Football Expert & Columnist
Cardiff 3-6 Liverpool: Luis Suarez's 'telepathic' partnership with Daniel Sturridge is one of the best
Reds must keep strike duo fit - and tighten up at the back - to claim title...
Last Updated: 23/03/14 10:36am
Suarez notched his third hat-trick of the season as Liverpool made it six wins in a row with an impressive 6-3 away victory over Cardiff.
Daniel Sturridge, who netted Liverpool's fifth after two goals from Martin Skrtel, and Suarez have now scored 34 goals in 22 Premier League career starts and former England boss Hoddle rates their partnership as one of the best he's seen.
"To score six goals away from home is a fantastic result," said Hoddle. "At the moment they are four points adrift of Chelsea but they've got a game in hand and at the moment they look so confident they believe they can beat anyone at this period of time, especially with that strike force.
"With Suarez and Sturridge up front - and with Steven Gerrard pulling the strings behind like he did - they are a force and they've got a chance of winning this Premier League.
"The key for Liverpool is keeping those front two fit because they are going to score more goals. They're telepathic and one of the best strike partnerships I've seen.
"They know each other's game and they are prepared to assist each other with goals as well as be a little bit selfish - and they are happy to be there.
"I think there are times when Suarez gets a bit frustrated but Sturridge is becoming more and more of a team player.
"It has taken him three clubs to see the light a little bit but he knows that he's got a team behind him that can be create and he's got a mate that is a very special player who can create for him.
"He's now saying 'I'll give you something back as well' and at the moment Liverpool Football Club has got to be a happy camp."
Suarez has now equalled Robbie Fowler's record of 28 goals-in-a-season and, given the quality of the Uruguayan's play, Hoddle it's hard not to believe he won't add significantly to that tally in the eight remaining league games.
"Cardiff, to be fair, played really well in long spells of this game when they were the better team; there were some encouraging signs for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but in the end it came down to Liverpool's class in the last third.
"Henderson played a great ball for Suarez's first which took out five men; Johnson slips in behind and catches them all sleeping and provides the cross.
"Johnson provides a great overlap again for Suarez's second and after a bit of luck Sturridge's back heel hits an area and Suarez gets on the end of it and tucks it in the corner.
"Late in the game he chases a long punt and wins the one v one with a little shrug. He could have passed to Sterling - and I think if it had been 1-1 he would have squared it - but he's such a good player that he's thinking I'm going to be a bit greedy here.
Liverpool did, though, have to twice come from behind in the first half after goals from Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell and Hoddle says that Brendan Rodgers must get his players to tighten up at the back.
"Defence is the problem for them and if Liverpool don't win the Premier League this year it will be because they concede goals," he reflected.
"They'll say that they've got players who will score more than the opposition but they've still got to play top three teams and they'll come unstuck if they play like that."