While discussing the return of Luis Suarez to the Liverpool lineup, manager Brendan Rodgers claims the star striker is “champing at the bit to play.”
Rodgers uttered the phrase without a bat of the eye, no doubt blinded by his delight at having the Uruguayan back in the squad following his 10 match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Invanovic.
The Uruguayan striker is likely to line up alongside Daniel Sturridge for the Capital One Cup match against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
“It has been a really difficult time for [Suarez] not playing games,” Rodgers said.
“How he has prepared himself over the last number of weeks has been fantastic. He’s really champing at the bit to help the team. So he’ll obviously travel with us and I’ll reflect over the next 24 hours whether he starts or not.”
Speaking of Suarez’ quality and attitude, Rodgers explained that what’s past is past and the bottom line for the manager – who Suarez criticized in a newspaper interview and claimed to have said he could leave for a Champions League club – is that supporters want to see the striker with a red shirt on and fighting for the club.
“The great thing about this football club is no matter what a player has done – or supposedly said – the supporters are 150 per cent behind every player that pulls on that shirt and they back them to the hilt,” Rodgers said.
But Rodgers still couldn’t seem to get the biting theme out of his subconscious. “I have no doubt, having been out, [Suarez] will be even hungrier but his commitment and fight for the cause will still be the same.”
The Capital One Cup match between Manchester United and Liverpool kicks off Wednesday at 2:45pm ET.