Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will NOT start Liverpool’s game against Real Madrid on Tuesday night, according to reports in the British media.
The Mirror‘s David Maddock, claims that “with Chelsea visiting Anfield on Saturday lunchtime, the Reds boss is set to rest his skipper for the Bernabeu clash, knowing he could face a backlash.”
“I don’t see it as a gamble,” Rodgers is quoted explaining. “This week and these games against the likes of Real Madrid I see as a great opportunity for the squad – you put them out there and you put your trust in them to perform.”
With Liverpool’s Barclays Premier League campaign continuing against Jose Mourinho’s men just a few days after the clash in the Spanish capital, Rodgers has a selection dilemma on his hands.
“In Steven’s case,” the Northern Irishman added, “If he is playing on Saturday I have to look at what is the priority for him and us. If he played against Newcastle and didn’t play tomorrow night you could say that was the priority.”
“Him and I have spoken about that. Three big games, Newcastle, Madrid and then Chelsea. I need to look at a number of players to look at the games we want them to play in.”
Maddock also reports that Rodgers is considering resting Raheem Sterling too.
The Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe, meanwhile, writes that resting Gerrard is only a “consideration” for Rodgers and not yet a decision made.
With the likelihood of pulling of an upset in Madrid pretty slim, and progressing from the group still possible even with defeat, Rodgers is perhaps right to prioritise the Chelsea game.
Do you agree with Rodgers’ decision? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.