He’s critical for us! Liverpool boss Rodgers plays up Suárez role

Brendan Rodgers insists he has no concerns about relying on Luis Suárez as Liverpool prepare to host Zenit St Petersburg

The Sport Review staff
By    
luis suarez
Luis Suárez joined Liverpool in a £22.75m deal in January 2011 Photo: Back Page Images

luis suarez

Brendan Rodgers insists he has no concerns about relying on Luis Suárez as Liverpool’s focal point in attack ahead of Zenit St Petersburg’s visit to Anfield on Thursday.

The Reds head into the Europa League last-32 second leg looking to overturn a two-goal deficit following last week’s 2-0 defeat in Russia.

Rodgers’ options up front are limited, with Fabio Borini set to miss the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder picked up against Swansea and Daniel Sturridge cup-tied.

However, the Liverpool boss has no doubts that Suárez – who has scored 23 goals in all competitions this season – can deliver in front of goal against the Russian side, despite enduring a frustrating night in the first leg.

“Luis just wants to help the team so much,” said Rodgers. “After the game in Zenit, he could have been disappointed after having missed a few chances, but he is a real buoyant spirit.

“He didn’t want to come off against Swansea, even though there was only 15 minutes left to go. He wanted to stay on and get more goals. But I wanted to look at the bigger picture.

“I wanted him to get a round of applause from the crowd because I thought he deserved it and he’s going to be very important for us tomorrow night. So I was giving him a bit of a breather. He’s a critical player for us.”

Liverpool v Zenit St Petersburg: Pre-match facts

• Zenit have been to the city of Liverpool before, losing 1-0 against Everton in the 2007-08 UEFA Cup group stage. They went on to win the competition that season, though.

• Liverpool have lost just once in their last 16 European home games – 3-2 against Udinese in this season’s Europa League group stage – a run which includes 11 wins as well as four draws.

• The Reds are one of three sides – along with Juventus and Internazionale – who have won this competition a record three times.

• UEFA Cup winners in 2007-08, Zenit are back in the round of 32 for a fifth time since the advent of the group stage in 2004-05, and have yet to be eliminated at this stage.

Win £100 from from £10 on Man United to beat Saint-Etienne today. Hurry, offer ends soon. Click here to sign up for an account now. T&Cs apply.

MORE: 10 players Man United could sign in the summer transfer window

MORE: Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Back to The Sport Review homepage

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Dubai Duty Free WTA preview
The Sport Review
Dubai Duty Free WTA preview: Kerber eyes No1, but Konta joins injury withdrawals
Slideshow
The Sport Review
10 players Man United could sign in the summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Arsenal WAGs 2017: Meet Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s wives and girlfriends
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd stars feature
The Sport Review
Roberto Firmino: Meet the Liverpool forward’s stunning wife Larissa Pereira
The Sport Review
Dele Alli: 15 photos of Tottenham midfielder’s stunning girlfriend Ruby Mae
The Sport Review
Top 25 Muslim football players in Premier League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea stars feature
The Sport Review
Man United WAGs: Meet Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and David De Gea’s girlfriends
The Sport Review
Chelsea WAGs: Meet David Luiz, Oscar and Willian’s wives and girlfriends
The Sport Review
Photos: Man United’s forgotten man trains with Shaw, Bailly ahead of Saint-Etienne trip
The Sport Review
Guillem Balague provides update on Arsenal and Liverpool managers
The Sport Review
Juan Mata makes honest admission about Chelsea v Man United