Luis Suarez celebrates his goal against Norwich, December 4. Reuters
When Liverpool and West Ham take the field in their English Premier League game on Saturday, the defence of the latter will do so with some serious trepidation, all eyes on one man capable of dismantling any attack in the world.
Luis Suarez showed exactly why he is considered one of the Premier League's best striker, with a masterclass like no other against Norwich City, scoring four goals, three of them absolute peaches, in a 5-1 win on Wednesday.
The Uruguayan, after seeing his country drawn with England in the same World Cup group, will want to continue that dream run with struggling West Ham next up in his sights.
"People always talk about someone being a great player," Rodgers said of Suarez. "The only way I can define a great player is when he makes the others around him better.
"You have many good players, many really talented players, but the best in anything, whatever sport it is, the greatest ones will always make the others around them better. That's what Luis Suarez does. He's a great player, he inspires others.
"To think he actually had a tight calf before the game, but yet wanted to get out there and play like he did. He has had that a few times; before Wigan away last year, his hamstring was a bit tight and he got a hat-trick that day.
"He really makes others around him better -- for me, that's the mark of the great players, and the difference between good and great. He loves it. He hates getting taken off, even if it's for a round of applause. He's just a brilliant guy to work with, to see that determination every day in his work and the hunger.
"What's also brilliant to see is the reward he gets from it. It's truly inspiring for the other players to be around that, but he has that humility to keep wanting to improve. Let's hope he can keep producing, he's a very important player, great for this league and obviously it's a pleasure to work with him here at Liverpool.
"He deserves all the acclaim he gets because it was an absolutely wonderful performance. If he's going to be here for a long time, he's got a great chance of establishing himself as one of the greats of this football club."
West Ham have lost three of their last four and find themselves uncomfortably close to the relegation zone. Sam Allardyce, while being aware of the task at hand at Anfield, will hope to come away with at least a point, and has no doubts on the man his team must stop on Saturday evening.
"After their magnificent recovery from their defeat by Hull City last weekend, obviously Luis Suarez is the man," Allardyce said. "If you can control him like Hull did, I think you have a 50 per cent better chance of getting a result, maybe even more.
"Certainly if you can't control Luis Suarez, on what you saw the other night against Norwich, it's certainly going to be one where he is rattling the goals in. When you consider he has been suspended before he started playing again, to be top scorer in the Barclays Premier League shows he is the main man at Liverpool at the moment."
Team news: Daniel Sturridge, Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates remains unavailable for Liverpool, while West Ham will be without former Red Andy Carroll, who is still a few weeks away from a comeback. Ravel Morrison is suspended for the London side, while Winston Reid is ruled out with Mladen Petric a doubt.
Key men: Liverpool: Luis Suarez, who else.
West Ham: The entire back-four that Allardyce put out, looking to stop the seemingly unstoppab;e Uruguayan.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 8.30pm IST start with live coverage on Star Sports HD2. You can also watch the action via live streaming by clicking HERE. To catch the action in the U.S., click HERE. For live streaming in the Middle East and North Africa, click HERE.
Expected lineups: Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Flanagan; Gerrard, Allen; Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling; Suarez.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Tomkins, Collins, O'Brien; Nolan, Diame, Noble; Downing, C Cole, Jarvis.
Prediction: 3-0 to Liverpool
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