Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

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Egypt EGY

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Russia RUS

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Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

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France FRA

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Philippe Coutinho refuses to commit future to Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho has pledged to continue to do his best for Liverpool but refused to commit his future to the club.

The Brazil international was frustrated when his transfer request was rejected in the summer as the club rebuffed three bids from Barcelona.

Since then speculation has continued to encircle the 25-year-old, who captained the side and scored a hat-trick in the 7-0 demolition of Spartak Moscow which booked their place in the knockout stage of the Champions League, with his Catalan suitors reportedly ready to make another approach.

"I am at Liverpool and I always do my best when I have the opportunity to play, respecting the jersey and the supporters," said Coutinho, who has scored nine goals in 13 appearances this season.

"I do not know how the future is going to be. What will happen in January, we will know it in January. I do not know if there will be an offer.

"Last summer there was a job offer in the same way that happens with any employee and I was interested in it. Since I stayed I have played with will and desire.

"Of course a lot happened in the summer but my will is always to play and do the best wherever I am - that has not changed.

"I am here (at Liverpool), we have a lot of games and I try to do my best to help."

Coutinho's hat-trick was his first for the club and he hailed the achievement of making the latter stages of the Champions League as a significant moment.

"It was a special night due to the result and because I had the armband in such an important game playing for a club like Liverpool," he added.

"For sure this is my most important hat-trick. In the Champions League it was my first one, I scored one for Brazil but this was more important."

Defender Joe Gomez believes Europe's top clubs have every reason to fear Liverpool.

They finished the group stage with 23 goals - second-highest in the all-time list behind Paris St Germain's 25 from the current campaign - and although they avoided the likes of PSG and Barcelona, potential last-16 opponents include Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid.

"We believe we can beat anyone and we have to have that mentality," said Gomez.

"We have great quality and they can be scared of us the same way we can be wary of them so that's good."

Liverpool have kept seven clean sheets in their last 12 matches and that could come in handy when they host Merseyside rivals Everton and their new manager Sam Allardyce on Sunday.

"I think they will probably be fired up and motivated," said Gomez.

"I think we have seen some teams come to Anfield and sit off but I think with the derby I don't think they'll come too defensive-minded.

"We want people to come here and for it to be difficult for them to score and hopefully we can continue that."

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