Jurgen Klopp has tended to favour Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren as his centre-back pairing this season in both the Premier League and Champions League, something that Barton clearly feels the German should go back to for Liverpool's next game against Sevilla.
The forward was then left out of the squad that suffered a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but Klopp insists the decision was made with Coutinho's fitness in mind. Listen to the latest episode and subscribe to the podcast on Deezer and iTunes.
Blame me for this, really no problem, but it was a decision for the season.
"I'm not sure it's quite that easy, but if it is - if we bring him (Coutinho) in and then everything is great again - then that's cool", said Klopp, defending the reasoning for initially prolonging his absence. He came back long flight, 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there, three weeks without training.
But he did play twice for Brazil in the recent global break and rejoined his Reds team-mates in training at Melwood late last week.
Michael Owen states his prediction for Man City v Liverpool
Stoke: Butland 7, Cameron 6, Zouma 8, Wimmer 6, Diouf 6, Fletcher 6, Allen 6, Pieters 6, Shaqiri 7, Jese 6, Choupo-Moting 8. His initial effort was saved by Butland, but Lukaku's second bite of the cherry saw United score a deserved second goal.
"You always want the club to keep buying players to improve all the time", Heskey told the Liverpool Echo.
Though Mane's suspension does not affect his participation in the Champions League as his ban will only affect domestic matches - missing two Leicester clashes and a Burnley tie - Coutinho provides much-needed depth in midfield for Liverpool.
Can is no stranger to playing in the back four - or three - and spent most of his early days at Liverpool as a centre-back or full-back.
Philippe Coutinho had a shot accuracy of 55% for Liverpool in the Premier League last season.
"Phil is a fantastic player, and hopefully we can use him as quickly as possible".
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