Monday Kickoff: Gerrard backs Suarez for awards, Ribery set to miss Arsenal clash, and more

Monday Kickoff: Gerrard backs Suarez for awards, Ribery set to miss Arsenal clash, and more

South American Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Gerrard backs Suarez for awards, Ribery set to miss Arsenal clash, and more

LuisSuarezvstottenham1 (Getty)

BY DAN KARELL

Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard has backed teammate Luis Suarez to win an award, following the Uruguayan’s performance over Tottenham on Sunday.

Suarez scored the game’s opening goal, his 22nd in Premier League play, and earned his side a penalty in their 3-2 victory against Spurs. Without Suarez, Gerrard argues, Liverpool would likely not be sitting in 7th in the Premier League, and the England international believes the South American would be the greatest player to not win an award if he comes away empty handed this May.

The 26-year-old forward now leads the EPL in goals, sitting three ahead of second-place Robin Van Persie. Suarez has scored 27 goals for Liverpool this season in all competitions.

Here are some more stories to get your Monday started:

RIBERY TO MISS ARSENAL MATCH

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has been ruled out of his squad’s upcoming match against Arsenal on Wednesday evening, after straining ankle ligaments during Saturday’s win over Fortuna Dusseldorf.

The French international scored on Saturday, as well as playing the full 90 minutes, but after the game the medical staff diagnosed the injury. Ribery will be joined on the sidelines by Jerome Boateng, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, both of whom will miss the game due to suspension.

The German side lead Arsenal 3-1 on aggregate, bringing their massive February win into the Allianz Arena for a re-match with Arsene Wenger’s club.

XAVI RETURNS TO BARCA TRAINING

Barcelona midfield maestro Xavi Hernandez has returned to first-team training on Monday morning, following a two-week spell on the sidelines.

Xavi was initially ruled out for the upcoming Champions League match on Tuesday after picking up a thigh strain against Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey, but the 33-year-old has made a quicker-than-expected comeback.

Barcelona host AC Milan on Tuesday, with the Italian side leading 2-0 on aggregate, following their impressive two-goal win last month.

RIVER PLATE GO TOP OF ARGENTINE TABLE

Former French international David Trezeguet scored the opening goal for River Plate, who went onto defeat Colon 2-0, pushing them to the top of the Torneo Final table in Argentina.

River have won four of their last five, and with 12 points in five games, they sit in first place, over second-place Godoy Cruz, with 11 points. Lanus, in third place, could take back first with a win on Monday against Arsenal de Sarandi.

Boca Juniors have continued to slump, drawing 1-1 with minnows Atletico Rafaela. Boca sit in 15th place, with just five points in their first five games.

QUICK KICKS

Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou has been re-elected unopposed to serve another four-year term as president. (REPORT)

Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne was very close to dying, before he was sent to a detox program in the United States (REPORT)

Schalke 04 forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is looking at another lenghthy spell on the sidelines, after tearing his MCL in his left knee. (REPORT)

French club Montpellier won’t be hiring Diego Maradona after all (REPORT)

Franz Beckenbauer would be “very very happy” if Wayne Rooney came to Bayern Munich this summer. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you believe Suarez should win Player of the Year? Do you see Munich missing Ribery’s presence against Arsenal? Do you believe Xavi can make the difference against Milan?

Share your thoughts below.

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