Brendan Rodgers said that the availability of Daniel Sturridge, who is out with injury, is not certain for Liverpool‘s Chelsea test.
The Reds currently sit five points clear at the top of the table from second placed Chelsea, and a win would pretty much guarantee the title coming to Liverpool, unless of course, there is a major slip up.
Brendan Rodgers men go into this match targeting yet another win, an twelfth one on the row. His side are the only English team to be unbeaten in the league in 2014.
Daniel Sturridge limped off the match against Manchester City with a minor hamstring strain and there were doubts regarding whether he would start this crucial tie against his old club. There was some speculation in Thursday’s newspapers suggesting that the forward was responding well to treatment and was in the position to face Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.
However, Brendan Rodgers has said that his availability for the tie is not certain and if the 23 year old is not fully fit, he will not be risked. Rodgers seemed confident that his team could cope without Sturridge as they have done so before.
“We will see. We’ll give it another 24 hours. He’s working hard with the medical team. So we shall see”, said the Northern Irishman
“But if he’s not fit, we’ve coped before; we’ve managed before without a number of players. We’ll go into the game with confidence. We’ll assess that over the next 24 hours.”
Besides Jose Enrique, who has been ruled out for the season, the only sure starter Liverpool would miss is Jordan Henderson, who is serving a three match ban after his red card against Manchester City.
In case Sturridge misses out too, Liverpool would be expected to start with the same line-up as they did against Norwich, which included both Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva. If the England international makes it back to the starting line up, we would assume that either Allen or Leiva gets receded to the bench for the clash.
Liverpool were not short of goals with Sturridge last week as they won 3-2 against Norwich City, but the 23 year old’s importance is well known both to the Merseyside club and to the opposition, and if the player does miss out, it would be a huge blow to the hosts. Fielding a starting 11 with Sturridge is obviously more threatening than one without it. The Reds have performed well in the 4-4-2 system with Suarez and Sturridge, now known better as SAS have both played as centre forwards and have had the liberty to exploit the final third as they liked.