which is great for us," was Brendan Rodgers answer to questions about striker Daniel Sturridge's fitness after he missed the previous league match against West Brom. In fact, Sturridge likely would have been fit enough to face Zenit on Thursday, though as the player remains cup-tied with Chelsea joining the Europa League for the knockout rounds it remains a moot point.
No matter why he missed each of Liverpool's last two matches, on both occasions it was clear that despite only arriving in Liverpool at the start of January, Sturridge is already integral to any chances the club has of a successful end to their season. Against both opponents his direct running as well as the solid finishing he has shown so far for his new club were quite obviously missed—despite only having just arrived, Liverpool looked unable to cope with his absence.
Daniel Agger, meanwhile, is also fit to face Swansea after he was left home for the trip to St. Petersburg to rest. With Jamie Carragher having already played 180 minutes this week—the week after he announced his impending retirement—that could mean a return to the pairing of Agger and Martin Skrtel at the back while Carragher gets the weekend off ahead of next Thursday's match against Zenit at Anfield.
And while Agger and Sturridge are returning to the lineup, there are also questions about how Rodgers might deploy his newest signing. Philippe Coutinho was only ready to make a futile cameo appearance towards the end of Monday's match against West Brom, but according to the manager he's at least in contention to start come Sunday.
"He's certainly in my thinking," said Rodgers when asked if Coutinho could find himself in the starting eleven against Swansea. "He's come in and has needed a bit of time to adapt to a new way of working and a new life, but you can see the kid's qualities. He's got good experience for a young player.
"Over the next couple of days I'll take my time and have a think about it. He's certainly got the qualities to come into the group and he knows the way of working."
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