Roy Hogdson opts to rest Steven Gerrard for Utrecht trip

By Michael Owen
steven gerrard
(Photo: Nicholas Macgowan)

steven gerrard

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE, 30 September 2010
FC Utrecht

Steven Gerrard has not travelled to Holland for Liverpool’s Europa League clash with FC Utrecht on Thursday night.

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson said: “Steven Gerrard we’re sparing because he has a lot of games and we’re always concerned that if he plays three games in a week we might lose him for a longer period. Luckily we have quite a few options in midfield.

“Gerrard was the only one of our first-team squad that we discussed in terms of should he or shouldn’t he play and that has to do with the fact he suffers from back pain.”

Jamie Carragher is expected to be handed the captain’s armband in the absence of the rested Liverpool skipper while Daniel Agger also misses out.

Fernando Torres has travelled, though Hodgson may chose to leave the Spain striker on the bench and start David N’Gog, who scored a brace in Liverpool’s last Europa League fixture against Steaua Bucharest.

Dirk Kuyt, who returned from injury in the Reds’ 2-2 draw with Sunderland on Saturday, is set to face his former club and is looking forward to the occasion.

“It means a lot to go back,” said Kuyt. “They are the club that gave me the opportunity to play professional football.

“I had five years there and really enjoyed it. I was really happy for the opportunity they gave me.

“I don’t know a lot of players there now. There are just two or three that still play for the team, but I also know a few guys who work at the club so it’ll be nice to go back and see them.”

He added: “We want to get a result. If we beat Utrecht in Utrecht, it will be great because we would have six points in the group already and we would almost be in the next round.

“We work every day with this team and know we have the quality. It’s just a matter of time until we get results.”

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