Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge has travelled to Madrid and could play against Real Madrid Getty Images/Alex Livesey

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge could make a surprise return from injury against Real Madrid after travelling to the Spanish capital ahead of the Champions League group match.

Sturridge has missed the Reds' last 12 matches across the past two months with a thigh problem picked up in training after England's friendly win over Norway in September.

Brendan Rodgers had indicated Sturridge was unlikely to return before next week's international break but Liverpool could yet welcome back the 25-year-old striker this week.

The England international posted a photo on Instagram on a plane with Liverpool teammates Raheem Sterling, Lazar Markovic and Dejan Lovren, with the message: "Madrid bound with the boys," an indication he could make a return in Madrid.

Since losing 3-0 to Real in October, Liverpool have won just one of their subsequent three games, with the latest defeat being to Newcastle United courtesy of Ayoze Perez's goal; that Premier League loss has adding to the club's problems, which have swelled during Sturridge's absence.

The injury nightmare has come amid Mario Balotelli's failure to sufficiently replace Luis Suarez in the Liverpool attack since the Uruguay international's move to Barcelona and Rodgers says the duo's absence has been central to his side's problems.

"We have lost goals," Rodgers said.

"We scored 101 last year but take away nearly 80% of that [Suarez and Sturridge] and it can become ­difficult, alongside the introduction of lots of new players. It is not rocket science.

"It has been a difficult start, not ideal. We can only continue to work well, that's all you can do.

"If you work hard, it gives you extra confidence and ultimately confidence will then bring you success. It is certainly something we will strive towards.

"You're always analysing, but I don't think it's so much about stripping it down and starting again with ourselves. But you need to find the answers and that is my job as manager and coach."