Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen claims his former Swansea teammate Ashley Williams has scored an own-goal by criticizing Luis Suarez ahead of today’s clash at the Liberty Stadium.
In his new autobiography, defender Williams said he wanted to “knock out” Suarez during last season’s game at Anfield and accused him of diving, comments which could yet see the player face disciplinary action from the Football Association.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who left Swansea to take charge at Anfield in the close-season, is confident there will be no animosity between the pair when the teams meet in south Wales after acting as mediator to diffuse any potential difficulties.
However, Allen believes Williams’ comments, published in My Premier League Diary, will give Suarez extra motivation to add to his tally of 13 goals for Liverpool this season.
“These sort of things happen in football and the battle between Luis and Ash will be one to watch on the weekend,” said Allen, who followed Rodgers out of Swansea to Liverpool.
“It will give Luis some extra motivation, which is dangerous from Swansea’s point of view,” he said.
Rodgers has spoken to Williams, who in turn has talked to Suarez, in an attempt to prevent the situation escalating.
“When I saw those comments I spoke to him and got the full explanation of how it has seemingly got out there and he was very quick to want to apologize for that,” Rodgers said.
“That is done. There is no problem there and I am sure they will shake hands on Sunday and get on with it,” he said.
Rodgers, who suffered a 3-1 League Cup loss against Swansea last month, will be keen to extend Liverpool’s unbeaten league run to eight matches.
“It’s certainly a fixture I am looking forward to,” he said. “It’s a beautiful part of the world, a brilliant club and I had two memorable years there.”
“It was a wonderful experience and I have great memories from there, both professionally and personally,” Rodgers said. “I’m really looking forward to going back and seeing many friends there, but ultimately looking to get the result. That’s what we’ll be there for.”