Striker Sturridge unlikely to be fit for Madrid clash

 
Ross McLean
Follow Ross
LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers has conceded the chances of striker Daniel Sturridge featuring against reigning European champions Real Madrid in tonight’s crucial Champions League clash with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu are slim.

The Reds have looked a shadow of the side which pushed Manchester City so close for the Premier League title last season and face an uphill task to qualify from Group B after successive defeats against Real and Basel.

Sturridge scored 28 goals for Liverpool last term but has not featured for the Anfield club since August after picking up a thigh injury while on England duty, and despite travelling to the Spanish capital Rodgers remains doubtful the 25-year-old will figure.

“With Daniel, we will see how he responds, but it is highly unlikely he will be fit,” he said. “I brought every player out with us, knowing this game is very important to us. It is a sign that we are very much together, that all the players have travelled, whether injured or fit.”

Former Tottenham star Gareth Bale, meanwhile, looks set to return to the Real squad after missing five games, including the reverse fixture at Anfield, with a gluteal muscle injury.