Rodgers hails Suarez form

  • Last Updated: November 9 2012, 18:51 GMT

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has backed Luis Suarez to continue inspiring his team as the striker faces predecessor and former Anfield hero Fernando Torres this weekend.

Luis Suarez: In splendid form for the Reds

Luis Suarez

9. Luis Suarez

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Suarez, signed as Torres left for Chelsea in January 2011, has been the Reds' driving force this season, scoring seven of their 13 goals in a largely frustrating start in the Barclays Premier League.

Suarez does have his detractors but, after scoring a superb equaliser in last Sunday's draw against Newcastle, has received plenty of plaudits this week with Rodgers himself describing the 25-year-old as "unplayable".

Rodgers said: "It is nice the football aspect of his game is being focused on, but the most important thing for Luis is he comes in every day, his concentration is good.

"His goal last week typifies the talent he is. He has been a real reference for our team and hopefully that will continue."

Liverpool face a tough test this weekend as they travel to Stamford Bridge to face a Chelsea side who, after a flying start to the campaign, led the table until last weekend.

Torres, who has endured much frustration since leaving Liverpool in a £50million deal, is likely to be the spearhead of the attack ahead of in-form trio Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar.

Rodgers said: "Certainly from the outside, Fernando Torres did a terrific job at Liverpool.

"Certainly in his first 18 months he was fantastic.

"He decided to move on. Liverpool got another world-class striker who as has been absolutely breathtaking, particularly this season.

"Some of his play and what he is contributing for us is fantastic.

"Obviously Fernando Torres went to Chelsea and good luck to him. I can't really comment on Fernando Torres.

"I can only comment on the short period I have been in here and working with Luis Suarez.

"I am blessed to work at a great club with great players and Luis is one of them.

"Liverpool have done terrific out of the deal and got a real top player here."

Rodgers was bemused by a suggestion that he might want to re-sign Torres for Liverpool in the future.

"I have never heard that before," said Rodgers, speaking at a press conference to preview the Chelsea game, before declining to answer a follow-up question.

But after a frustrating transfer deadline day in August, and with the Reds light on firepower having allowed Andy Carroll to join West Ham on loan, Rodgers confirmed he does intend to strengthen in January.

He said: "I am confident we will be able to reinforce the squad.

"We know we need to get the group some help and I am sure we will do that.

"The quicker we can get it done the better and that will certainly be the aim."

Rodgers is likely to revert to a more familiar line-up at Chelsea after resting a number of senior stars for Thursday's Europa League clash against Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow.

The likes of Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin, Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger were not required to travel for a game the Reds lost 1-0.

That result saw Anzhi climb above the Merseysiders to the top of Group A but Rodgers remains hopeful of progress in the competition with games against Young Boys and Udinese still to come.

Rodgers said: "I was more disappointed for the players because they put so much into the game.

"At the very least I felt they deserved a point but we are still in a good position in the group and that was the most important thing.

"We have got two games left in the group and we have tried to navigate our way through it by different means, playing younger players and mixing the team.

"Ultimately the objective is to get through and we are in a good position to be able to do that."

Teenager Raheem Sterling, who has thrived after being given a chance by Rodgers this season, was another left at home this week.

The 17-year-old's form has earned him a place in Roy Hodgson's England squad for next week's friendly in Sweden.

Rodgers said: "It is a great effort by him. He has been fantastic since he has broken in.

"He thoroughly deserves his call-up even though he is so young. He is developing and developing so quickly. I am delighted for him after the hard work he has put in."


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