Swansea V Liverpool at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview

25 November 2012 12:22
Swansea V Liverpool - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Rodgers keeps believing in Allen

Joe Allen heads back to former club Swansea on Sunday with manager Brendan Rodgers, also making his first return to the Liberty Stadium, convinced the midfielder will become a "revelation" for his new club.

The 22-year-old followed Rodgers from South Wales for #15million in the summer and settled straight into a first-team place.

Recent performances have dipped slightly but the Reds boss has excused those and believes the Wales international will prove to be a key figure in the club's revival.

And Rodgers believes the imminent comeback of Lucas Leiva, who played an hour for the Under-21s on Friday after three months out with a thigh injury, will bring out the best in Allen.

"I think he's stepped up. Joe has come in and the biggest credit you can give him is the supporters have really taken to him," said the manager.

"Normally it takes players time to adjust to Anfield and the size of this club and the transition has been fairly smooth.

"In the last couple of games he's not been at the level he would want to be but there are all sorts of reasons: he's been playing a lot and he's just become a father so he's had many sleepless nights.

"But he will be a revelation for the club. He's been terrific and I am sure that will continue over the next number of years."

Meanwhile, Rodgers is confident there will be no animosity between striker Luis Suarez and Swansea defender Ashley Williams this weekend after acting as mediator to diffuse any potential difficulties.

The Swans defender was heavily critical of Suarez in an extract from his Premier League diary recounting last season, which was published this week.

Williams was quoted as saying the Uruguay international was "streets ahead of any player I've truly disliked" and he wanted to "knock him out" for the player's diving antics.

Rodgers was taken aback when he read those comments and has spoken to Williams, who in turn has talked to Suarez, in an attempt to prevent the situation escalating ahead of Sunday's match at the Liberty Stadium.

"I have spoken to Ash and Ash has spoken with Luis so there is no issue there," Rodgers said.

"When I saw it I was surprised because in my time there because Ash, knowing his character, is a real good man with good intelligence and maturity and a good footballer player.

"When I saw those comments I spoke to him and got the full explanation of how it has seemingly got out there and he was very quick to want to apologise for that.

"That is done. There is no problem there and I am sure they will shake hands on Sunday and get on with it."

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup admits he does not know if Williams and Suarez will shake hands on Sunday - but he will not be losing any sleep over the matter.

When asked if he thought the pair would greet each other prior to kick-off at the Liberty Stadium, Laudrup said: "I really don't know.

"Fair play is important for me, but if two persons do not want to shake hands then I don't know.

"It's nothing that will bother my sleep at night.

"What is important for me is that I know I've a player who even if he plays against a player he doesn't like because of certain things I'm 100% confident that he will do a great job on Sunday."

Laudrup has Ki Sung-yueng and Kyle Bartley back in his squad for Sunday's clash.

Ki missed the win at Newcastle with a hamstring problem, while defender Bartley returns after a lengthy absence with a thigh problem.

Goalkeeper Michel Vorm is a couple of weeks away from full fitness after a groin injury while Danny Graham, Ben Davies and Luke Moore are struggling with illness but should be available.

Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom is expected to be fit after sustaining a knee injury in the Europa League on Thursday.

The 19-year-old was taken off in the first half as a precaution but manager Rodgers, who will restore the likes of Suarez and Steven Gerrard to the starting line-up, is confident the right-back will be ready in time.

Source: PA

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