Stats: How will Sturridge perform without Suarez by his side at Liverpool?

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

Now with Suarez gone, the onus will be on Sturridge to supply Liverpool's goals.

For much of his time at Anfield, Daniel Sturridge has been talked about as being part of a formidable strike force for Liverpool alongside Luis Suarez.

Now with Suarez off to Barcelona, Sturridge may well end up being the Reds' main striker next season. It's nothing he should be afraid of, given his contribution in Suarez's absence before.

During Suarez's ten game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic at the back end of the 2012/13 season, and at the beginning of the 2013/14 season Sturridge was the man leading the Liverpool attack.

Immediately after biting Ivanovic in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea, Liverpool visited Newcastle United and won 6-0, Sturridge was on the scoresheet twice. Other games included a 0-0 draw with Everton, a 3-1 win against Fulham where Sturridge grabbed a hat-trick, and a final day 1-0 win against Queens Park Rangers.

Then at the start of the 2013/14 season, the Reds had to do without Suarez for their first five Premier League games, and Sturridge was leading the line despite a lack of fitness, but it didn't stop him from scoring four goals in his first four games as Liverpool went top early on in the season. 

If we have a look at some statistics we can see just how much Suarez's presence affects Sturridge's role/performance within the Liverpool side:

With Suarez 2012/13:

  TeamPosGoals / appsTotal Scoring Att / appsBig Chance Created / apps(Ontarget Scoring Att / Total Scoring Att) * 100AppsMins
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool FW 0.50 4.00 0.30 47.50 10 737

Without Suarez 2012/13:

  TeamPosGoals / appsTotal Scoring Att / appsBig Chance Created / apps(Ontarget Scoring Att / Total Scoring Att) * 100AppsMins
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool FW 1.25 5.25 0.50 42.86 4 355

Though he played fewer games with Suarez in the Premier League than without in the 2012/13 season, Sturridge seemed to thrive being the main striker during Suarez's suspension for biting Ivanovic. He was scoring more goals per game, having more attempts on goal and creating more chances. He was, perhaps, not as clinical as he was when Suarez was alongside him that series given the drop in the percentage of attempts on target.   

With Suarez 2013/14:

  TeamPosGoals / appsTotal Scoring Att / appsBig Chance Created / apps(Ontarget Scoring Att / Total Scoring Att) * 100AppsMins
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool FW 0.71 3.46 0.29 42.17 24 1,825

Without Suarez 2013/14:

  TeamPosGoals / appsTotal Scoring Att / appsBig Chance Created / apps(Ontarget Scoring Att / Total Scoring Att) * 100AppsMins
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool FW 0.80 3.20 0.20 43.75 5 450

SEE ALSO: Rodgers confident Liverpool can progress as they confirm Suarez departure

Sturridge scored four goals in the five games at the start of last season when Suarez still serving his ban but these statistics seem to show he had a similar role throughout the season. He was a little more clinical in terms of hitting the target, and the goals he scored per game. But he had more attempts on goal with Suarez in the side, and was able to create more big chances. 

Brendan Rodgers may want another striker but he may want Sturridge to be the main man. If he wants the England international to be the man the Reds are reliant on to bring in the Lion's share of the goals, then maybe he needs to play a similar way as he did towards the back end of the 2012/13 season.

Can Sturridge step up to the mark for the Reds next season?

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