Philippe Coutinho’s hopes of representing Brazil at the 2022 FIFA World Cup are in doubt after the Aston Villa man suffered a quadriceps injury in training.
Coutinho was a surprise absentee from the matchday squad as Unai Emery’s Aston Villa beat Manchester United 3-1 in the Spaniard’s first game at the helm on Sunday.
The former Liverpool, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich creative midfielder has failed to score in 12 Premier League appearances this season, though six of those outings have come as a substitute.
The 30-year-old’s poor form saw him miss out on Tite’s squad when Brazil beat Tunisia and Ghana in September.
But he has won five of his 68 senior caps for the Selecao this calendar year.
However, Coutinho’s chances of travelling to Qatar appear to be slim.
This is after Emery ruled him out of Aston Villa’s upcoming trips to Manchester United in the EFL Cup and Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League.
“Coutinho is injured,” Emery said. “I don’t know how long it will be, but today he couldn’t play and he’s not going to play until after the break.
“It’s a muscular injury. He’s not going to play on Thursday or Sunday because he’s out for longer.”
Coutinho was omitted from Brazil’s squad for their home World Cup campaign in 2014.
But he was a regular during the side’s run to the quarter-finals in Russia four years later, scoring against Switzerland and Costa Rica.
Brazil are considered among the favourites to win the tournament, and face Serbia in their Group G opening game on Nov. 24 at the Lusail Stadium.(dpa/NAN)