Luis Suarez's Long Absence Won't Impact His Level of Play for Long
Luis Suarez will get his first taste of Premier League football since April this weekend, as Liverpool head to the North East to face manager-less Sunderland. The Uruguayan returned to the first team in his side's league cup tie earlier this week against Manchester United, and if that performance is any kind of indicator then his long absence certainly won’t impact his level of play for long.
It was a typical Suarez performance, menacing in every sense. He drifted across the front line, picking the ball up in space and using his superb awareness to help knit Liverpool attacks together. He went close on a couple of occasions and rattled the bar with a sumptuous free-kick.
Afterwards, Suarez made it clear he was just happy to get back on the pitch and help the team:
”All the time I try my best on the pitch. I'm here to help the team and help Liverpool and I'll try my best. I'm back because I can help the team and [being] off the pitch I can't. We'll keep going for the week and for the next game” from ESPN.co.uk
The stardust he sprinkled on the Premier League last season wasn’t quite there, but it’s certainly not far off. Anyway, it’s not as if Suarez has spent his whole ban sitting around on his backside. He featured heavily in Liverpool’s preseason campaign and actually played eight times for Uruguay during the course of his ban. He has been scoring goals too.
It is easy to forget just how good a player Suarez is, especially with everything that comes part of the package with the Uruguayan. But he is a world class striker in every sense.
Sunderland, in many respects, could be the perfect opposition to help usher Suarez back into the cut-throat nature of the Premier League. The Black Cats are a side in turmoil after the sacking of Paolo Di Canio. They have not secured a Premier League win since they beat Everton last April and are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League with just one point.
What will be the outcome of Sunderland vs Liverpool?
Whilst Liverpool have shown themselves to be a cohesive unit in the early stages of this campaign, Sunderland have been anything but. A flurry of transfer activity has left the squad rife with unfamiliar faces (Sunderland brought in 14 new players in total) and lacking the manager who brought them all in.
Granted, a change of boss can galvanize a side. But Sunderland have been so poor, so disorganized and so bad in defense, you expect Liverpool’s quality-packed forward line to have plenty of joy.
Suarez is a ruthless attacking player who will look to exploit this disorganization. He is a player who will test the defense relentlessly with his precision dribbling and intelligent movement. Eventually, this Sunderland back-line will crumble.
Expect the Uruguayan to re-announce himself in earnest at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments section or on Twitter: @MattJFootball
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