Suarez is carrying Liverpool - AVB
Published 09/03/2013 | 13:16
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Liverpool have been carried by the superb form of Luis Suarez this season.
Villas-Boas knows the chances of extending Spurs' run of 12 unbeaten Barclays Premier League matches will largely depend on whether they can shackle Liverpool's prolific hitman when the teams meet on Sunday.
Although Villas-Boas has his own prolific talisman in Gareth Bale, the Portuguese said: "(Suarez) is a tremendous player. He is making the difference. (He is) a top player and is taking almost the team on his shoulders with his goal-scoring ability."
Villas-Boas added: "He is someone we must be wary of. He had a tremendous game at White Hart Lane and we have to be careful with his strengths."
Liverpool are 10 points off the Champions League places, but they would be far worse off had they been without their Uruguayan striker, who tops the scoring charts with 28 goals in 38 games in all competitions.
Along with Manchester United's Robin van Persie, Bale and Suarez are the leading contenders for the PFA Player of the Year award, which is announced next month. As has been the case with Liverpool and Suarez, Bale's superb efforts this year have led to claims that Spurs are overly-reliant on their star forward, who has scored 21 goals.
Tottenham's former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Friedel denies that is the case, though. "That's ridiculous. That's a poor comment," said an angry Friedel, who spent three years at Liverpool when he first came to England. "Gareth is an exceptional player and we have a lot of exceptional players.
"These comments about one-man teams... I mean, people talk about if Barcelona didn't have Lionel Messi they wouldn't have 40 goals but they do have Messi and they get the 40 goals.
"Real Madrid have Cristiano Ronaldo. We have Gareth Bale. If Chicago Bulls didn't have Michael Jordan they wouldn't have won all those championships, but they did so they won.
"Every good team has their star players. Gareth is playing well for us. We are a better team for it, but we have some exceptional players that can step in and do the job."