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Match 36
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Rodgers: Sturridge could start at Palace

Roberto Martinez insists that his side are simply looking to beat Manchester City on Saturday for their benefit, rather than their cross-city rivals.

LIVERPOOL -- Brendan Rodgers says Daniel Sturridge is in with a chance of returning to Liverpool's starting lineup at Crystal Palace on Monday night.

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Daniel Sturridge has scored 23 goals as Liverpool look to keep up their Premier League title charge.

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The England international, 24, is recovering from a hamstring injury sustained during the 3-2 win over Manchester City on April 13.

The striker missed the following Sunday's 3-2 victory at Norwich, but returned to action as a substitute seven days after that off the bench as Chelsea won 2-0 at Anfield.

Sturridge has hit 23 goals for the league leaders this season, although he is currently on his longest scoreless streak of the campaign, having not found the net in his last four appearances.

However, Rodgers is mulling over whether to start him against Palace as Liverpool seek a victory to keep up their chase for a first English league title since 1990.

Asked if Sturridge might start, the manager told his pregame news conference on Friday: "We'll see over the next 48 hours. He clearly wasn't 100 percent against Chelsea. He hadn't trained since his injury, so it was a bit much for him.

"He'd worked really hard to get back and we needed something on the bench that could maybe support and help us in the game.

"Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. But he's certainly in a much better place. He's worked tirelessly this week with the medical team, he's rejoined the group and we'll see how he is come Monday."

Meanwhile, Rodgers has confirmed that he did contact Jose Mourinho to congratulate him after Chelsea's victory at Anfield.

The Liverpool manager was critical of Mourinho's defensive tactics when speaking to the media immediately after the game, saying: "I think they parked two buses today, never mind one."

But Mourinho told a news conference on Tuesday that Rodgers had texted him to offer "congratulations for a great victory and a great performance."

Asked about the exchange, Rodgers said: "I just congratulated Jose. He's a friend of mine and he got a good result last weekend.

"We were disappointed with the result. But I analysed the game, watched it twice, and offered congratulations to a friend. They defended very well. They got the points and we move on."


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