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Steven Gerrard a “special quality” but not guaranteed a start in Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final

Brendan Rodgers has been tight-lipped over whether Steven Gerrard will play in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa at Wembley, but said the Liverpool captain will bring a “special quality” to the matchday squad either way.

CARDIFF, WALES - SATURDAY, MAY 13th, 2006: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard lifts the FA Cup surrounded by team-mates L-R Momo Sissoko, John Arne Riise and Xabi Alonso after beating West Ham United on penalties during the FA Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium. (Pic by David Davies/Pool/Propaganda)

Gerrard returns to the Reds squad after serving a three-match ban for his red card against Manchester United in the Premier League last month.

The 34-year-old is synonymous with big matches for the club, but it is unclear whether he will participate this weekend.

Speaking at his press conference to preview the clash at Melwood on Friday afternoon, Rodgers said of Gerrard: “He’s definitely ready. We played a behind-closed-doors game here on Monday, which he and a few of the other players that have been out played in.

“Steven’s fine. The most important thing is his availability. He’s a special footballer, Steven, and Wembley is somewhere he knows very well. So whether he plays or doesn’t play, he’ll be a very important member of the squad for us on the day.

“He’s a special player. He still is. He’s been, throughout his time here, an incredible player who has, in the main, in the big games, produced big goals and big moments.

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“He always produces a great contribution to the team. So the most important thing was having him back. But he knows Wembley very well and he’s someone who has got that special quality.”

Aston Villa vs Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final gets underway at 3pm on Sunday, 19th April 2015 and is live on BT Sport 1 in the UK.

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