Terry Venables believes that Brendan Rodgers will be doing the right thing for Liverpool if he drops Steven Gerrard for tonight’s Champions League clash at Real Madrid.
The Reds boss is expected to name a vastly altered XI for the game at the Bernabeu, with a weekend fixture at home to Chelsea understood to be viewed as far more important with the Merseysiders desperate to get their top four push back on track.
Gerrard, 34, is set to be one of the players to be taken out of the firing line, with the veteran midfielder no longer able to feature three times in one week given his advancing years.
Although the potential decision to sit his captain on the bench as last season’s Premier League runners-up look to avenge a humbling 3-0 loss at the hands of Real has been criticised by some, Venables believes that Rodgers would be right to make the call:
“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Stevie Gerrard is rested for Liverpool’s game in the Bernabeu tonight.
“Quite frankly, they’ve got a far more important match ahead against Chelsea on Saturday.” He wrote in the London Evening Standard.
“Sometimes a manager has to let his head rule his heart: Liverpool were comprehensively outclassed by Real at Anfield two weeks ago and realistically, the chances of them producing one of the shocks of the season by winning in Spain is remote to say the least.
That doesn’t mean they should throw in the towel and not give it a go: they owe that to their loyal travelling fans and to the club’s rich history. But there are plenty of other players at Liverpool who have a duty to perform.
“Sometimes you have to wrap the crown jewels in cotton wool and protect them.
“Do Liverpool want Gerrard to give them another heroic, all-guns-blazing performance tonight and be completely out of the count against Chelsea on Saturday? Which game have they a better chance of actually getting something out of?”