Gerrard unlikely to face Sparta

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Liverpool look unlikely to risk captain Steven Gerrard in this Thursday’s Europa League clash against Sparta Prague as the midfielder continues to shake off a groin injury.

Reds boss Kenny Dalglish says Gerrard is not quite match fit yet, and with a big Premier League clash away to West Ham on Sunday afternoon may opt to not play him at Anfield on Thursday night.

The tie is currently poised at 0-0 from a lacklustre first leg in the Czech Republic a week ago.

“Steven is almost there,” Dalglish told the club’s official website. “Whether he gets there in time or not remains to be seen, but we’re not going to push somebody into a game that’s not quite ready.

“As much as Steven would love to play and we’d love to have him, I think we’ve got to think a bit longer term than just one game.

“But if he’s fit and well, he’ll come under consideration like everybody else.”

He added, “I think it’s important we adopt the same philosophy as we’ve had before with the likes of Jay Spearing, who could have carried on a little bit longer with his injury but we wanted to get it done and dusted and get him looked after.

“Daniel Agger was the same, Martin Skrtelgot a rest last week, Martin Kelly got a rest, so I think we’ve got to be consistent in our approach to things and if there is any doubt whatsoever, if we can get by without Steven then we will do.”

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