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Suarez Available Against Fulham

After four days of optimistic prattling about the possibility of beating Fulham on Saturday, it emerged that Luis Suarez might not be available due to his World Cup play-off with Uruguay. This was followed swiftly by news that he was available again, so all is well. Right?

Luis realised it was his turn to sit next to José Enrique...
Luis realised it was his turn to sit next to José Enrique...
Buda Mendes

"Such welcome and unwelcome things at once. 'Tis hard to reconcile."

Macduff, Macbeth.

The worst kind of dramas are the ones that we don't know about. How can supporters be expected to chaotically oscillate between euphoric glee and woebegone melancholia, if we are not in full possession of the facts? I mean, I can't post defeatist and demoralized guff on Twitter about the club, if I am not aware of just how wretched things are. Similarly, how are we supposed to flood comment threads and message boards with vapid upbeat predictions about the imminent dominion of Liverpool Football Club, if we don't understand that the best thing ever has just happened? Sort it out please, media nabobs -- we have a right to live in a glass case of emotion, if we choose.

After the chastening defeat to the league leaders, Arsenal, at the weekend, most of us had begun to focus on the idea of Liverpool attempting to get back on track at Anfield next Saturday. As we mulled over the selection options for Brendan Rodgers and the comparative strengths and weaknesses of Fulham, it emerged yesterday that there had been a real possibility that Luis Suarez would miss the game due to international commitments. This was the oddest of bad news, however, as it was delivered with a ready-made salve. All was well, you see; the Uruguayan FA had signed-off on the player's comparatively late arrival to join his countrymen.

Apparently, with Uruguay about to take on Jordan in a two-leg World Cup qualifier, the country's football authorities could have insisted the player join the training camp five days before Wednesday's first leg in the Middle East. Suarez, it seems, asked national coach, Oscar Tabarez, for permission to stay and face Fulham. This alone, will bring a wave of warmth to the cold and cynical hearts of reds' fans who have grown weary of the player's mostly self-created soap-opera.

Liverpool have had decent relations with the Uruguayan FA in recent times, however, and the South Americans have decided to waive their right to demand Suarez's presence. Instead, our favourite limb-nibbler will remain with the club for the crucial Premier League match, with the Anfield club placing their greatest asset on a private jet to Istanbul on Saturday evening, following the match against the Cottagers.

Yet this is Liverpool Football Club, gentle readers, and the next drama is never far away. On Wednesday, November 20th in Montevideo, Suarez and his compatriots will complete the second leg of the play-off. This is just ahead of the derby at Goodison against Everton. Allowing for a 7,000 mile trip, it seems likely that Suarez will train lightly on the Friday, at best. To exacerbate matters further, the match is a 12.45pm kick-off, for the television cameras, condensing still further the amount of preparation time available to the high-energy striker. Despite the circumstances, this scribbler would wager a goodly sum on the likelihood of Luis Suarez starting, jet-lag and all.

So then, glad tidings! Followed by, y'know, bad tidings. That Macduff chap was on the money.

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