Where Do Suarez and Sturridge Rank in List of Great Liverpool Strike Duos?

Matt LadsonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2014

Where Do Suarez and Sturridge Rank in List of Great Liverpool Strike Duos?

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Such is the form of his strike partner this season, Daniel Sturridge's goalscoring exploits have been somewhat overlooked.

    The England international has 19 goals in 22 appearances this season, taking his overall record to an impressive 30 goals in 38 games since arriving from Chelsea a little over a year ago.

    The 24-year-old equalled a club record by scoring in eight consecutive matches in all competitions recently (via LFChistory) and would have broken that record with a goal at Arsenal on Sunday.

    Meanwhile, Luis Suarez's recent drought of four games without a goal has seen him drop below an average of a goal per game for the first time this season. Still, 23 goals in 25 appearances is nothing to be ashamed of.

    The form of the two forwards—ably assisted by Raheem Sterling in recent weeks—is a frightening prospect for any defence.

    Between them this season, the duo has 39 Premier League goals (42 in all competitions). 

    We take a look at where the duo's goalscoring exploits rank alongside Liverpool's greatest strike partnerships?

Roger Hunt and Ian St. John: 59 Goals (1961/62)

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    Suarez and Sturridge have quite some distance to catch this duo's incredible goalscoring record of 1961/62 when Roger Hunt and Ian St. John hit an incredible 59 league goals between them (64 in all competitions).

    Hunt hit a record five hat-tricks that campaign and went on to be the club's leading goalscorer eight years in a row from 1962 to 1969.

    Scotsman St. John was more the creator of the two, forming a formidable partnership alongside Hunt after his arrival in 1961.

    That 61/62 season wasn't a one-off for the duo either; the two hit 43 the following year and 52 the year after.

    The 1965/66 season saw another 40 goals between them, just before Hunt—Liverpool's record league goalscorer—went on to score three times for England in their World Cup-winning campaign.

    They led Liverpool to the club's first FA Cup success in 1965 when St. John headed the winner past Leeds United at Wembley in extra time.

Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish: 42 Goals (1982/83)

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    Two of the club's most decorated and esteemed players of all time combined to hit 42 league goals (51 in all competitions).

    The campaign was Dalglish's second-most prolific as a Liverpool player, hitting 18 league goals. The Scotsman was the creator of the two but equally had an eye for goal. He'd chip the keeper from the edge of the box, while Rush was the predator in front of goal.

    The 82/83 season included Rush's memorable four-goal salvo against Everton at Goodison Park—cue "Rush scored one, Rush scored two, Rush scored three and Rush scored four" chants ringing around Anfield 30 years later.

    Rush was only just getting started with 24 league goals that year though—the Welsh forward went on to hit an incredible 47 goals in all competitions the following season!

    Suarez and Sturridge have 39 league goals between them this campaign, so they have Rush and Dalglish's mark in their sights.

John Barnes and Ian Rush: 40 Goals (1989/90)

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    Not exactly a strike partnership, but between them John Barnes—the league's top scorer with 22—and Ian Rush (18) hit 40 league goals (54 goals in all competitions) in one of Liverpool's most entertaining sides ever assembled.

    This campaign was the last time Liverpool won the title and they certainly did it in style, finishing nine points clear of Aston Villa.

    That included winning 9-0 against Crystal Palace, 8-0 vs. Swansea City and was capped off by Barnes hitting a hat-trick in the 6-1 win over Coventry City on the final day of the season.

    Suarez and Sturridge need one goal to match Barnes and Rush's record of 40 league goals.

    Comparisons can be drawn between the current Liverpool side and this one, with Philippe Coutinho now playing the role of Peter Beardsley, Sturridge as Rush and Suarez as Barnes.

Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore: 42 Goals (1995/96)

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    Statistically, this is Liverpool's best goalscoring partnership since the introduction of the Premier League in 1992, with Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore scoring a combined 42 league goals between them in 1995/96. Fowler hit 28 of them, Collymore 14.

    Four of those 42 goals arrived in the memorable first "4-3 thriller" against Newcastle at Anfield. The duo hit two each, Collymore firing the winner in stoppage time at The Kop end.

    Suarez and Sturridge have 39 Premier League goals between them this campaign and are three goals away from equalling that record.

    Speaking about the prospect of his duo beating that record this season, manager Brendan Rodgers said earlier this month, via ESPN:

    I certainly think they can better that, but my only focus is the team. They’re both different types of players. I wouldn’t say they’re a partnership. They both have a goalscoring mentality. They’ll arrive in the same areas, but how they get there is different. They’ve got different qualities.

    Collymore and Fowler's partnership didn't last long, with Collymore leaving the club after two seasons.

Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres: 35 Goals (2007/08)

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    Rafa Benitez broke Liverpool's club record to sign Fernando Torres in summer 2007, and the striker immediately formed a superb understanding with Steven Gerrard to create a deadly attacking duo.

    The 2007/08 season was their most prolific as a partnership, scoring a combined 35 Premier League goals—54 in all competitions.

    Gerrard was deployed as an attacking midfielder just behind Torres and was the chief supplier in a similar manner to how Dalglish would supply Rush in the 80s.

    Gerrard hit 21 goals in all competitions but it was Torres who hit the back of the net most often with 33 goals, including hat-tricks against Reading, Middlesbrough and West Ham.

    In Europe, the duo combined against Inter Milan and Arsenal before losing in the semi-final to Chelsea.

    Liverpool finished the season fourth and trophyless, perhaps overreliant on the duo. The following year saw Gerrard and Torres equally effective but with goals from elsewhere helping them to the club's record Premier League points total.

     

    All goalscoring stats via LFCHistory.net.