Why Coutinho could be the man who clinches title for Liverpool


View gallery


Chelsea travel to Anfield this weekend with slim title hopes and with Jose Mourinho effectively ready to hand the Reds the title, it could be a big weekend in the history of Liverpool FC.

The Reds are in astonishing form having won 11 straight Premier League games, including a 5-1 win against Arsenal, a 3-0 win over Manchester United and a 3-2 success against Manchester City.

It is no surprise to see them on the verge of winning the title. They are famed for their attacking style of play and the talent in attack has kept them fighting for the title. Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling have been rampaging through defences in 2014 and the trio have scored a combined 59 goals in the league.

However, it is beyond just those three as far as who will concern Chelsea on Sunday.

Philippe Coutinho has been impressing over the last few weeks and throughout the season has risen to the occasion in the big games at Anfield. In his last two appearances at Anfield, he's scored twice - one of them, a 78th minute winner against Man City which will go down in the club's history should they win the title.

View gallery


In that game against City, Coutinho was excellent in midfield as he pushed his weight around and won tackles, broke free and set up an attack.His range of passing and dribbling is fantastic and when he's in full flow it's mesmeric.

Coutinho has all of the ability and skill to reach the very top of the game - after all, he broke through in Brazil the same time as Neymar and was ranked alongside the Brazilian back then.

In the last two games at Anfield, Coutinho has won nine of his 13 tackles and won three of his four headed duels. He took his time to get into his groove this season but over the last couple of weeks, he's really shown his talents - especially at Anfield.

Furthermore, in the game against City, he won seven of his 10 tackles which is excellent, especially for a player like Coutinho who is more well-known for his on-ball ability rather than his fight off it.

At Anfield, he's created 40 chances this season. That is in 14 matches. Now, away from home, he's played 16 times but created just 18 chances. He's quite clearly more effective at Anfield than he is anywhere else and that will benefit Liverpool on Sunday.

Coutinho seems to bring his A-game to the biggest of games this season. Take the 4-0 win over Everton earlier this year.

He was very effective, assisting a Sturridge goal. He also assisted his English team mate in the demolition job over Arsenal by playing one of the a sublime through ball to Daniel Sturridge.

Furthermore, take his goals - he's scored five this season and four of them have come at pivotal moments of big games. He scored a brace against Man City, once against Everton and the other was in the dramatic 3-2 win away at Fulham earlier this year.

When he arrived at Liverpool, everyone was surprised by how technical he was and the ability he showed on the ball was sensational. He took his time to get into the swing of things this season but the big occasion at Anfield is his scene.

It is here where he comes alive and Chelsea will need to keep him as quiet as possible. Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling can cause a lot of damage themselves but stop Coutinho and you stop a key aspect of their midfield which will in turn slow the Reds down.

There is obviously a lot more to this Liverpool side than just Coutinho but stopping him is the first step in trying to stop the Liverpool train that is an unstoppable force right now.

View comments (23)