Liverpool and Spurs ready for Europa action
Philippe Coutinho admits Liverpool’s Europa League clash with Bordeaux is a ‘very important game’ following their recent league defeats.
Brendan Rodgers’ Reds have lost their way in the last two games, losing 3-0 to West Ham and 3-1 to Manchester United.
They are down in 10th place in the Premier League table – but need to focus on Europe next, and are 6/4 to beat Bordeaux in Thursday’s 6pm kick-off.
Brazilian playmaker Coutinho was banned for the defeat at Old Trafford after seeing red against the Hammers – but should be back in the starting line-up in France.
Liverpool have several new signings trying to gel and Coutinho has urged fans not to panic about their slow start to the campaign.
He said: “It is vital to stay calm, mainly because we are just at the beginning in all competitions.
“We have a long season ahead and many things can happen. The Premier League is tough – all clubs have great teams – and we know twists and turns will happen.
“We have to look ahead now and get over the two recent games we lost. After two consecutive defeats, we’re conscious there’s going to be more pressure from the outside.
“But we have to do things right on the pitch so we can achieve good results and Bordeaux is a very important game as it’s our first in the Europa League.”
Tottenham are also in Europa League action and face Qarabag FK at White Hart Lane, with the visitors 17/4 to leave London with a draw.
Erik Lamela will be hoping for a starting spot after catching the eye in the weekend win over Sunderland – and he is 19/10 to score any time at the Lane.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino feels this is a ‘key season’ for the Argentina forward, saying: “It’s true, now is the third season here, but we believe in him and we want to give the opportunity to show his value.
“We have a lot of games to play, for competition, we need a good player in all positions. I think with the squad we have, we have a very good balance.
“I think this is a key season for him. After two seasons at Tottenham, now is the moment for him. Not to put pressure, but it’s true. It’s a key moment for him to develop and to move on his game. It’s important.”