Philippe Coutinho and Alex McCarthyIn three days’ time, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Sandro expects to be in direct opposition to a player he feels comfortable in comparing to Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho — Philippe Coutinho.

The compatriots will go head-to-head when Liverpool travel to North London on Sunday for a heavyweight Barclays Premier League clash, with the Reds searching for a third straight win.

Naturally, Sandro recognizes the threat of the division’s top scorer, 15-goal striker Luis Suarez, but for the Spurs enforcer it is Coutinho — along with his sensational vision and distribution — who poses the greatest concern.

“Coutinho’s passes are like Ronaldinho’s,” he said. “He doesn’t move a lot, but his passing — you think he is going to pass here and he passes there instead. He does the same as Ronaldinho. You think he’s going to do one thing, and he does something completely different. Ronaldinho was the best player, but I think their style is similar.

“Suarez is a great footballer and in a great spell of form. He has scored a lot of goals but we are going to push to hold him and stop him.

“We know he can score wherever he is on the pitch. He can do something out of nothing. But it’s not just him. When Coutinho plays he has a good pass on him and is intelligent.

“It will be me or Etienne Capoue who will try to stop Coutinho. If midfielders have freedom they can do something to hurt you. I want to be close to him. And tackle him.”

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