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Koeman eyes Champions League spot


Uruguay want early release for Suarez

Uruguay are hopeful that Liverpool will release Luis Suarez before the end of the Premier League season so they can manage the striker's match fitness ahead of this summer's Confederations Cup.

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Liverpool forward Suarez was handed a ten-match suspension by the Football Association after he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during Sunday's 2-2 draw at Anfield, meaning he will not be eligible to play for the Reds again until September.

On top of that, the 26-year-old is also banned from Uruguay's World Cup qualifier in Venezuela on June 11 due to his accumulation of bookings through the campaign, while he may yet face further censure after he appeared to punch Chile defender Gonzalo Jara during a match in Santiago in March.

Uruguay physical fitness trainer Jose Herrera revealed concerns among the South American champions' coaching staff that this lack of competitive action will affect their star forward's fitness and form for their upcoming Confederations Cup campaign, which begins in Brazil on June 15.

"The fact that he won't be playing, that he won't have matches for a long time, disadvantages him and us," Herrera was quoted as saying by the website of Uruguayan daily El Pais.

"We're thinking of Luis for the Confederations Cup because, as is well known, he is suspended for the qualifier against Venezuela. And the Cup is little more than a month away, he could lose his physical shape."

Herrera said he was hopeful that Liverpool will release Suarez before the end of the Premier League season.

"We have to see if they want him to stay there training with them and playing some friendlies or if they will hand him over sooner," he said.

Uruguay will play in this summer's Confederations Cup after winning the Copa America for a record 15th time in 2011. Suarez scored the opener in the final, a 3-0 win over Paraguay in Buenos Aires, and was named Player of the Tournament.

Brazil, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Japan and Tahiti are the other sides set to play in the tournament, which runs from June 15 to 30.


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