Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has called on referees to give star striker Luis Suarez better “protection”, with a trip to West Brom next up for the Reds.
Suarez felt aggrieved that decisions went against him during the Reds’ 1-1 draw with Norwich City last weekend and with Sir Alex Ferguson intimating that the Liverpool forward was a diver the week before, Dalglish has hit out.
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“He needs protection and I don’t think he got that out there,” Dalglish told the BBC after the Canaries contest. “His integrity has been called into question and I think maybe he is suffering from that at the moment.
“On the football pitch he is exemplary, a fantastic footballer and we have 100% faith in Luis and the way he conducts himself.”
Ahead of the Hawthorns encounter this Saturday, the home side have been dealt a huge blow with the news that Albion striker Shane Long is set for six weeks on the sidelines after sustaining a knee injury in the 2-1 win at Aston Villa.
Baggies boss Roy Hodgson claimed Long was lucky not to have “two broken legs” following a challenge from Villa defender Alan Hutton. And scans have revealed severe bone bruising and a small bone chip inside his right knee.
But Albion will go into the Reds clash in excellent spirits after two derby victories in their last two Barclays Premier League matches.
A 2-0 victory over deadly rivals Wolves was followed by the outstanding 2-1 win at Villa last weekend and after a shaky start to 2011/12, the Baggies have finally found their feet – sitting in a comfortable 12th position.
But Liverpool played some scintillating stuff against the Canaries and they’ll also have their tails up after securing a place in the Carling Cup quarter-finals with an impressive 2-1 win at Stoke on Wednesday, with both goals coming from Suarez.
And don’t be surprised if the mercurial Uruguayan is making the headlines again come this Saturday for the 17:30 kick-off.