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Benitez expects Gerrard back for Newcastle

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is set to play against Newcastle United on Sunday, Reds boss Rafael Benitez told the club’s official website here on Wednesday.

England international Gerrard is back in training following a groin injury and Liverpool will be delighted that their inspirational midfielder looks like being available for the closing stage of their Premier League title pursuit.

The Merseysiders could find themselves kicking off six points behind leaders and bitter rivals Manchester United if the reigning English champions beat Middlesbrough, who in common with fellow north-east side Newcastle are struggling to avoid relegation, on Saturday.

“Steven is doing well and is training with the rest of the team. I think he will be fit and available for Sunday,” Benitez said.

“It is good news for the team and for him because he can be a key player for us over the remaining games,” the Spaniard added.

“Without Steven the squad has been playing well and scoring goals, so that is positive.”

Meanwhile Benitez was adamant he was not contemplating, for the time being at least, getting rid of any member of Liverpool’s squad following reports linking midfielder Xabi Alonso with a move to Juventus.

“I was reading the press and they are talking about different players,” Benitez said. “I can guarantee today (Wednesday) that we are not thinking about selling anyone. All we are thinking about is to do our job and to try and win the Premier League title, if possible.

“After that you never know what can happen in the market. Clearly, at this moment, we are just preparing for winning games.”

Liverpool won the last of their record 18 English league titles – a mark United will equal if they top the table at the end of this season – in 1990 and so have yet to be crowned champions in the Premier League era.

Wed 29 April, 2009
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