BURDEN OF EXPECTATIONS

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but the Arsenal forward’s qualities are a clear example of what Liverpool are missing with Luis Suarez gone, writes Adam Bate…
“You get different types of striker. He’s more of an Alexis Sanchez when he plays as a striker – he’s not going to pin the defender. He plays in the spaces and he’s got the speed to get in behind.”
Brendan Rodgers’ assessment of Raheem Sterling following his encouraging performance against Bournemouth on Wednesday night has certainly got people talking ahead of Liverpool’s game against Arsenal on Sunday.
But while Rodgers might be convinced Sterling has the qualities to perform the Sanchez role at Anfield, the feeling persists that only the Chilean could replicate the dynamism Liverpool have missed so far this season.
The last time Arsenal visited Anfield in February, Liverpool were four goals up inside 20 minutes. While the first two goals came from set-pieces, the broader theme was that the Gunners were outgunned – utterly overwhelmed by the speed and power of the onslaught from the home side. Much of that was down to Luis Suarez, who laid on the chance for Raheem Sterling to tap home for a 3-0 lead, and Daniel Sturridge, his strike partner who finished off a fast break for the fourth. Neither man, of course, will be available to Rodgers on Sunday.

Difference
For Sanchez, the transition period has been swift. Despite scoring 19 times in La Liga last season, there was always a sense he was a little lost amid the sterile domination of that Barcelona side. Able to unleash his trademark aggressive and direct approach on the, he now appears in his element. Sanchez has scored nine goals already, three times as many as any Liverpool player, with five assists.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has refused to rule Theo Walcott and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain out of Arsenal’s trip to Liverpool tomorrow. Winger Walcott returned from a serious knee injury earlier has since been troubled by a groin complaint.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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