Daniel Sturridge says he is not in awe of Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels ahead of their Europa League battle at Anfield on Thursday.
The Liverpool striker is vying with Divock Origi to start the quarter-final second leg, with the tie level at 1-1 on aggregate following last week’s clash in Germany.
Sturridge will come head-to-head with World Cup winner Hummels if manager Jurgen Klopp gives him the nod, but the 26-year-old feels he is at least the equal of the vaunted centre-back.
“I’m at his level, so I don’t look at him as anyone who is bigger than me or better than me or I’m in awe,” the England international told his club’s official website.
“Not at all. He’s the same as me. We face players at the top level in the Premier League – it’s the best league in the world.
“We face defenders who don’t probably get as much credit as they deserve. I have been playing at the top level for a long time now so it’s nothing new.
“It’s just going to be a great night for everyone, and you can’t let nerves get the better of you. You just have to enjoy it, that’s what life is all about.”
Sturridge cannot wait to take the field against Dortmund, describing it as the type of occasion that all players live to be involved in.
“I know I can perform a lot better than I am now but it’s just that fitness and the repetition of playing 90 minutes is important as well.
“It’s going to be a great occasion, not just for the players but the fans, for everyone who isn’t involved with Liverpool as well – they will enjoy the match.
“It’s one of those occasions where you just soak it all up, enjoy it, embrace it, have fun, that’s what you live for.”
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