Liverpool can thrive without Suarez, insists Rodgers

AFP
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers walks his team around the pitch after being defeated in a friendly soccer match between against Roma on July 23, 2014, in Boston, Massachusetts
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London (AFP) - Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool are still a force to be reckoned with despite the departure of star striker Luis Suarez.

Suarez hit 31 league goals last season as the Reds came within touching distance of pipping eventual champions Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

However, the controversial Uruguay international was sold to Barcelona after Liverpool lost patience with his behaviour following his bite on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup.

Without Suarez there is an assumption Liverpool will fall back out of the top four, but Rodgers does not think that will be true as his team prepare for their opening match of the new season at home to Southampton on Sunday.

"The game is all about opinion and every team is forensically looked at in terms of what they will produce or not," Rodgers said on Friday.

"Luis was a world-class talent but we scored 101 goals last year and 70 of those came from other parts of the team.

"Every big team will lose a top player at some point but no-one is bigger than the club.

"If the fear factor is taken out of us that will be seen over the course of the season but for us there is no change."

Liverpool beat Borussia Dortmund 4-0 in a friendly last weekend and Rodgers believes that result proves his team are ready to move on without Suarez.

"You saw against Dortmund we have goals in the team," Rodgers said.

"We had evidence of that last season as well and over the two years I've been here when Luis hasn't played we have won most of our games.

"We had nearly a 70 per cent win rate in the Premier League last year which is a fantastic achievement and we hope to continue that."

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