Allardyce explains how West Ham aim to stop Liverpool’s Suarez
PUBLISHED: 11:43 06 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:27 06 December 2013
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Sam Allardyce has called on his West Ham side to cut off Liverpool’s supply line to striker Luis Suarez in tomorrow’s clash at Anfield.
The Uruguayan has been in phenomenal form this season and fired a stunning four-goal salvo as the Reds’ responded to their shock defeat at Hull with a 5-1 thrashing of Norwich on Wednesday.
West Ham are in desperate need of points after their 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace left them hovering precariously above the relegation zone.
Allardyce knows they face a daunting task against Suarez but the Hammers boss says he is planning ways to stop the 26-year-old.
“After their magnificent recovery from their defeat by Hull City last weekend, obviously Luis Suarez is the man,” Allardyce said.
“If you can control him like Hull did, I think you have a 50 per cent better chance of getting a result, maybe even more.
“Certainly if you can’t control Luis Suarez, on what you saw the other night against Norwich, it’s certainly going to be one where he is rattling the goals in.
“When you consider he has been suspended before he started playing again, to be top scorer in the Barclays Premier League shows he is the main man at Liverpool at the moment.”
The Hammers are without a win at Anfield since 1963, but Allardyce is hoping for a repeat of last season’s 0-0 draw.
He said: “Our result at Liverpool last season was focused on the form of James Collins and James Tomkins, who stopped Luis Suarez being what he normally is, and we ended up getting a very creditable nil-nil draw.
“As many other good players as Liverpool have and as good a team as they are, which is a better one that last season, he is still proving to be the main man to turn a game from a draw into a win.
“When you go there on the back of the four goals he scored in a 5-1 win, it makes life even more difficult, but we have to take up the challenge to try to nullify his great talent.”
He added: “The first way is to try to stop the service he thrives on, so it’s the players in front of our defenders who will be one of the key elements.
“As a team, we need to work on closing the opposition down and stopping their really good passers from providing the service that he needs.
“Of course, when we are in possession, we can’t give the ball away too easily because Luis Suarez can’t play if we’ve got possession.
“We have to do as much as we can when we’ve got the ball.”
Allardyce believes Suarez ranks as one of the best strikers in Premier League history.
He said: “Well, he’s starting to be one of the best, isn’t he? His goalscoring on top of his excellent ability to pick the ball up and dribble past players come from his commitment, because he is never still.
“He’s always on the move, looking to find the ball or find space behind defenders.
“He’s a constant menace to defenders because he is always looking to pounce on a mistake or get into a space to get on the ball and get a shot away.”