Liverpool FC set to be missing Daniel Sturridge for Merseyside derby
Sturridge not match fit for Anfield clash, with Mario Balotelli set to operate in attack against Everton
September 26th, 2014
Liverpool v Everton is one of the highlights of the Premier League season, with Daniel Sturridge still recovering from an injury sustained during the international break.
Having missed the games against Aston Villa and West Ham, it appears the England forward is doubtful for Saturday’s Merseyside derby, with Brendan Rodgers confirming that the player won’t be match fit.
However, Rodgers did use his pre-match press conference to heap praise on Mario Balotelli and describe the Italian as “potentially first-class”, with the striker having recently opened his account for the Merseyside club.
“We’ll assess Daniel and a number of others nearer the time but if he doesn’t make it he won’t be far off after that,” said Rodgers. “He responds well to treatment and it’s gone well, but there are still a couple of days to go before the game. The important thing is he is near to fitness. He certainly won’t be match-fit, he hasn’t played for a few weeks, but it’ll be great to have him back because he is a wonderful player for us and a great reference for our team at the top of the field.
“At this moment in time we are refocusing and reintroducing the principles into our game that brought the win ratio we’ve had in the last 18 months,” he admitted. “Apart from the Tottenham game we have moved away a bit from that. Our game is based on a fast pressing game and a real high intensity and also the speed of our football.
“We put a lot of hard work in during the first six months to a year that we were here and a lot of those processes became natural and then the consequence of that is winning. When you introduce a raft of new players and lose a core of players that’s obviously a factor and then it becomes a little bit broken. That’s how our game has looked for me for a big part of the season.
“Luis Suárez elevated himself, that was clear. He wasn’t world class when he came in but when he left to go to Barcelona he had put himself in that bracket because of his consistency in scoring goals and keeping his performance level high. You can’t compare Suárez and Mario, but Mario is coming in as an international striker and he has the experience. He’s got a lot of experience for 24 so for him it is about being quality consistently”.