McAuley wary of 'clever' Reds strike duo

West Brom defender Gareth McAuley has told his team-mates they must keep their wits about them when they come up against Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge at Anfield on Saturday.

Daniel Sturridge (L) of Liverpool celebrates scori

The Liverpool duo have scored six goals in three Barclays Premier League games since Suarez returned from suspension last month.

McAuley accepts West Brom will have their hands full trying to keep them quiet, but takes heart from the two defeats they handed out to Liverpool last season, which included him scoring a headed goal in the 2-0 victory on Merseyside in February.

"Suarez is a quality player, world class," McAuley told reporters. "He knows where the back of the net is and he's a handful. He's someone we'll need to keep a close eye on.

"Suarez and Sturridge are clever players. They link well and one of them can go long while the other comes short. They have good movement and it's going to be up to us to make clever decisions in the game. We'll have to be on top of our game if we're going to stop them."

It was a sentiment confirmed by West Brom manager Steve Clarke, who insists his side will turn up at Anfield with no fear after taking a big scalp in the north-west a month ago when they defeated Manchester United at Old Trafford.

For Clarke, who was a first-team coach during Kenny Dalglish's second reign as Liverpool manager, it is another opportunity to prove West Brom are now an established Premier League force.

"We will go to Anfield with confidence, being five games unbeaten," the Scot said.

"We're never daunted by going to the big grounds and we go to these places with the intention of winning the game. That's the frame of mind you have to approach these games in.

"You have to know that you're good enough to go to somewhere like Anfield and compete. If you go with an inferiority complex, you're beaten before you even get there."

Winger Scott Sinclair misses the trip, although he is said to be "recovering well" from the hamstring injury he suffered against United.

Liverpool are currently in third position in the Premier League and steadily improving under manager Brendan Rodgers. Clarke has no illusions about the challenge.

"It will be a difficult game," he said. "Liverpool are a different team to last season and have started this season well.

"Our games against them last season are good memories but are no reference to what will happen this season.

"Sturridge and Suarez deserve all the praise they get. Having said that, I don't think Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley will be losing any sleep on Friday night worrying about facing them.

"Our players will be looking forward to the challenge of keeping those players quiet."

Clarke's big problem, with his team in 12th place on 10 points, is keeping the squad happy. They played out a goalless stalemate with Stoke last weekend with a substitutes' bench which included James Morrison, Nicolas Anelka, Shane Long, Chris Brunt and Matej Vydra.

Clarke's message to them is to stay patient, although he admits with almost a fully-fit squad he has some selection headaches.

"The players who aren't getting in at the moment are working hard every day in training to show me that they want to play," the Albion boss said.

"At the moment, they have to be a little bit patient. They have to be ready to come into the team and, from what I'm seeing in training, everyone is."



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