Enrique: Sturridge a big loss

Jose Enrique fears Daniel Sturridge's absence will harm Liverpool's chances of salvaging their Europa League campaign on Thursday.

Last Updated: 19/02/13 at 14:02 Post Comment

Daniel Sturridge: Instant impact following transfer from Chelsea

Daniel Sturridge: Instant impact following transfer from Chelsea

Sturridge has quickly become an important first-team player since arriving from Chelsea in January, and his goal in Sunday's victory over Swansea was a fifth in seven appearances.

But the forward is ineligible in Europe, and without him Liverpool struggled in front of goal as they went down 2-0 at Zenit St Petersburg in the first leg of their last-32 tie.

This week's Anfield return represents a last chance to stay in the hunt for a trophy this season, and Enrique said: "Daniel Sturridge is a great player.

"I know he can't play in the Europa League and that is a real miss for us because he already has a good understanding with Luis Suarez - when they play together they score goals and we score goals as a team."

Despite the blow of losing Sturridge, Enrique is confident the support of a fervent home crowd will give his side a chance of upsetting the odds.

He said: "Playing at home, the atmosphere will be very good and the most important thing is to score early, allow the confidence to grow and then we will have a very good chance in the game.

"We have a good chance even though we lost 2-0. If we can stop them scoring and have a clean sheet that will give us a good chance because I know we can score at home."

Enrique also thinks Liverpool can replicate their dominance shown in the 5-0 thrashing of Swansea when Zenit come to Anfield.

"It was important to win, that was most important, and then 5-0 of course is good for the team because the next game is the most important for the season and we have to score at least two," Enrique said.

"It was a good reaction from the team. It was a really hard game against Zenit so it is good for us to have this result because now our confidence is there for the next game, which it is really important we win.

"They (Zenit) spent a lot of money so they have good players so we have to keep a clean sheet and then to score as many as we can."

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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