Premier League: Why Liverpool miss Sturridge more than Suarez

Daniel Sturridge hasn't played a game for Liverpool since August

Liverpool will be without Daniel Sturridge for another six weeks, and he is an even bigger loss than 2013/14 top scorer Luis Suarez...

"Liverpool went from winning two of their opening three league matches with Sturridge in the team to matching that tally from their next eight without him."

Liverpool's famed SAS strike partnership made up of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge rewrote the Anfield record books last season, so nearly delivering the Premier League title in the process.

How things have changed. Reeling from a catastrophic start to the 2014/15 season, Brendan Rodgers would give his right arm to have both, or even one, of the duo leading his line again as Liverpool find themselves out at 3.8514/5 to retain their top-four status.

However, Suarez is gone and Liverpool hopes of reintegrating Sturridge back into the team following the international break have been crushed by news that their prize poacher has yet again aggravated his troublesome thigh.

Could things get any worse for the beleaguered Reds boss with goals such a precious commodity? The short answer is yes.

While many would view the Uruguayan's Anfield departure as the more damaging blow, Liverpool are actually worse off robbed of their slightly less-heralded Englishman.

Unlike their current predicament, where Liverpool went from winning two of their opening three league matches with Sturridge in the team to matching that tally from their next eight without him, the Reds have coped far more admirably without Suarez in the past.

During his stormy first full season at Anfield when the former Ajax skipper was banned for eight games due to alleged racism, Liverpool's win percentage was actually 14% higher without him.

Then, while Suarez sat out his next suspension for gnawing Branislav Ivanovic in 2013, Sturridge's worth to the team was once again showcased with Liverpool taking 20 points from the nine Premier League fixtures affected.

The final weeks of that punishment coincided with the start of 2013/14, in which three Sturridge strikes earned them three 1-0 wins in the first three encounters, while he also netted in the draw at Swansea before his strike partner returned to the fold.

Suarez may have scored more overall, but Sturridge's contribution as a loner is more telling and you only have to look at this Liverpool side languishing in 11th as the best proof.

Finally, he may be made of cardboard, but Sturridge is highly unlikely to be banned anytime soon or bring the club into disrepute either.

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