Friday 15 December 2017

Dalglish: Suarez ban can be a blessing for Reds

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez's month-long enforced absence could work to his advantage over the final four months of the season, according to manager Kenny Dalglish.

Uruguay international Suarez, who has not played since St Stephen's Day, is set to return from an eight-match ban on Monday when Tottenham Hotspur visit Anfield.

While Dalglish would have much rather had one of his key players available for the busy month of January, the side have coped well in his absence and the break could well have done the forward some good.

After helping Uruguay win the Copa America this summer, Suarez returned to Merseyside having had very little rest and no pre-season to get himself ready for the rigours of the Premier League.

Prior to his suspension kicking in, the 25-year-old had started in all but two matches this season.

Dalglish gave him a short break from training last month but will eagerly welcome back the eight-goal striker, who was only overtaken as leading scorer by Craig Bellamy in the midweek win over Wolves.

"Irrespective of what happened before, any situation you find yourself in you have to find a positive and that is what we will try to do," Dalglish said.


"It is great for everybody that we have Luis back in the squad. He's been training a couple of weeks now and he's stayed pretty fit so it is fantastic for us to have him available."

Considering his lengthy absence as a result of being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, Dalglish may well be inclined to start Suarez on the bench against Spurs.

Liverpool are in good form after reaching the Carling Cup final, knocking Manchester United out of the FA Cup and registering a resounding 2-0 win at Molineux in midweek.

Dalglish admits that means it is less imperative to throw Suarez straight back in, but accepts his return poses a selection problem.

"For us it is a difficult job because everyone trains hard to get picked and someone is going to be disappointed," he said.

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