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Brendan Rodgers Impressed With "Very Sharp" Star Striker

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Daniel Sturridge's performances in training have impressed Brendan Rodgers who hasn't yet made a decision on the striker's return to competitive action.

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The quest for redemption continues tomorrow. Liverpool will lock horns with a fierce and storied rival in a potentially explosive return to action after the international break. Goals have been a problem for the Reds so far this season after scoring just two goals in four Premier League games. News of Daniel Sturridge returning to full training was undoubtedly good news after lengthy struggles with injuries, but will Brendan Rodgers turn to the striker at Old Trafford tomorrow?

"Daniel looked very sharp in training and the best fitness wise he has in 18 months," Rodgers said ahead of the resumption of club football. "But I don't want to put a timeline on it. I can never say that [they are solved]. I don't want to sit here and say that, and then something happens in a couple of months time.

"I can only say what I see and I don't want any timeline. I'm grateful of the work he did over the summer. He's worked hard, joined the group, we'll just take it from there day by day. Our tally of goals will increase as team improves over course of the season. Daniel coming back into the fold will help that."

Liverpool will need Sturridge, but should management consider a couple of games behind closed doors or run-outs with the kids before thrusting him into competitive fixtures? Then there's the possibility of assessing the player of an extra week or two in training, running tactical work with his new strike partners -- presumably Christian Benteke.

The 26-year-old's injury history and fearsome goalscoring record during his time on Merseyside drives such fears and cautious recommendations. How many Premier League strikers are deadlier than the former Chelsea and Manchester City frontman? Not many, which underlines the player's importance to the club.

While star striker and manager may feel that Old Trafford is a fine stage for a return, wariness must reign. It is heartening, however, to hear that Sturridge is looking like he's ready to hurt opposition defence with the form and fitness he's shown on his return to full training. Appearances, though, can be quite deceptive.