Ex-Reds striker confident that star forward will spark Brazilian teammate back to life

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Roberto Firmino’s partner in crime has returned just in time for Liverpool’s biggest game of the season so far.

Our Brazilians will be back in full force tomorrow with Philippe Coutinho set to line up against Manchester United for his first start since returning from injury.

We sense his long awaited recovery will not only have brought smiles to the faces of Liverpool fans but also to Firmino, who has visibly missed his teammate.

Former Reds striker Neil Mellor is hoping to see Coutinho help Firmino rediscover the kind of form he showed before he had his memorable top-knot chopped off. There’s one for the superstitious fans to ponder over.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo, Mellor said: “Philippe Coutinho’s return will benefit everybody – but particularly Roberto Firmino, who will get a huge lift getting his mate back.”

“Without Coutinho on the pitch, Firmino has been quiet recently. He has such an understanding on the field with his fellow Brazilian, and the pair can make things happen. That improves our goalscoring options.”

“I’d expect Firmino to start up as the central striker at Old Trafford alongside Lallana and Coutinho.”

“Klopp has favoured Firmino in games against the leading sides and Liverpool’s impressive record in such fixtures suggests it is the right approach.”

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Unpredictability, flair and fluidity is what we will require against United and a front three containing both Firmino and Coutinho can offer exactly that.

The pair by no means keep the ball between themselves for an entire game but it seems Coutinho’s presence alone comforts his international teammate in some way.

Firmino beginning to play his best football again is just as key as Coutinho’s return is in terms of how Liverpool’s season goes between now and May.

More Stories Liverpool Manchester United Neil Mellor Philippe Coutinho Roberto Firmino