Jose Mourinho has defended Luis Suarez ahead of Chelsea's crucial Premier League fixture against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

The 26-year-old has been a miscreant in multiple incidents in English football, starting with the Patrice Evra racism row in October 2011 for which the Uruguayan was handed an eight-match ban by the Football Association.

Suarez invited more trouble for himself when he attempted to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in April 2013. The FA charged the former Ajax man with violent conduct and banned him for 10 matches.

"Everybody makes mistakes. This was a big thing, but Iva thinks it's something from the past. Everyone moves on - he's moved on," Mourinho explained.

"I think Iva is a big guy. When I say 'big guy', I mean big, strong heart, big strong personality. He's not a Mickey Mouse player who complains at little things," he added.

Suarez also publicly stated his desire to leave Liverpool when Arsenal made a cheeky bid of £40m and £1 in the summer. But Liverpool were firm in their stance and did not sanction the sale of their star player.

"Every player is different and every player has his own personality. It happens a lot during the summer, players that want to leave, and after that it depends on them when they are 'forced' to stay," the 50-year-old added.

Rodgers believes that the "bite-gate" incident changed Suarez for good. Since his return, the Uruguayan has been in prolific form for the Reds. The striker is the league's top scorer with 19 goals in this campaign despite featuring in only 13 matches this term.

Liverpool are enjoying a great run in the league this term as they sit fourth after their Boxing Day defeat to Manchester City. The former Reds striker Robbie Fowler has heaped praise on Rodgers for his contribution to the club's recent form.

"I was lucky enough to go on the pre-season tour and I loved it. I noticed from day one that the togetherness is there for all to see. I think you have to thank Brendan Rodgers for that and give him a lot of praise. We are all fighting for the same position and want the same thing. That is a massive thing," Fowler told Liverpool's official website.