Liverpool v Cardiff City: Brendan Rodgers confident Luis Suarez can fire Reds to the top of the Premier League this weekend
Liverpool will go top with a win as leaders Arsenal do not play until Monday night
Friday 20 December 2013
Manager Brendan Rodgers will hope striker Luis Suarez can continue his remarkable home form to fire Liverpool back to the top of the table.
The Uruguay international has scored 12 goals in his five Anfield appearances this season which has contributed to the side racking up a total of 20 in the same time.
He will lead the team out against Cardiff - in the absence of the injured Steven Gerrard - looking to add to his league-leading 17 goals so far this season, which has ultimately propelled Liverpool into second place.
Little wonder the Reds are keen to advance talks over a new contract, even though the striker has two and a half years remaining on his current deal and is unlikely to sign anything until he knows whether Champions League football is a reality at Anfield.
With Gerrard absent Rodgers is looking for leaders and he can think of no one better than Suarez.
"He is not only a top player he is one of the pillars of the group," he said.
"He is maturing, accepting the role and responsibility I've given him here.
"We are a young side with an average age probably the lowest for a number of years and he has taken on that mantle in order to help and support those young players while having that X-factor to his game."
Liverpool will go top with a win over the Welsh club with Arsenal not playing until Monday against third-placed Chelsea.
Anfield has become a fortress for them with only two league defeats in 2013 - only Southampton have won there this season - and the team are on a high after the 5-0 win at Tottenham.
"When you win to that level in a big game like that, of course it gives you that belief and confidence," said Rodgers.
"We're looking to play the game in a different way and with different ideas of how to play our football, but always with the mentality and the will and determination to win.
"What we showed is that aggression in our game, with and without the ball.
"That can lead us to winning big games at home or away from home.
"It has been a fantastic year for us at Anfield and we want to finish on a high."
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Transfer deadline day: The best memes and tweets, featuring Radamel Falcao, Javier Hernandez and Bart Simpson
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain