Suarez a 'big loss' for Liverpool, claims Baines

The Everton defender believes the Reds would find themselves lower down the Premier League table if not for the Uruguayan's influence before his 10-match suspension
Everton defender Leighton Baines has admitted he is glad the Toffees will not have to face Luis Suarez in next Sunday's Merseyside derby and believes the striker will prove a "big loss" for Liverpool.

The Uruguayan was handed a 10-match suspension, which he will not appeal, for biting Branislav Ivanovic during the Reds' 2-2 draw with Chelsea on April 21.

6/1 Everton are 6/1 with Bet365 to be the only team to score against Liverpool on Sunday
Liverpool produced one of their best displays of the season without Suarez on Saturday, thrashing Newcastle 6-0 at St James' Park, but Baines expects Brendan Rodgers' team to miss him over time.

"Yes, we're glad we don't have to face Luis Suarez because he's a top player and he has done so much for Liverpool this season," Baines told reporters.

"If they had been missing him this season they probably wouldn't be where they are in the league at the moment. He will be a big loss for them.

"But they have got very good players throughout the team and it will be up to them to come to the fore and keep them going."

Victory for Everton at Anfield would put them eight points ahead of Liverpool with two games remaining and ensure that they finish above their city rivals for the second successive season.

"We understand the importance of it, it is a big game," Baines added.

"Every derby is massive because of what it is and it means so much to the fans and us as players as well. But there is no added importance because it is at the end of the season, it is just another derby."