Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hopes Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho will be in better shape for Sunday's (28 February) League Cup final against Manchester City after they both played a significant part in their 1-0 Europa League win against Augsburg. The Reds progressed to the last 16 of the competition courtesy of an early penalty from midfielder James Milner.
Sturridge combined with Coutinho and Roberto Firmino to form a fearsome-looking front three for their Europa League tie at Anfield. And despite his recent injury lay-off, Sturridge appeared to be fit and sharp, as he prepares himself for the cup final against his former club.
The England international was replaced after 66 minutes of the cup tie, but was impressive during his time on the field, as was the Brazilian star Coutinho.
"[Coutinho and Sturridge] are very important for us but we need them at their best and they can only get it in matches and training," the Liverpool manager explained during his post-match press conference.
Meanwhile, Klopp decided to rest Kolo Toure ahead of the League Cup final, with Klopp explaining that his recent workload necessitated the break. "Kolo has done really well but he had a lot of games in his legs. Lucas did really well in this position," the German boss remarked.
The Liverpool manager also paid a glowing tribute to the efforts of the Augsburg team and in particular, his opposite number Markus Weinzierl. "It was a difficult game. Augsburg took risks and they defended very well. Markus has a great team," the burly German said.