Liverpool's attacking trident of Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez has been compared favourably to any forward line in Europe by a man who has to mark them every day.

Fuelled by the relentless pressing, raw pace and innate creativity of the front three, Brendan Rodgers' side have racked up a division-leading 73 goals in the Barclays Premier League.

Between them, the prolific combination of Sturridge and Suarez have notched 42 times so far - more than 15 teams in England's top flight have managed in total.

Jon Flanagan is tasked with trying to defend against the trio on a daily basis in training, a daunting challenge which is surely helping the full-back with his personal progress this season.

Having witnessed their unpredictable exploits both at Melwood and on a matchday, Flanagan believes the triumvirate are on a par with anything else on the continent.

The 21-year-old told talkSPORT: "When you've got Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling up top, it doesn't get much better than that. I think they're the best in Europe at the moment.

"We're scoring goals and everything is going well. We know we're going to score goals with our strikeforce - to score so many goals this year, we're in with a chance.

"We're just concentrating on every game as it comes and hopefully we can keep pushing on. If we're still in and around there towards the last five or six games, we're in with a shout."

Expanding on Suarez in particular, who not only tops the Premier League scoring charts but has also provided more assists than any other player, Flanagan said: "I see him every day in training - he's a top, top player.

"He and Stevie are the best I've played with. Every day in training, he's hungry for it; when people are in recovery, he wants to do extra and he doesn't want to miss a minute on the pitch. He's brilliant."

Saturday's 3-0 victory over Southampton was Flanagan's 15th appearance for the Reds in 2013-14 - comfortably his personal best for a single campaign.

"It couldn't have gone any better," the No.38 continued. "Just to be given another chance and to get back playing is brilliant for me. For the team to be doing so well at the minute is great as well.

"I was given my chance by Kenny [Dalglish] and then maybe had a dip in form. I was out of the side for a while; maybe I thought I wasn't going to get the chance again, I was going to have to play elsewhere. But, thankfully, Brendan has given me my chance and I've taken that. Hopefully that can continue now."

Such has been the level of Flanagan's displays since he returned to Rodgers' plans last November, it was a surprise that the defender's name was absent from either the senior or U21 England squads last week.

The Scouser admitted his disappointment with the decision, but explained why a lack of international recognition will not temper his determination to improve for his club.

He added: "I was massively disappointed. There was speculation that I was going to get a call for the senior team, but I wasn't looking too much into that. I wasn't expecting a call. But to not be involved with the U21s was disappointing.

"But I've just got to get on with it, keep my head up and keep working hard. Hopefully I'll get a chance in a future game. I'm just concentrating on my football at Liverpool at the moment."

Two teammates who did receive the call from Roy Hodgson, though, were Jordan Henderson and Sterling - both of whom should be part of the travelling party to the World Cup, in Flanagan's opinion.

"Those two have been the best players in their positions in the league this season," he commented. "Raheem has been outstanding and so has Jordan. So, on current form, they both deserve to be in the England squad and go to Brazil."

The weekend win at St Mary's lifted Liverpool up to second place in the Premier League table, trailing pace-setters Chelsea by four points with 10 fixtures remaining.


Rodgers and his team are maintaining pragmatic expectations with regard to a tilt at the championship, and Flanagan reiterated the philosophy of taking one game at a time.

The defender concluded: "At the start of the season, we were all hoping for the top four. Now that we're doing so well, I think we can push on and do even better.

"The progression we've made is a surprise, but it's good and everyone is made up with the progress. Our confidence is high; in every game, we're scoring goals and picking up three points.

"It's definitely in my mind every night and probably in a lot of the players' minds as well. We're just taking every game as it comes and hopefully we'll keep pushing on and getting three points."