Liverpool boss Rodgers confident of Suarez match fitness

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has confidence in Luis Suarez's match fitness.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has confidence in Luis Suarez's match fitness.

Suarez has served nine matches of the 10-game ban he was given by the FA in April for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and his suspension will be complete after Saturday’s clash with Southampton.

"We tried to map something out over the period he’s been out," said Rodgers. "He’s played some games in pre-season, but when the league got started we organised some 11 v 11 matches behind closed doors, both among ourselves and bringing teams in.

"He’s had international games as well that have kept him ticking over. He’s been doing a lot of specific work to replicate what he would do in a game, high-intensity work. It’s never quite the same as a game but at least he’s getting the work.

"So if he does 1,000 high-intensity runs in a game, he’s been replicating that in training. There are things such as the crowd, the anxiety that you can’t replicate. But what you can at least do is put him to a level of fitness where his numbers are replicated and that keeps him at a high level.

"The idea is that when we bring him back, it will be very smooth. There’ll be a transitional period. I’m really looking forward to having him back. He’s working his socks off. At the end of sections he’s getting tagged on to do specific work and he’s flushing himself out to the max to be as fit as he can."

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