Allardyce relieved by Suarez exit

first_img The Reds sold Suarez to Barcelona in the summer after he had been banned for the third time in his career for biting an opponent following an altercation with Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup. Despite investing the money received from Barcelona into a number of new players, including attacking replacement Mario Balotelli, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has already seen his side lose two league games this season in Suarez’s absence. They travel to Upton Park on Saturday looking to recover from a poor outing in their last league fixture, a home defeat to Aston Villa, and Allardyce is pleased he will not have to come up with a game plan to keep Suarez quiet. “From a selfish point of view, yes,” he said when asked if he was pleased Suarez had left England. “From a Barclays Premier League overall view, no. Those players you want to keep in this country and play in this country. There has been a huge amount of talent brought by Liverpool on the back of that fee. “It looks like they took a stand on the basis that it was time (to sell him) after the troubles he has had. He is sorely missed in terms of his talent but, obviously with him not playing against us, we are rather glad about that.” With Suarez sold and Daniel Sturridge nursing a thigh injury, ex-Manchester City striker Balotelli is likely to lead the line for the visitors on Saturday. The Italy international scored the opening goal in Liverpool’s tight Champions League victory over the unfancied Ludogorets on Tuesday night and Allardyce is ready to exploit any European hangover they may have after their first outing in the competition under Rodgers. “On past history of playing teams after they’ve played in Europe, and having taken Bolton into Europe I know how hard it can be,” he said. “Brendan has assembled a big squad, whether he plays the same team on Saturday that played on Tuesday is something we have to try and predict. If we can seek out any advantage we will do, from our part we’ll concentrate on things within our power and that is making sure we play well to the best of our abilities. Sam Allardyce believes the Barclays Premier League is a worse place without Luis Suarez – but is glad the Uruguay forward will not be lining up for Liverpool on Saturday. “I don’t think their team is far from last year’s. Brendan has the same problem as us, settling in a lot of new players. His players will take time to integrate, the same as ours. It can’t be done overnight as everyone expects it to be. As the season goes on, we should get stronger and stronger, and I’m sure they will too.” A brace of Steven Gerrard penalties were enough for title-chasing Liverpool to record a 2-1 win at Upton Park last season but Allardyce is looking to pick up a first home win of the current campaign this time around. “We’re not going to go all out to attack them,” he said. “They’ll set up a bit differently away from home. We have to take into consideration the talent Liverpool have as a team and as individuals. “We might not get as much possession as we usually do so we’ll have to make the most of it, and take the chances we create. I’m not daft enough to say we’re going to press Liverpool and pin them back in their own half, I don’t think that is going to happen. “But we’re going to try when we can but make sure at the same time we’re resilient at the back. If we’re on top of our game we’ll give them a very good match.” Press Associationlast_img read more