Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Premier League

Luis Suarez plays down injury concerns


Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has declared himself fit to face Italy in Uruguay's friendly tomorrow but admits he already has one eye on the weekend clash with Chelsea.

The 24-year-old scored all the goals in Friday's 4-0 2014 World Cup qualifying victory over Chile in Montevideo but came off 13 minutes from the end with a minor back complaint.

Suarez is confident he is ready for a second match in four days - with a transatlantic flight in between - but has suggested it may be more important for him not to risk aggravating the problem

"I was a little scared by the pain I had in the game but treatment I had was just a precaution and it does not hurt," he told Uruguayan newspaper El Pais.

"There will be no problem but the decision is going to be the coach (Oscar Tabarez).

"I risk a lot to Liverpool. I have a very important game next weekend against Chelsea.

"I love to play every game for the national team but now they are several tough matches in the club and you have to give a little priority."

Liverpool have paid close attention to Suarez's fitness since the start of the season as he had a major role in Uruguay's Copa America triumph in the summer.

The Reds have a difficult spell coming up in the next few weeks and Suarez, as he has been all campaign, will be key to his team's success.

After travelling to Stamford Bridge on Sunday Liverpool host Manchester City the following week before heading back to Chelsea for a Carling Cup quarter-final two days later.

Manager Kenny Dalglish has already expressed his anger at the scheduling of the cup tie so close to such an important league match but will be more than happy if Suarez is rested tomorrow.

The striker, Liverpool's top scorer this season, became the first Uruguay international to score four goals in a game for his country.

But Suarez admits comparisons to Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi are humbling and not justified yet.

"Comparisons with Messi embarrass me," he added.

"It also makes me smile but I feel the comparisons are just the reaction from the Uruguay fans as everything seems to be going well at the moment.

"I am happy, but we have to look at the work of the whole team as it is not just about one player."