• Coutinho in contention for Southampton clash after making return against England.
  • The Brazilian missed Liverpool's last three games with an adductor muscle injury.

Liverpool were handed a major injury boost ahead of their clash against Southampton on Saturday (18 November) after Philippe Coutinho started and played 68 minutes during Brazil's 0-0 draw against England on Tuesday.

The Reds midfielder has been unlucky with injuries this campaign and has made just nine appearances in all competitions for the Merseyside club. He missed the start of the season with a back injury and was absent for Liverpool's last three games with an adductor muscle injury.

Despite the injury, Coutinho travelled with the Brazil squad for their friendlies against Japan and England during the ongoing international break. He was an unused substitute in the first game after his national team doctor revealed that he was in his final phase of recovery, but started the game against the Three Lions.

According to the Liverpool Echo, the former Inter Milan midfielder played for over an hour and looks to have come through unscathed which will come as a major boost for Jurgen Klopp. The manager is likely to include him in his matchday squad for their game against Southampton.

Coutinho has been linked with a move to Barcelona since the summer and despite Liverpool rejecting a number of bids from the Catalan giants, reports suggest that they will return again when the transfer window reopens in January. The Brazil international recently revealed that he is happy in England at the moment, which will come as music to the German coach's ears especially since the Reds are entering one of the busiest periods of the season.

Southampton serves as an appetiser in a week that will see Liverpool travel to Sevilla in the Champions League which will be followed by the visit of the Premier League champions Chelsea to Anfield. Klopp's men can seal their place in the knockout stages with a win in Spain and that will allow them to focus all their attention on the domestic campaign going into the busy Christmas period fixtures.

While Coutinho's return provides Klopp a boost, Sadio Mane's fitness remains a cause for concern after recurrence of the hamstring injury he suffered early in October that saw him miss two weeks of football. It remains to be seen if he will be fit for the visit of Southampton on Saturday.

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho made his return from injury during Brazil's friendly against Brazil on Tuesday (14 November) Getty