Liverpool’s Champions League hopes best if Suarez avoids appeal

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Although Liverpool may feel that Luis Suarez has been wronged in being handed an eight-game suspension after being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, it may be in the best interests of the club that no appeal is submitted.

Suarez has a fortnight to appeal against the size of the suspension and the ban would not begin until the outcome of any such appeal has been reached.

It has taken two months to date to reach the current point in proceedings and it could easily be February or even March before a final conclusion is announced, should Suarez and Liverpool decide to appeal.

This would mean he would effectively miss the whole of the season run-in, which could be a major blow to their top-four aspirations.

However, with Liverpool potentially playing four domestic cup fixtures in January, not appealing would mean that the ban begins straight away.

Liverpool’s odds have drifted to 2/1 to finish in the top four following the Suarez ruling, but if he does not appeal, punters should not be put off backing them to secure a Champions League spot for next season.

The timing of the ban could be crucial and Liverpool can affect when the suspension will begin based on when they reply to the offer of an appeal.

It seems that the optimum time for Suarez to be banned would be after their Premier League clash with Newcastle on December 30th.

This would cause him to miss both Carling Cup semi final legs, potentially two FA Cup games and then home league encounters with Manchester City and Stoke and away showdowns with Bolton and Wolves.

All of these league games are winnable without Suarez and there is no guarantee that they would defeat Manchester City at Anfield even with the Uruguayan playing.

Therefore, Liverpool would not potentially drop any unexpected points in the title race this way and can have a fresh Suarez back in February with their Champions League challenge still going strong.

Appealing and potentially enforcing the ban later in the season would certainly have a bigger impact and could see their top four hopes fade.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.