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Saints aiming to avoid Suarez repeat
Luis Suárez will return to St Mary’s tomorrow, with Saints hoping he does not repeat the dazzling performance he produced on his first ever visit to the stadium.
The Liverpool striker was part of the Ajax team that played Saints in a 2009 pre-season friendly, a game that doubled as a memorable welcome to the club’s new owner, Markus Liebherr.
The arrival of Liebherr in the director’s box, signalling a bright new future for the club, along with the official unveiling of Alan Pardew as manager, distracted much of the attention from the pitch that afternoon.
But it was hard for anyone inside St Mary’s to ignore the masterful performance produced by Suárez, who scored twice as the Dutch side triumphed 4-1.
It says much for the progress of Saints over the last three-and-a-half years that they are now welcoming a player of his calibre for a competitive match.
But they will likely need to be at their best this weekend to avoid suffering a similar fate to the one in 2009, as the Uruguayan arrives on the south coast in a sensational run of form.
The Premier League’s top marksman has scored a sensational 15 times in his last 14 matches, and has netted 29 goals across all competitions for the Reds this season.
The 26-year-old’s influence on the Liverpool team has even been compared to that of Lionel Messi’s at Barcelona.
Suárez’s teammate José Enrique said: “In the game, all the time, the first person I look for is him and he always makes a movement and I try to put the ball there and he does the rest.
“It is really easy to understand with him. He is our best player and he can do something from nothing.
“It’s like at Barcelona – the first player they look for when the game is in a bad situation is Messi, because you know he can do something.
“Luis is the same. I look for him because I know he can do something different and we understand each other.”