PA Wire/PA Images Philippe Coutinho (file pic).
absent friends

No Coutinho as Liverpool name first Premier League starting XI of the season

Adam Lallana also misses the Reds’ opening game with a thigh problem.

PHILIPPE COUTINHO WAS unsurprisingly absent as Liverpool named their first starting XI of the season ahead of today’s match with Watford.

The Brazilian’s future has been the subject of much speculation amid interest from Barcelona.

Liverpool insist they will not sell the talented attacking midfielder, though there was further doubt surrounding Coutinho’s future after news of his transfer request was confirmed yesterday.

The club, however, say their star man’s absence is due a back problem and nothing to do with the uncertainty over his future.

Meanwhile, summer signing Mo Salah makes his Premier League debut for the Reds, while Jordan Henderson is fit following a virus and Simon Mignolet gets the nod to start in goal.

However, Adam Lallana misses out with a thigh injury.

You can follow our liveblog of Liverpool v Watford here.

Watford: Gomes; Janmaat, Kaboul, Britos, Holebas, Doucoure, Chalobah, Amrabat, Cleverley, Pereyra, Okaka.

Subs: Pantilimon, Prodl, Femenía, Watson, Capoue, Richarlison, Gray.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Subs: Karius, Klavan, Gomez, Milner, Grujic, Solanke, Origi.

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