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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Rodgers hits out over Suarez ban

Brendan Rodgers claims that Luis Suarez has been victimised after the Liverpool striker received a ten-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

• Reds challenge 'lengthened ban' • PFA chief backs ten-game ban
• Walsh: Suarez wrong, so is FA
• Brewin: Harsh but fair

The Liverpool manager argued that the punishment was too severe, and that the club were "very shocked and bitterly disappointed".

Suarez, 26, apologised and was fined by Liverpool over the incident, which occurred during last Sunday's 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield.

Both the striker and the club accepted an FA charge of violent conduct, but argued that a standard three-match ban would be enough.

But an independent commission disagreed and imposed the longer suspension. Liverpool have until midday UK time on Friday to decide whether to appeal.

The club have indicated that they will make a decision on whether to appeal after receiving the commission's report, which must arrive before 6pm on Thursday.

Rodgers said of the ban: "That is something we are bitterly disappointed with - not so much the ban because everyone has seen it and Luis was very open and honest to know it was wrong, but by the severity of it.

"I can't help but look at it and feel that the punishment has been against the man rather than the incident.

"The player needs a bit of help. We will look after our employee with the objective that something like this never happens again.

"We have departments here who can help him. He will have all the help he needs to improve.

"I don't feel let down by him. If I had half-a-dozen players with the same mentality, we would be in a better position.

"I look in his face and I see a genuine guy who is bitterly disappointed. It'll take a bit of time for him to reflect.

"There's that little wire in his brain that sometimes acts differently. That's what we're trying to help."

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