Liverpool Team News: Rodgers Reveals Injury Doubt But Confirms Duo Are Available
Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Mario Balotelli is a doubt to face Stoke City this weekend but confirmed Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard are available.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Mario Balotelli is a doubt to face Stoke City this weekend but confirmed Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard are available.
The Reds manager has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this morning ahead of Sunday’s trip to Stoke on the final day of the Premier League season and the Norther Irishman says that most of his squad are fit for selection.
The only player he singled out was Balotelli, who is a doubt with an unspecified injury, but the Italian will be assessed over the coming days to see if he’ll be in contention for the trip to the Britannia.
Much of the talk this past week has surrounded the future of Raheem Sterling with speculation mounting that the 20-year-old could be on the move this summer after his agent was quoted as saying he won’t sign a new deal at Anfield.
Rodgers was predictably quizzed about the situation and was asked whether he’ll leave the youngster out of the squad this weekend, but the Liverpool boss confirmed that Sterling is currently fit so he’ll be available for selection as normal.
The Stoke game marks the end of a glorious Liverpool career for skipper Steven Gerrard as he’ll be playing his last game for the club before starting a new chapter in the MLS.
It was an emotional occasion for the midfielder last week as he played his final game at Anfield but Rodgers says he’s worked hard in training this week and is in contention to face Stoke on Sunday.
Rodgers told Liverpoolfc.com:
How are you squad-wise?
We’ve got most players fit and available. Mario will be a doubt so we will see how he is over the next couple of days but apart from that most are fit.
What impact has this had on your relationship with the player and is he going to be available, or are you taking him out of the first-team picture this weekend?
No, if he’s fit, which at this moment in time he is, he’ll be available for selection like he has been nearly every game.
It’s Steven Gerrard’s last game for Liverpool on Sunday. After the emotion of last week how able is he to take part in the game?
He’ll be very able. I’m sure for Steven it’s been a huge relief. Leading into your last game at Anfield, which has been his home for 17 years, there was probably a whole load of emotion in that last week for him. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the result, our performance level wasn’t what we expected, but I think the crowd and the supporters recognised the moment and gave him a great send-off. So I’m sure for him it’s a huge sigh of relief and now – which he has – he can work well this week and concentrate on Sunday’s game.
If Balotelli is ruled out this weekend, he’ll join Daniel Sturridge and Jon Flanagan on the sidelines as the duo continue to nurse long-term injuries. However, Mamadou Sakho could be in contention for a recall after training this week having recovered from a hamstring injury.
Liverpool go into the final game of the season sitting fifth in the Premier League table but they are just two points clear of seventh-placed Southampton so will need a win to ensure they qualify for the Europa League next season.
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