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Rodgers: Suarez Plays, Moyes Needs Time

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has all but confirmed that Luis Suarez will make his return to action against Manchester United in the Capital One Cup tonight.

The Uruguayan striker has completed his biting ban, and will be fast-tracked into the starting XI after keeping his fitness up in training and specially arranged matches behind closed doors.

The occasion is bound to be a spirited affair, with both teams needing to bounce back from deflating league defeats, and Suarez the embodiment of the recent antipathy between the two great rivals of English club football.

But Rodgers says he is not worried that the task or occasion is beyond El Pistolero.

 "I have got no hesitation about playing Luis. Since I have been here there has never been an issue with anything like that. There is the history of the clash but it won't enter my mind,” Rodgers told The Guardian.

Suarez can expect vicious abuse from the Old Trafford crowd, but Rodgers believes the striker will take it in his stride as he bears down on the Red Devils’ goal.

"Luis is a tough character. He is resilient and one of the strongest-willed characters I have met in my life. I don't think he will bat an eyelid at that,” he said.

"I'm sure that when Luis knew he would be available for this fixture it would have really stoked him up to make sure he was ready. You could argue that this is a really good game for him to come back into."

Meanwhile, Rodgers has given his backing to under-fire United manager, David Moyes.

Moyes is yet to win over the sceptics, and his comments that United should expect more pain after their heavy weekend defeat to Manchester City have not gone down especially well.

But Rodgers says he can identify with task Moyes has at Old Trafford, and empathises with his plight.

"David is having to manage change after someone with Sir Alex Ferguson's track record and that is a different pressure altogether," Rodgers said. "I came in after Kenny, who is a legend of the club, but you have to put your own mark on things and do things as you see fit.

"I'm sure David, like myself, will make every decision that is best for his club. He will be better for the experiences of this year and that will help him move them on. This is the first time that people have been able to look at United and scrutinise the club in years.

"A change of manager will always do that. But they are the champions. It is still a champion squad and I'm sure David is looking to make his own mark on it."

Read: Rodgers Happy To Have Suarez Back

Read: Suarez Ready To Play

 

Read: Moyes Warns Of More Defeats To Come

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