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Sturridge Ruled Out for England

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Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out for Wednesday's friendly between England and Brazil with a thigh strain but he hopes to be ready for when Liverpool face West Brom.

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Laurence Griffiths

Despite suffering a thigh injury in the first half against Manchester City, one he could be seen favouring on occasion until being removed just as the 90th minute expired, Daniel Sturridge is hopeful of being able to take part in Liverpool's next match when they host West Brom on Monday.

In the meantime, though, it means the striker who arrived at the club last month from Chelsea will miss out on the chance to parlay his improved form since moving to Liverpool into a more important role for England.

"I got a knock on my quad and I'm going to get a scan on it," he said after being allowed to return to Liverpool by the national team's doctors. "Hopefully it's not too serious and I'll be okay for next week's game."

If he is ready to face the Baggies early next week, Sturridge believes it will provide another chance to narrow the gap between Liverpool and the top four—and that despite drawing games against Arsenal and Manchester City that they might have deserved to win, the top four is still in play.

"In our last two games we have played against two great clubs and deserved to win both of the games," Sturridge added. "We'll regroup and get ready for our next game against West Bromwich Albion, which is another massive game for us because they are also challenging for the top places.

"We are nine points off the top four so it's not a massive gap to try and recoup so hopefully we'll be able to do that—we believe we can."

Belief is all well and good, but sooner or later Liverpool are going to have to stop talking about fourth being within reach and actually start getting the results to narrow the gap. Whether West Brom in fact offers such a chance remains to be seen, but Sturridge's involvement would certainly help Liverpool's chances of taking all three points come Monday.