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Sunday 4 December 2016

Big boost for Liverpool as Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson back in frame for Norwich clash

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge is yet to make an appearance this season
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge is yet to make an appearance this season
Liverpool vice-captain Jordan Henderson, pictured, has issued a rallying cry to team-mates as they prepare for life without Steven Gerrard

Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge and captain Jordan Henderson could both make their comebacks in Sunday's home clash with Norwich, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has indicated.

Sturridge has been back in full training since last week after recovering from a hip operation in May, while midfielder Henderson this week underwent a specialist procedure in the United States in an attempt to cure an ongoing heel problem.

And Rodgers said on Friday: "Jordan will train today so we'll see how he comes through that - he has obviously been away and had some work done on his foot, so hopefully all will be well with that but we'll assess it over the next 48 hours.

"Daniel has been training with the team now for a week or so and again we will assess that in relation to the game."

As well as Sturridge and Henderson, sidelined since mid-August, Liverpool were also without the key figure of Philippe Coutinho for last weekend's 3-1 loss at Manchester United as the playmaker served a one-match suspension.

That result left the Reds with only seven points from their opening five Barclays Premier League games of the season, a sequence in which they scored just three goals.

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Jordan Henderson

Rodgers has already stressed his confidence things will improve for Liverpool, performance and results-wise, as time goes on.

And he reiterated that on Friday, adding that the return of various personnel - midfielder Joe Allen is also now fit after missing the season so far due to a hamstring problem - will be vital.

"We now have players hopefully coming back, which will add to the squad and see us go on a run of games where we can perform well and get the victories," he said.

"Daniel, on his game, is one of the best there is - there are not too many who can compare with him when he is at his level.

"When he can stretch teams like he can with his pace and the wonderful variety in his finishing, you put Christian (Benteke) alongside that, Coutinho in behind that or to the side of it, then other players support that - it is a really exciting dynamic.

"We have probably been waiting for that for quite a period of time but those types of players like Daniel, with that quality, can give a totally different perspective to your team.

"And the reality is we are only a few points off where we'd want to be and there is still a long way to go."

With regard to the scrutiny Liverpool are under and their search for goals and points, Rodgers has emphasised the importance of staying calm.

"It is about never getting too carried away if you win or disappointed if you lose," he said.

"It (the lack of goals) has been an ongoing issue for a little while now but we will get there, and the players coming back will enhance that quality in the team and give us a greater opportunity to score goals.

"I think it's very important you remain calm and, for me, I always focus on what I can control - I can't control what is written or said about me.

"All I can do is control the team and how we operate, and try to maximise what I can get out of the players available."

Defender Kolo Toure is another who will be assessed ahead of Sunday's top-flight game at Anfield after he came off in the first half of Thursday's 1-1 Europa League draw at Bordeaux due to a dead leg.

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