Sturridge ‘highly unlikely’ to face Real Madrid – Rodgers

The striker travelled with the Liverpool squad to Spain but his manager insists he simply wanted all of his players together and a return to action for the player is improbable

Daniel Sturridge is not expected to feature against Real Madrid in the Champions League, despite travelling with the Liverpool squad.

The England striker has not played for the Merseyside club since the end of August, having sustained a thigh problem while on international duty, initially being sidelines for six weeks before suffering a setback.

However, having joined the squad to the Spanish capital ahead of the Group B clash, speculation intensified that Sturridge will feature at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Brendan Rodgers insists a comeback is improbable.

“It’s highly unlikely he’ll be fit,” Rodgers told reporters of Sturridge. “I’ve brought all the players out [to Madrid].

“This game and the game at the weekend [against Chelsea in the Premier League] are very important for us, and it’s a sign that we’re very much together.”

Liverpool sit level with Ludogorets and Basel on three points after three matches in Group B – Real are clear on nine after winning 3-0 at Anfield last month – and Rodgers believes a last-16 place is a realistic aim.

“We’re really looking forward to these big games,” he added. “We see them [Real] as an opportunity.

“We’re still in the hunt in the group, they’re probably the best team in the world at the moment, but we can challenge them.”

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