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I am 100 per cent fit, claims Suarez

Sete Lagoas: Luis Suarez has declared himself 100 per cent fit for Uruguay’s crucial World Cup meeting with England on Thursday and vowed to exploit the defensive weaknesses of Roy Hodgson’s team.

The Liverpool striker, who missed his country’s shock opening defeat against Costa Rica, came through a full training session in their Belo Horizonte training base on Monday and will start the Group D match in Sao Paulo.

He believes that he has fully recovered from knee surgery and is ready to make a decisive contribution to a match in which defeat for either side is almost certain to end their chance of reaching the second round.

Suarez said: “At no time did I think I was going to miss the World Cup. I did not miss any days of my recovery. And if I play (against England), it is because I am 100 per cent. I know all the players in the England team, either as team-mates or opponents. They have defensive deficiencies that I can exploit, but I will not say in front of the media how to do so. We have to move forward with strong character. Trust us.”

Suarez has not played since suffering the injury in the final game of the Premier League season against Newcastle United. Since arriving in Belo Horizonte, he has undergone intensive treatment while also taking part in double fitness sessions.

Oscar Tabarez, the Uruguay manager, is expected to make changes for Thursday’s game following the 1-3 defeat by Costa Rica, and it was an open secret in the Uruguay camp on Monday that Suarez’s recall would be one of them.

Tabarez, who is under intense pressure in Uruguay despite taking the team to the semi-finals of the last World Cup, was coy when asked publicly about Suarez at a press conference on Monday.

He said: “We are going to change everything. We need to win. So do England. We need to change our attitude and put different measures in place. It is a possibility (he will play) but I will not say any more.”