Match Preview: Norwich City will not take a backward step against Liverpool hitman Christian Benteke

Norwich City's John Ruddy has suffered at the hands of Liverpool and Luis Suarez. Photo: Peter Byrne

Norwich City's John Ruddy has suffered at the hands of Liverpool and Luis Suarez. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Alex Neil might not carry the scars of Norwich City's recent skirmishes with Liverpool but the Scot warns his defenders life after Luis will be just as challenging at Anfield.

Suarez may have departed these shores after waging a one-man crusade during the Canaries' last spell in the Premier League, but £32.5m replacement Christian Benteke has plundered four goals in five games in an Aston Villa shirt.

The Belgian underlined his threat level with an acrobatic volley at Old Trafford last weekend in a losing cause for Brendan Rodgers' men and Neil knows he is a big danger on Merseyside on Sunday.

'You look at the amount of money he has moved for and that tells you he is a quality player, an international,' said Neil. 'Any striker who plays as a one in a team is going to be a focal point for that side because basically if he can't take the ball in or win a challenge then it is going to be tough for the rest of group to get higher up the pitch.

'Suarez wasn't bad either before he went to Barcelona. That is the type of calibre you come up against when you play the top sides, but the strength for me will come from the group, not individuals, and that is how we base ourselves; we look at things as a unit.


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'When I talk about us defensively I am not focusing on the back four but the whole group and barring Southampton, and I wouldn't blame the defence for that game because I thought we were all over the pitch as a team, particularly when we went down to 10 men, I have felt in the other games we have been relatively solid.'

Neil is not interested in factoring in the rich history that always accompanies the five-time European Cup winners.

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'We will go to Anfield believing we can win,' he said. 'I tell the players regularly the worst that can happen is you lose the game, so why be scared? Give it your best shot, if it's not good enough on the day then we will dust ourselves off and go again.

'It is a big test for us. Going to one of the top six away is always going to be tough but some other teams have shown already this season it is more than achievable to go and give a good account.

'Bournemouth only lost their 1-0 and we were better than Bournemouth last week so we can take confidence from that.'

The City boss is out to prove Southampton's mauling last time out on the road before the international break was a blip in his impressive away run at the club.

'Our away record has been very good because we have a method about us,' he said. 'Sometimes we have been aggressive from the start, other times we have looked to counter-attack. We have a plan we have worked on to give us the best chance of getting some points.

'People were saying Bournemouth would show us how far we had come but I don't buy into that. We're hoping if we reach our best then we can get something out of this game.'

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