As it stands Liverpool FC are top of the Premier League after a 6-1 thrashing of Watford on November 6th. After an erratic 2015-16 season, the combined form of Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, together with Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane has bolstered the team.
While manager Jürgen Klopp tries to play down the Reds’ title chances, this hasn’t stopped a steady stream of fans from backing their side at the upcoming match at Southampton. The latest predictions at SBAT are that the game will be closely-tied, particularly with the Saints recent European win over Inter Milan
Liverpool’s tally of 40 goals in 14 games is the club’s best in 121 years, and Firmino and Coutinho have 12 goals between them. It was previous manager Brendan Rodgers who brought in both players, yet neither Brazilian shone as brightly as they do now.
Coutinho has acknowledged that working with the German has made him a better player, while much of the press hails Firmino as Liverpool’s best player. ‘The Klopp Effect’ was evident last season, but seems in full swing at the time of writing. Whereas Daniel Sturridge was once considered the Reds’ star man, he now struggles to get in the side, due in part to the unbelievable form of the two Brazilians.
Both Firmino and Coutinho are famous for their pace, dribbling, shooting, and passing abilities. In fact, both players are in many ways the complete package. Due to his small stature and great skill, Firmino often sees comparisons to Lionel Messi. The player believes that his “hyperactivity makes him perfect for Klopp’s playing style”.
Meanwhile, Coutinho played a key role in Brazil’s 3-0 thrashing of Argentina, during which he dummied Messi with an exquisite Cruyff Turn. The German certainly favours constant movement, and both Coutinho and Firmino always seem to be chasing and working.
Effect on team morale
There is a child-like joy about the way in which Firmino and Coutinho play that very much echoes the style of many Brazilians stars over the years, from Pele, to Zico, to Ronaldinho. It therefore comes as no surprise that both players believe their exuberant styles stem from playing football on the streets of Brazil as kids. Just like many of their compatriots, Coutinho and Firmino are very skilful and are always trying to create chances to score.
During an interview with LFCTV, Coutinho said that “Brazilian footballers have happiness within them”. This joy is clearly rubbing off on the Liverpool team as a whole as they continue to experience great team morale. While the Brazilian duo deserve a lot of credit for this, insiders say that Klopp’s humour also plays it part.
The manager has been seen nutmegging Firmino during training and offering his glasses to captain Jordan Henderson after a misplaced pass. But while many argue that Klopp deserves the credit for allowing the Brazilian duo to shine, the joy they bring to the team is undeniable.