Philippe Coutinho has been withdrawn from the Brazil squad for the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Chile and Venezuela due to an injury. The Liverpool star has been replaced by Orlando City veteran Kaka, but manager Dunga has not reported how long the midfielder is out for – meaning he may miss the trip to Tottenham Hotspur on 17 October.
The Brazilian playmaker played the full 90 minutes during the Merseyside derby against Everton this past weekend. However, the Brazilian Football Confederation has now made an official statement indicating he has been forced to leave national team duty with an unspecified injury.
"Coach Dunga has called up Kaka for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Chile on Thursday 8 October in Santiago, and against Venezuela, on the 13, in Fortaleza. Kaka, from Orlando City, replaces Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho who has withdrawn due to injury," the Brazilian Football Confederation confirmed on its official website.
The news is the first issue expected to trouble the new Liverpool manager, who is expected to be appointed before the end of the international break, with former Borussia Dortmund gaffer Jurgen Klopp installed as the bookmakers' favourite to replace Rodgers, ahead of ex-Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti and Ajax's Frank de Boer. Coutinho has been one of the key players for the Reds this term.
Following the difficult trip to White hart Lane, Liverpool face a run of games that will see them face Rubin Kazan, Southampton and Bournemouth within a week.
Summer signing Christian Benteke, who has missed the club's last four games in all competitions, may return to action after the international break as his hamstring issues are believed to be over.