Sturridge injury could signify end of Liverpool’s top-four bid

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Liverpool endured a weekend to forget as first they learned that one half of their star ‘SAS’ strike partnership, Daniel Sturridge, could now be out for up to eight weeks, with this news compounded by a first ever defeat to Hull which saw them drop to fourth.

It’s astonishing just how quickly fortunes can change in the madcap business of top-flight football, just ask Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

Having appeared to be growing in stature as genuine top-four contenders, the Northern Irishman then received the crushing news that the Reds’ joint Premier League top scorer could be sidelined until the end of January.

This was bound to cause a slight wobble in the camp, but with the way Liverpool then succumbed 3-1 to Hull, it now looks like the good-ship Liverpool has run into decidedly choppy waters, with their 5/4 rated top-four chances now in serious danger of being capsized.

It may sound alarmist, but in reality, with the January transfer window looming and rumours surrounding Luis Suarez leaving unlikely to dissipate, this is crunch time for Liverpool.

With games against Tottenham, Man City and Chelsea still to play before the end of 2013, Liverpool must find a way of coping without Sturridge to call upon, and quickly.

If the Merseyside club give more ground to their rivals in the run-up to these three massive fixtures and then lose in one or two of them, then Suarez’ will to stay at Anfield is only going to suffer as well.

Although, Liverpool coped admirably without the banned Uruguayan in their first four Premier League games, their performances immediately improved when Suarez returned to the team and
began feeding off Sturridge once more.

It’s certainly true that Suarez is good enough to play up front on his own, though against Hull he was isolated and frustrated and Rodgers must remedy this pronto or be prepared to bring in another top striker in January as Iago Aspas has failed to deliver.

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