Luis Suárez believes Liverpool are primed to end their four-year wait for Champions League football but he said his future at the Merseyside club does not depend on their qualification for Europe’s elite competition.
Suárez has scored 24 goals this season and he has been a driving force in Liverpool’s push for a top-four finish.
“I’d actually prefer not to win this Golden Boot and for Liverpool to qualify for the Champions League this season,” Suárez said, in an interview with FourFourTwo magazine. “Any player would miss the Champions League. We’ve not been good enough since I’ve been here to qualify, but this could definitely be our year”.
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Suárez says he is ‘very happy’ at Liverpool
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Interesting comments by Liverpool owner John Henry over the week that will not sit well with Arsenal.
Arsenal bid a pound over £40m for the 27-year-old last summer, believing it would force the Reds into a sale, but speaking at he MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at the weekend Henry said:
“Arsenal offered £40m and one pound for him and triggered his buy-out clause.”
“Since apparently these contracts don’t seem to hold, we took the position we’re just not selling.”
“But what we’ve found over the years is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England – actually not in England, in world football.
Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling can handle the pressure of senior international football as he targets a place in England‘s World Cup squad, according to club teammate Daniel Agger.
Sterling is expected to be given another chance to impress by England manager Roy Hodgson in Wednesday night’s friendly against Denmark at Wembley.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, the winger came through the England youth ranks before making his senior debut in November 2012 away to Sweden and Reds defender Agger sees no reason why the England under-21 regular — who scored in Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League win at Southampton — cannot take it all in his stride.
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Agger: Playing for England won’t faze Sterling
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Liverpool may be second as they enter the home straight, but manager Brendan Rodgers remains quick to downplay talk of a first league title since 1990.
Just four points separate leaders Chelsea and the in-form Reds, who usurped Manchester City and Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League standings with their 3-0 victory at Southampton.
Luis Suarez opened the scoring early in the first half at St Mary’s and, having withstood the hosts’ impressive response, Liverpool went out of sight thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard.
Brendan Rodgers could welcome back centre-back Mamadou Sakho for Saturday’s Premier League visit to Southampton.
Sakho has recovered from the hamstring injury suffered during the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Dec. 29.
Midfielder Lucas Leiva is also back in full training, having been out of action since sustaining medial knee ligament damage on Jan. 18, during the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.
However, the Brazil international will not be involved at St Mary’s, and is instead set to make his return when Liverpool travel to Manchester United on March 16.
Brendan Rodgers has admitted that Liverpool remain mystified by the knee injury that has kept left-back Jose Enrique out of action for more than three months.
The defender was expected to be absent for 10 weeks after having surgery to sort out the problem on Nov. 21.
By that timescale, Enrique should have been fit to return at the end of January, but still does not have a comeback date.
The 27-year-old has been to see a specialist in the United States, and has returned to Merseyside, where Liverpool’s medical team are continuing to assess the injury.
Pepe Reina’s chances of resurrecting his Liverpool career after his loan stint at Napoli have been dismissed by manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Spanish goalkeeper moved to Italy on a season’s loan last July, linking up with his former Reds boss Rafa Benitez, now in charge at Napoli.
On his departure for Napoli, Reina published on his website what he called a
“goodbye letter for Liverpool’s fans”,
in which he claimed the decision to leave Anfield was not his.
He also wrote that he was looking forward to playing for Benitez,
Centre-back Kolo Toure insists now is not the time to allow criticism of Liverpool‘s defensive vulnerability affect their run-in.
The Reds’ leaky backline is coming under increasing scrutiny after Sunday’s 4-3 home win against Swansea City made it seven goals conceded in their last three matches.
Liverpool have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 games stretching back to mid-December but Toure, who has had his fair share of recent defensive calamities, believes they still have a grip on their situation.
Brendan Rodgers vowed to keep faith with Liverpool‘s attacking style after a rollercoaster 4-3 victory over his former club Swansea.
Liverpool, whose four goals were shared by England internationals Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge, squandered leads of 2-0 and 3-2 before finally securing the points, overtaking Manchester City as the Barclays Premier League‘s top scorers with 70 goals.
Although irresistible going forward the fourth-placed Reds were again erratic in defence, conceding to their former midfielder Jonjo Shelvey before Wilfried Bony scored a brace.
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Rodgers Says He Will Not Change Style After Beating Swansea In Thriller
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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has urged his players to continue to be ruthless at Anfield ahead of the visit of former club Swansea City on Sunday. The Reds, who occupy fourth spot, have been imperious at home this season, winning 11 of their 13 English Premier League games and scoring 38 goals in the process.
Supporters at Anfield have been treated to thumping 5-1 and 4-0 victories over Arsenal and Everton in their last two home games, and Rodgers does not want there to be any let up as they try to keep pace with leaders Chelsea.