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Why Luis Suarez Will Be Liverpool's Key Man vs. Everton

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 28, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2013

The first Merseyside derby of the 2013-14 season is quickly closing in, with Liverpool set to travel to Goodison Park to play Everton early on Saturday.

With many players from both squads away on international duty over the past week or so, it remains to be seen if many changes are made by either boss, but the Reds will be looking to Luis Suarez once more as the man who can lead them to victory.

 

Aggression, Quality, Energy

Liverpool's star forward truly is the complete package. Not only does he possess a great level of technical ability and is a source of goals for his team, but his work rate and team ethic on the pitch are second to none.

In a derby environment, it is often (erroneously or lazily) mentioned that non-local or non-national players don't bring the same fire or intensity to derby matches that the likes of Jamie Carragher or Steven Gerrard might. Clearly, those people have yet to see Suarez in action.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 28, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Ge
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Whether the opposition is Everton or Exeter, he gives the same swashbuckling commitment every time he pulls on the jersey, chasing down defenders, making challenges and generally ensuring his markers have a fairly torrid time.

All of that is of immense benefit to Liverpool, and the energy he brings to the game is of special importance. Often the team's passing can be a little inert without the necessary movement in the final third; with Suarez on the field, there will be no such worries.

 

International Duty Issues

Concerns over Suarez will arise from his international exploits. He played the full 90 minutes for Uruguay against Jordan in the early hours of Thursday morning, securing his nation's World Cup place in the process, and will take to the field of Goodison, presumably, only 50 hours or so later—after a long-haul flight back, of course.

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY - NOVEMBER 20:  Luis Suarez (R) of Uruguay fights for the ball with Tareq Khattab (L) of Jordan during leg 2 of the FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Uruguay and Jordan at Centenario Stadium Stadium on November 20, 2013 in Montevi
Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images

His exemplary fitness levels should ensure he can still play and perform, but such travel can certainly take its toll.

The Reds will need to make sure he is ready before selecting him. If too much of the team's play tries to go through him and he is still tired, it could certainly have a detrimental effect on their attack.

 

Goalscoring

Along with team-mate Daniel Sturridge and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Suarez is the league's top scorer with eight goals.

He has, however, managed it in considerably less time. Sturridge has scored a goal every 122 minutes, Aguero every 95 minutes—and Suarez, an incredible goal every 67 minutes so far.

Given that the Reds are in such a good position in the league table, derby or not, this is a game they will want to actively win, not just avoid defeat in. Suarez's goalscoring form will be critical to that, but also in that he is such a danger that he naturally creates space for others to attack, too.

Suarez is the Reds' key man in most games, and that comes with being the best player. But in this Merseyside derby above all, he is going to be central to the outcome.

 

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