• Europa League

Skrtel: Suarez is the best striker in the country

ESPN staff
November 22, 2012
Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the Premier League © PA Photos

Martin Skrtel reckons Premier League defenders are scared of Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez - because he is the division's best striker.

Suarez is the top flight's leading scorer, having taken his season's total to 10 goals with two in last Saturday's 3-0 win over Wigan.

Brendan Rodgers is expected to leave the striker out of his starting line-up for Thursday's Europa League home game against Swiss side Young Boys. The Liverpool manager is mindful of the need to give Suarez, 25, a breather at the start of a schedule that will see Liverpool play four times in 10 days.

Rodgers may well name Suarez among his substitutes, but wants to keep him fresh for Premier League games against Swansea, Tottenham and Southampton.

Skrtel is just glad he only has to face him on the training pitch, and not as a proper opponent. The centre-back said: "For me, at the moment, he is the best striker in the Premier League.

I'm happy that he's at Liverpool, that he's playing well and scoring goals. I hope he can carry on like this and get us to the place where we want to be.

"Speaking as a defender, he's difficult to mark. The goal he scored against Newcastle recently was one of the best goals I've ever seen. It just shows his skills and his quality.

"I'm pretty sure that opponents are scared of him. I play against him in training, and I can see how hard he is to mark. I'm pretty sure every single defender in the Premier League has nightmares about him. I think that's good for us, and I hope he can carry on like this."

Rodgers would not go as far as to say that Suarez frightens his opponents, but recognises that his flair for the unexpected creates all sorts of problems for them.

"Luis Suarez is certainly one of the top strikers at this moment in European football and world football, there's absolutely no doubt," the Liverpool manager said.

"I don't think opponents are scared but they're very aware of his talent. What makes Luis so unique is his unpredictability. Around the box, his cleverness and brightness are incredible.

"And you heard Martin say that himself. He trains every single day against Martin, Daniel Agger, Jamie Carragher, Sebastian Coates  these are tough centre-halves who are strong and committed.

"It's very, very hard for them every single day. He brings that bit of unpredictability to the games, and that's difficult for opponents. He's a wonderful striker who's still got a lot to learn as well. He's still looking to improve and develop, but we hope he continues in the same vein that he's been in."

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