Fit-again Sturridge can be lifeline for Rodgers

LONDON • Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has acknowledged he is under pressure after a poor recent run of form ahead of today's clash with Norwich.

Successive league losses against West Ham and Manchester United have done little for his standing.

But Rodgers, the bookmakers' favourite to be be sacked next, could be handed a boost as Daniel Sturridge is fit again.

Should the striker return for his first appearance for the Reds since April, Rodgers believes he will elevate Liverpool's game to "a new dimension". He has seen enough evidence of an immediate rapport in training between Sturridge and summer signing Christian Benteke.

"I have been very impressed with how they have played," he said of the duo. "They have power, pace and different ways to score goals. When you have that quality in your team, it sparks off the rest of the players...

"(Daniel) looks a different level of player and, when you have that available and strong, it can take your game to a new dimension."

Rodgers was also expecting the return of captain Jordan Henderson but the England midfielder has suffered a fresh injury setback. The 25-year-old is now facing up to two months on the sidelines after breaking a bone in his foot during training on Friday. The blow comes days after he returned from the United States, where he had undergone a procedure on a heel problem.

Norwich are aiming to heap more misery on Rodgers. The Canaries have lost just one away game since Alex Neil took charge in January and that has bolstered belief they can get something from Anfield.

Said the Scot: "We can't be gung-ho or silly about how we approach the match but we'll approach it in the fashion that we'll go to win the match."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 20, 2015, with the headline 'Fit-again Sturridge can be lifeline for Rodgers'. Print Edition | Subscribe