Philippe Coutinho will miss five to six weeks of action for Liverpool in the busy festive period after suffering an ankle injury against Sunderland in the Premier league last weekend. Initial reports feared the worst but the midfielder will not have to undergo surgery on his ankle and should be available for their game against Manchester United in January.

The Mirror reports that the player could also be back for the Reds' league clash against Manchester City in the end of December, which would be a massive boost to their chances of pulling a win over their closest title rivals. Coutinho was stretchered off the pitch after the injury and was seen walking on crutches with a protective boot on his injured foot.

Coutinho has been one of Liverpool's most influential players this season, scoring five goals and assisting five in the league and will be sorely missed for the festive period ahead. He will miss games against Bournemouth, West Ham, Everton and Middlesbrough initially in December before a call being taken for his participation against City and Sunderland. The League goes on a 13- day break and the Brazilian is expected to be back for the run-in after that.

Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher thinks that Liverpool's squad could be their Achilles' heel as they do not have the in-depth strength like other teams to sustain a title challenge. The Reds are currently second in the table, joint on points with the Citizens but ahead on goal difference, a point behind leaders Chelsea.

Philippe Coutinho was stretchered off the pitch against Sunderland Getty

"It could be huge. He's Liverpool's best player," Carragher said. "I think Liverpool's XI, playing week in week out, can match up to almost any team in the league [but] have they got the squad the other sides have got? I don't think so, to be honest. It is a worry going forward and it will affect them."