Everton star backs Liverpool rival Suarez to shine at the World Cup

Leighton Baines

England left-back Leighton Baines has tipped Liverpool striker Luis Suarez to be one of the stars of the World Cup, repaying a favour from the Uruguayan.

Suarez scored 31 goals last term as he won both the PFA and LMA Player of the Year awards, and the Uruguayan international also swept all before him at the Reds' in-house end of the season ceremony last month.

The Liverpool striker was voted as both the Fans' and Players' Player of the Year, while also scooping the club's Goal of the Season award for his first strike against Norwich City in December at Anfield.

Despite his stunning season, Suarez's participation was in doubt after he was forced to undergo knee surgery last month, but the La Celeste forward is up and running and is expected to feature.

Suarez may not play in Uruguay's first group game against Costa Rica this week, but is expected to be in the side when Oscar Tabarez's side meet England on June 19.

Everton defender Baines, who is expected to start as the Three Lions' first choice left-back in Brazil, thinks his Merseyside rival will be one of the outstanding players in South America.

The Liverpool Echo quotes Baines as saying: “Suarez is a top player and he’ll be one of the stars of the tournament who will be expected to do really well. We’ll have to make sure that we’re at our best to cope with him.

“At this level you know about all the players. All the lads will know about the English-based players in the tournament. We’ve had some good work and some good warm up games and hopefully it will be an exciting summer.

"The way we play at Everton is very much suited to international football you’d imagine. We’re patient in possession at times and then the types of different mechanisms we use are similar to a lot of the things we’d use in the national team."

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