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Liverpool, United Kingdom – Luis Suarez could face sanctions from Liverpool after re-opening the controversy over his alleged diving, as the team prepares to face Norwich City at Anfield on Saturday.
The Uruguayan striker gave one of his finest performances of the campaign at Norwich in September when his hat-trick inspired a 5-2 victory for Brendan Rodgers' team.
But Suarez's season has been dogged by accusations of cheating, and Liverpool manager Rodgers is ready to punish his star player after he confessed in an interview to diving during a match against Stoke in October.
Suarez admitted to “falling” in an attempt to win a penalty during the goalless draw at Anfield.
Rodgers, who has resolutely defended the player against his critics, described diving as “unacceptable” and revealed the club would look to take action.
The Anfield manager said: “I think it is wrong. It is unacceptable. I have spoken to Luis and it will be dealt with internally. It (diving) is not something we advocate. Our ethics are correct.”
Despite a magnificent season on the pitch, Suarez has courted controversy, and was back in the spotlight recently following his handball in the build-up to his winning goal against Mansfield Town in the FA Cup third round.
Any destabilising effect on the team will be welcomed by Norwich.
A promising season has stumbled of late, and their goalless home draw against manager Chris Hughton's former club Newcastle United was the first point they had earned in five Premier League games.
They have slipped down the table to 12th place, seven points clear of third-bottom Aston Villa, and while there is no immediate cause for concern, Hughton will be looking at games against Queens Park Rangers and Fulham next month as key fixtures.
Grant Holt, the top scorer for the past three seasons, remains the manager's primary concern after he came off during his return to the side against Newcastle with a hamstring complaint.
Holt, Norwich's player of the year last season, was in the starting XI for all six of Norwich's wins this season but was missing in five of the six games they have lost.
Hughton said: “We've had to tread carefully with Grant over the past couple of weeks. What's important is that we have Grant available for next week, the week after and the week after.”
With five of the seven teams above them in the table not in action on Saturday, Liverpool could steal a march in the race for European qualification if they prevail against the Canaries, and the omens are not good for Norwich.
Suarez has scored hat-tricks against them on two occasions, and Norwich last won at Anfield in 1994, when Jeremy Goss scored the only goal in the last game before the Kop was renovated. – Sapa-AFP