Friday, September 20, 2013

Rodgers Expects Smooth Suarez Transition

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers doesn’t expect Luis Suarez to be rusty when he returns to club action against Manchester United on Wednesday in the Capital One Cup.

The Uruguayan striker’s ten-game ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic comes to an end following this weekend’s Premier League fixture against Southampton.

Suarez has managed to play several times for Uruguay since the ban, helping his nation to the semi-final of the Confederations Cup in the summer as well as scoring in games with Japan and twice against Peru earlier this month.

Rodgers believes Suarez will be right up to speed when Liverpool takes on United next week, revealing the striker has been playing full speed in training matches, the Daily Star reports.

"We tried to map something out over the period he’s been out,” said Rodgers.

"He’s played some games in pre-season but when the league got started we organised some 11 v 11 matches behind closed doors, both among ourselves and bringing teams in.

"He’s had international games as well that have kept him ticking over.

"He’s been doing a lot of specific work to replicate what he would do in a game, high-intensity work. It’s never quite the same as a game but at least he’s getting the work.”

Rodgers is looking forward to having the controversial striker back in his squad to partner in-form Daniel Sturridge up front, particularly with the loss of Philippe Coutinho to injury.

"The idea is that when we bring him back, it will be very smooth,” he added.

"There’ll be a transitional period. I’m really looking forward to having him back. He’s working his socks off.

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