Last Updated: Sat, 16 Feb 2013 16:39
Martin Skrtel believes the returning Daniel Sturridge can help inspire Liverpool to a much-needed victory over Swansea on Sunday.
The Reds head into the Anfield encounter in poor form, losing to West Bromwich Albion at home in the Premier League on Monday 2-0, while they were also beaten by the same scoreline by Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League last-32 game in Russia on Thursday.
Sturridge missed both games - he was injured for the Baggies defeat and ineligible for the Zenit tie - and Liverpool struggled without him, wasting plenty of chances across a disappointing 180 minutes.
Star man Luis Suarez was guilty of missing four gilt-edged chances on Thursday but he should have more help up front in the rearranged league clash against the Swans with Sturridge set to return - much to Skrtel's delight.
"I think in the games Daniel has started, he has shown his skills, his quality and his strengths," the defender told the club's official website.
"He's proved he can help the team and so I hope he will be back in the side for Swansea."
Sturridge scored four goals in his first six games for Liverpool before picking up the hamstring injury that kept him out of action on Monday and Skrtel is well aware just how important the new boy already is for Brendan Rodgers' side.
"With him our attacking strength is much higher," the Slovakia international added. "You can see that in the games he's played so far. He links with Luis Suarez and with Steven Gerrard and he is a real danger for every defender he faces. He will help us to get the three points.
"He's a difficult player to mark, he's a top striker and its difficult to play against him in training."
With Sturridge set to return, punters might be keen to use their free bet to back the Reds to end their mini-slump and see off Michael Laudrup's side on Sunday.
Have you an opinion on this story? Put your money where your mouth is and claim a free £25 bet.