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Wenger faces defensive dilemma

 By Mike Whalley

Kolo Toure: Luis Suarez return a boost

Kolo Toure has said the return of Luis Suarez from his ten-match suspension is just what Liverpool need to recover from the blow of losing the Premier League leadership.

Walsh: Rare bad day for Rodgers
Usher: Lacklustre Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers’ side suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday, going down 1-0 to Southampton at Anfield, and Suarez sat out the match as he completed the domestic ban imposed for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a 2-2 draw at Anfield in April.

The Uruguay international’s future dominated the sports headlines throughout the summer as he made it clear that he wanted to leave Liverpool -- who refused to sell him in the face of a £40,000,001 bid from Arsenal.

But he has since made his peace with Rodgers -- who said after the Southampton game that he had been missed -- and is eligible to return for Wednesday’s Capital One Cup third-round trip to Manchester United.

Centre-back Toure told the Liverpool Echo: “Suarez’s return is going to be massive for us. He is a fantastic player -- a top striker who can score a goal at any time. He will strengthen the team.

“Daniel Sturridge has been playing so well for us, and the two of them will be a very strong partnership.”

Suarez has been able to play competitive international football during his ban, helping Uruguay to reach the Confederations Cup semi-finals in June and continuing to play a key role in their World Cup qualifying campaign.

The 26-year-old scored twice as Peru were beaten 2-1 in a qualifier on September 7, and featured in a 2-0 victory over Colombia four days later. In addition, Liverpool have helped him maintain match fitness by organising friendly matches behind closed doors.

And Toure said the striker -- Liverpool’s 30-goal top scorer last season -- was looking sharp.

He added: “I’m sure Suarez will be ready to be thrown back in. You saw that from his international appearance the other week. In the first game he had played for a while, he scored twice. That just shows how strong this guy is.

“He has been very difficult to defend against in training. He is a winner. He’s always working hard and fighting. You want that kind of player.”


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