Suarez expected to strike

  • Last Updated: February 16 2013, 13:24 GMT

Liverpool defender Jose Enrique believes striker Luis Suarez will be even more fired up by his failure to find the net in the past three matches.

Luis Suarez: Looking for goals
Luis Suarez: Looking for goals

The Uruguay international was probably most culpable in the Reds' 2-0 Europa League last-32 first-leg defeat to Zenit St Petersburg in Russia on Thursday.

Manager Brendan Rodgers felt the 26-year-old could have had a hat-trick before half-time but Suarez was not at his sharpest, highlighted when he rounded goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev but could not get his shot away and then backheeled wide Raheem Sterling's cross from close range.

"Luis Suarez is a winner and he likes to win every game," said Enrique.

"Of course he was really disappointed for the misses he had on Thursday but he is a key player and one of the best strikers in the world.

"Like everyone he is still a person who has mistakes and Thursday was not his day.

"But all the chances he has he makes all on his own."

Having scored nine goals in as many games the striker has now gone three matches without scoring, his second-longest run without a goal in what has been his best season for Liverpool so far.

It may not seem a lot but his goals kept the Reds afloat earlier in the season and the burden on him was eased by the arrival of £12million signing Daniel Sturridge - ineligible in Europe - who has contributed four in six since his January move from Chelsea.

Sturridge is expected to return to the starting line-up for Sunday's visit of Rodgers' former club Swansea.

His presence will be needed as in their past two matches, having been beaten at home by West Brom on Monday, Liverpool have not taken any of the numerous chances they have created.

It is a familiar frustrating story which has been played out over the past couple of season.

"It is happening to us a lot this year. We had our chances to score, like a lot of games this season," added Enrique.

Team Score Team
Zenit 2 - 0 Liverpool
Liverpool 0 - 2 West Brom
Man City 2 - 2 Liverpool
Arsenal 2 - 2 Liverpool
Oldham 3 - 2 Liverpool

"I think we are doing well. The problem is, in the last three games (including the 2-2 draw at Manchester City) we have been trying to score goals and had chances to score and then we have had mistakes.

"We have to improve in defence and in attack do what we are doing and hopefully we will have better luck."

Suarez is second in the Premier League goalscoring stakes with 17 behind Manchester United's Robin van Persie but only two behind him is Michu, who has been a revelation for Sunday's opponents in his first season in England.

The Spaniard, a £2million bargain buy from Rayo Vallecano, ended a six-match drought with two against QPR last weekend and Enrique has been impressed with his compatriot.

"I know he has scored a lot of goals this season and he was close to national team selection," added the left-back.

"Players sometimes need a period to adapt but he has made an impact from the start.

"I think there are a lot of Spanish players now around Europe doing well - Pablo Hernandez is at Swansea also.

"But we have to be careful not only with Michu because Swansea play good football, like we do.

"We play at home now again and we will try to get three points."

Liverpool have already lost at home to Swansea this season, when their defence of the Capital One Cup was ended in October.

The two sides played out a goalless draw at the Liberty Stadium the following month, meaning Liverpool have not beaten them in the past four meetings in all competitions, scoring just once with the Welsh club keeping three clean sheets.

A return to winning ways at Anfield would see the Reds better their home league wins total for the whole of last season - just six in 2011/12.


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