Firmino look forward to stepping up without Coutinho - FCNaija

Champions League By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 14/02/2018

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino is looking forward of stepping to the challenge left by Philippe Coutinho since departing to La Liga giants Barcelona in the winter transfer window.

Coutinho switch from Anfield to Camp Nou in January in a €160 million deal, leaving a void in the Jurgen Klopp's side but the 26-year-old frontman has helped ease the blow of losing fellow countryman to Barcelona last month and he is looking to help fill that space, believing that he can help other Liverpool stars, like Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane pour in the goals.

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Firmino has struck seven goals in Champions League this season, six in the group stages of the European premier competition and only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more in the current campaign, the Liverpool striker matching Neymar, Harry Kane and Edinson Cavani.

Liverpool face a tough last 16 tie in the form of Portuguese side Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday at Estadio do Dragao and Brazil international is looking forward to the added load on his shoulders ahead of the European clash.

Firmino is enjoying the acclaim and responsibility of rising status. "I am trying to give my maximum for the team and trying to be alongside these great players in Europe,” said during in a press conference at Estadio do Dragao.

“Of course I want to be at their level but I only focus on playing a good game. If I play a good game then the goals will appear.”

“Coutinho is a great player and of course when he left that put a greater responsibility on everyone else to perform without him,” he said. “But it is our job to deal with greater responsibility and I think we have done that so far.

“I'm going to do what I can to help [Salah] score goals and to help all the team. I also want to help myself to make a good season. I don't know if Porto are going to be afraid but we are going to make their life difficult and make them suffer.”

Firmino and Salah scored 11 goals combined and only second to Paris Saint-Germain pairing Neymar and Cavan who has twelve 12 Champions League goals together at the top of the goalscoring lists.