Gerrard to make Madrid trip

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been included in the squad to face Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.

Gerrard has been out for three weeks with a hamstring injury but was able to take part in training at Melwood this morning and is poised to travel to the Spanish capital.

The England star was thought to have been close to featuring in yesterday's 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with Manchester City but was ruled out by manager Rafael Benitez late last week.

Benitez told "Steven will be in the squad. He was okay in training this morning.

"It was a special training session so we were not testing him 100 per cent, but he trained okay so we will see."

Gerrard has not played for the Reds since limping out of the FA Cup fourth round replay defeat at Everton on 4 February.

His return would be a huge boost for Benitez after yesterday's disappointment, which saw Liverpool end the weekend seven points behind leaders Manchester United.

Xabi Alonso also missed the match against City through suspension but can return at the Bernabeu, raising the prospect of Benitez being able to select his first choice midfield against the club whose youth teams he used to coach.