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Suarez: No battle with Sturridge

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Luis Suarez in action for Liverpool. Picture credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Luis Suarez in action for Liverpool. Picture credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Luis Suarez in action for Liverpool. Picture credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

LIVERPOOL striker Luis Suarez insists there is no competition with Daniel Sturridge to be top scorer this season and both are working for the good of the team.

The Uruguay and England internationals both scored in Saturday's 3-1 win over Crystal Palace, taking their combined tally to five in two matches since Suarez's return from a 10-match suspension.

That has already done plenty to dispel questions over whether they can play as a pair up front and Suarez insists they will continue to work to fire Liverpool back into the Champions League.

"We compete for the shirt of Liverpool and we try our best for the team, not for me or him," said the 26-year-old, whose summer transfer machinations were instantly forgotten by fans on his first appearance at Anfield since April.

"When you have one big striker and a very good player in Daniel, I am so happy.

"He tries his best for the team and tries his best to play with me."

Suarez added: "Last season we didn't play very well and we finished in a bad position and this season we'll try to be better.

"If we stay with the same football style and try for the win every game, we can try for the top four."

Sturridge now has eight goals in nine appearances this season, including six in seven league matches, while Suarez has hit the ground running with three in two.

Team-mate Kolo Toure believes there is currently no better partnership operating in the Premier League.

"I think they are top strikers. To have them is massive for us," said the Ivory Coast defender.

"They are the best pair in the league definitely. They work well together, they respect each other and they are so strong up front.

"Suarez is a great player and that is why we wanted him to stay because he is a big striker and to have someone like him and Sturridge is important. Their job is to score goals."

A fifth victory in seven league matches meant Liverpool were able to leapfrog leaders Arsenal, who had the disadvantage of playing 24 hours later.

With 17 minutes gone the result against a Palace side, who have now lost four in a row to total six league defeats already, was never in doubt.

Pace

First Suarez's improvisation saw him hook home despite being on one knee as he fell to the ground.

Then Sturridge's pace and close control saw him turn Damien Delaney inside out before firing an angled shot across goalkeeper Julian Speroni and in at the far post.

Steven Gerrard's 38th-minute penalty, his 99th Premier League goal, after Dean Moxey pulled back Raheem Sterling, capped a miserable 45 minutes for the visitors and in truth they could have been further behind.

Substitute Dwight Gayle headed in Jose Campana's free-kick 14 minutes from the end but it had little impact on the result as Sturridge hit a post even later on.

Reds midfielder Jordan Henderson believes there is still plenty to come from the strike partnership of Suarez and Sturridge.

Henderson reckons what they have displayed so far is only a fraction of what they are capable of.

"They are fantastic. Their link-up play and one-twos was brilliant and they do that all the time in training," he said.

"Hopefully they can keep working on that, keep improving and keep getting the goals. They know where each other's going to be and they've been outstanding."

While Suarez was sidelined Sturridge led the line brilliantly and Henderson believes the striker benefited from the added responsibility and knowing he would be playing every week.

"I think the main difference is he's getting the opportunity every week to play in the Premier League – maybe he didn't have that at Chelsea," Henderson, who played with Sturridge at England Under-21 level, added.

"He's come here and the manager has put great confidence and belief in him and he's shown what he can do and can give back."

England will hope Sturridge can transfer his club form to the international stage for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying double-header against Montenegro and Poland.


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