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Sturridge Fails Basel Fitness Test

After failing to make the bench against Everton, Daniel Sturridge failed his fitness test for the mid-week match against Basel and has been left out of the traveling squad.

Laurence Griffiths

Following news that he would undergo a late fitness test to determine if he could particpate in Wednesday's Champions League match against Basel comes word today that Daniel Sturridge did not travel with the squad to Switzerland. It's another blow for a player who, for a time, had been expected to return for Everton on the weekend and be ready to start mid-week.

With Brendan Rodgers believing the player close to a return for most of the past week now, a return against West Brom on Saturday is a possibility. It would seem foolish, though, to expect it after the player failed to pass fitness tests ahead of the past two matches. And if he is fit for Saturday, it would be just in time to head straight to the England camp following the match.

In his absence, it is likely that Mario Balotelli will once again lead the line, and on recent evidence the hope will be that Brendan Rodgers sends him out with a partner to allow him to play his natural, more withdrawn game without it hurting Liverpool's. With both Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert in the squad, there are at least options, even if neither is as good as Sturridge.

It also emerged today that after leaving the stadium when he was surprisingly left out of the matchday squad on Saturday, Mamadou Sakho has been left at home for the match against Basel. Given his arrival last summer for a hefty £16M fee, his clear promise, and how impressive he was for France at the World Cup, this is another disappointing development for the 24-year-old.

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