Daniel Sturridge has been one of Liverpool’s best players since he first joined from Chelsea in 2013, a favourite amongst teammates and a player who has consistently scored at a better rate than a goal every two games. The only concern has ever been fitness for the star striker at Anfield.
Having managed to stay fit for a few months now after spending nearly two seasons out injured more often than he was fit to play, there’s a renewed hope and confidence surrounding his future, and for Sturridge himself, the goal isn’t just to stay fit. It’s to become an even more dangerous striker than he’s so far been.
"That’s the standard that I set, probably a bit better than that," he said when asked about his strike rate, which he has maintained since his return with three goals in his last five starts. "I know I can perform a lot better than I am now, but it’s just that fitness and the repetition of playing 90 minutes is important as well."
While he’s still been scoring, Sturridge hasn’t looked quite match fit so far. Each week, though, has seen the striker looking a little better, and against Stoke City on the weekend he was close to being back at his very best. It sets up an interesting dilemma for manager Jürgen Klopp ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie.
Divock Origi got the start last Thursday based on his recent form and will be hard to drop on Thursday, but if he’s sharp, there might be no better striker in England than Daniel Sturridge. Whether he starts on the pitch or the bench, though, he seems certain to be involved at some point against Borussia Dortmund.
"It’s one of those occasions where you just soak it all up," Sturridge added as he looks forward to what he expects will be a raucous atmosphere at Anfield on Thursday evening. "Enjoy it, embrace it, have fun. That’s what you live for."