Liverpool’s Coutinho & Sturridge will relish derby, insists Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers backs Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge to thrive in the Merseyside derby on Sunday

daniel sturridge
Daniel Sturridge joined Liverpool from Chelsea in January Photo: The Sport Review

Brendan Rodgers has backed Liverpool duo Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge to thrive in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday.

The England international capped his return to the Liverpool starting line-up last weekend with a brace in a 6-0 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

Sturridge was aided by the superb performance of his young Brazilian team-mate Coutinho, who created two goals and acted as the fulcrum of Rodgers’ side.

Despite the limited experience of the pair, the 40-year-old Reds boss is confident the Merseyside derby’s raucous atmosphere won’t affect his January transfer signings.

“I’ve got no doubt that Daniel and Philippe will relish it,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.

“They are young but they have both played in many big games.

“Philippe has played in derbies in Italy and Daniel played for big clubs before he came here.

“They are both outstanding players and they have shown that since they came here in January.

“When you are a top player, you always want to play in the top games and this one of them.”

Sturridge, who completed a £12m move to Liverpool from Chelsea in January, has already scored seven goals in 11 Premier League appearances for the Reds.

The 24-year-old has netted against Chelsea, Manchester City and Newcastle, which Rodgers feels highlights the striker’s big-game temperament ahead of the Everton clash.

“You look at Daniel’s performances against the big teams – Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal – he has been at the very top level. The two of them will be a real threat for us this weekend.”

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