John Aldridge comments on Daniel Sturridge since return, and potential front three with Coutinho and Firmino

Daniel Sturridge

Sturridge recently returned from injury, and has been playing along with Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has said he believes Daniel Sturridge is only operating at 80% following three appearances since his return from injury.

Sturridge has found the net once since his return to the side - in a 6-0 win over Aston Villa - but has backed him, along with Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino backs them to be real force at the top end of the field.

He wrote in his Liverpool Echo column: "Daniel Sturridge is playing within himself at the minute. He looks like he doesn’t want to risk going into a full blast sprint in case his body lets him down again.

"Hopefully it will come because there is going to come a time when he is going to need to sprint but at the moment there is just a bit of uncertainty and fear there.

"We seem likely to see a front three of Sturridge, Firmino and Coutinho at Wembley and I think it’s got a lot going for it.

"We know the quality Coutinho has got and Firmino has worked his way nicely into the season.

"The thing all three have got is the ability to score goals.

"I think Klopp fancies the three of them playing together."

The trio have rarely played with each other this season but as Aldridge points out, all three have goals in them and there is plenty of guile and intelligence from those three players that can cause the opposition problems.

It is hard to expect them to be firing straight away. There were glimpses of what they could do against Aston Villa but the opposition was pretty poor and the performance against Augsburg was a pretty stale performance from the entire team, though Sturridge will feel he should've got on the scoresheet after one poor miss just after the interval.

While all the focus is on Sturridge, it's important to remember that Coutinho is returning from injury as well - and even if one or both players aren't operating at 100% then it's not really a surprise, and there will be a hope that the week's break between the two legs of the Augsburg tie can help both freshen them up, and allow them to do some fitness work. Both Sturridge and Coutinho returning to the fold relieves the pressure on Firmino a little, who seems to have been carrying the goalscoring burden.

On paper, the trio have all the hallmarks of a unit that can cause anybody they face a lot of problems. It's a case of them getting a run of games together and then seeing what they can produce. Liverpool will hope it can be something of a game changer between now and the end of the season, and going into the next campaign as well.

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