Football

Sturridge ready for starting spot

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Daniel Sturridge is now ready to be unleashed to help their final push for Champions League qualification.

The England international has not played 90 minutes since the 1-1 draw with Chelsea 366 days ago, but is in contention to start at West Ham tomorrow, with the Reds needing two wins to guarantee a top-four spot.

Sturridge has made two substitute appearances totalling 27 minutes since mid-April after a hip problem, but offered a glimpse of how to unlock stubborn defences when he came off the bench during last weekend's frustrating goalless draw at home to Southampton.

He could be the key to unlocking West Ham, who have kept four clean sheets in their last five matches.

Asked how ready the 27-year-old was to be picked from the start, Klopp said on Friday: "Ready. That is good. So far, it's been difficult because you can't start a player then have to think after 40 minutes, 'So we have to change?'.

"I was happy to have the opportunity to bring him on the pitch. Top players (like him) have impact.

"Now the situation is different again. It's another week we've had him training and so far so good, so hopefully, we have a few options." - PA SPORT

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