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."
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