Sturridge credits Rooney for career rise

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has revealed England mate Wayne Rooney has played a part in his blossoming career as the two prepare to meet at Old Trafford.

Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney

With Sturridge's goals one of the main factors in turning Liverpool into Barclays Premier League title contenders, they travel to reigning champions and fierce rivals Manchester United looking to keep up the pace at the top of the table.

The 24-year-old has scored 21 goals for Brendan Rodgers' side this season and has formed a formidable strike partnership with Luis Suarez.

England will be hopeful Sturridge can form just as deadly a union with Rooney at the World Cup and the former Manchester City and Chelsea man was full of praise for the United forward.

"Wayne is a very nice guy and he is someone who helps me out a lot," said Sturridge.

"He helped me score my first goal for England at Wembley when he gave me the penalty against Montenegro and he has been so helpful, he has helped my career in terms of advice and I'm thankful to him.

"Myself and Wayne have been training hard together - we get on very well off the field and have a lot of banter together.

"When we get on the pitch we do the job the best we can and work for each other and the country. We just want to try and help the country be successful, that is the most important thing for everyone."

Sturridge scored the winner in England's 1-0 friendly victory over Denmark last weekend to continue his fine run of form and will be looking to add further goals when Liverpool look to inflict more misery on United and their manager, David Moyes.

But, with nine games remaining after the Old Trafford showdown, Sturridge does not believe the match with their bitter rivals is make or break in terms of a title tilt.

"To be honest there are so many games left," he said.

"We have got Chelsea and Manchester City at home, we have got Tottenham at home. We have got big games regardless of the Manchester United result, of course we want to do as well as we can in every single game and get maximum points if we can but it is important we keep playing the football we do.

"I don't think winning at the weekend is going to change anything in regards to the title race, we are still four points behind and there are still teams ahead of us.

"Chelsea and Manchester City, if they win their games in hand, are the favourites for me so I would just say that we are looking to play our football."

Sturridge and Suarez are likely to be named in Rodgers' team at United and will be looking to prove the Red Devils' chief tormentors.

The deployment of two strikers is now more of a rarity in European football butSturridge was brought up watching famous partnerships and feels he and Suarez are a natural pairing.

"I think that when I was growing up 4-4-2 was a more prominent formation and it was one that everyone used to play," he added.

"I grew up studying Arsenal players - Thierry Henry had Dennis Bergkamp playing with him - it was [Dwight] Yorke and [Andy] Cole, [Alan] Shearer and [Chris] Sutton and there were a lot of well-known partnerships out there.

"Nowadays it is not so prominent but for Luis and me, when I first joined the club we just clicked from the first day and ever since then it has been something that has continued."



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