By Matt Bullin
Former Everton midfielder and BBC pundit Leon Osman claims that the way Liverpool can get the best out of Daniel Sturridge is by playing him in a front two.
Sturridge scored on his first start since January to give Liverpool the lead in their must-win match against West Ham on Sunday.
The Reds went on to thump the Hammers as Philippe Coutinho bagged a brace and Sturridge’s strike-partner, Divock Origi, netted late on too.
The result meant they leapfrogged Man City into third in the league, with only one game left to play.
If they beat Middlesbrough in their last game of the season, they will be assured of Champions League football next season.
The 27-year-old England star has struggled with injuries this campaign, and it was only his sixth start of the Premier League.
Overall this year he has found it difficult in front of goal, and has only scored three goals in 19 Premier League outings.
Speaking on Match of the Day 2 (Sunday 10.30pm), Osman said: “I think Daniel Sturridge gets criticised a lot for drifting out wide.
“And today was the first time since I’ve seen him play with [Luis] Suarez that he’s been part of two up front. It allows him to drift wide because the other centre forward is taking up the opposition centre-halves.
“[It means] he can find himself in these great positions and he seems a lot more effective in a two up front.”
In the 2013/14 season which Osman was referring to, Sturridge played alongside Suarez for the Reds and enjoyed a prolific season, scoring 22 goals in 29 league games, as well as providing nine assists.
Since arriving from Chelsea in January 2013 the 27-year-old has had an injury plagued spell at Anfield, though his goal-scoring record at the club still sparkles, with 61 goals in 118 league and cup games.
After the 4-0 thrashing of West Ham, Klopp could well employ a front two involving the 25-time England international, in their final league game of the season against Middlesbrough.
In other Liverpool news, Dejan Lovren has claimed his teammate is world class.