LIVERPOOL will make a late decision on the fitness of Daniel Sturridge as Brendan Rodgers pledged to ease new boy Philippe Coutinho into the first-team reckoning.
Sturridge withdrew from the England squad to face Brazil last Wednesday after injuring his thigh during the 2-2 draw at Manchester City last weekend.
The 23-year-old has undergone intensive treatment at Melwood during the past week, with Liverpool hopeful the striker will be available for tonight’s Premier League visit of West Bromwich Albion.
Sturridge has made an explosive start to his Anfield career after arriving from Chelsea for £12million five weeks ago, netting four goals in six games.
While Sturridge was handed an instant debut, fellow January signing Coutinho may have to bide his time for his full bow.
The 20-year-old Brazilian arrived from Inter Milan for £8.5m in the final few days of the transfer window, but has only just spent his first few days training with his new team-mates after returning to Italy to finalise all the necessary aspects of the move.
“He's a young player I've got very high hopes for but Daniel was ready to come in and play – we'll see how young Philippe goes," said Rodgers.
“He was with the medical team with Milan and he has come here and we have assessed where he is in terms of his fitness.
“He trained with the group on Friday and we'll observe him and see where he's at but competition for places is what we want, that was the whole idea of bringing him in.
“He's a top young player with big experiences and bringing him into the group adds that competition.