Liverpool’s hopes of getting out of their Europa League group have suffered a blow after it was confirmed captain Steven Gerrard would not make crucial clash on Thursday night.
Brendan Rodgers’ side must win away at Udinese if they want to guarantee qualification, but they will have to do so without inspirational captain Gerrard as he has been struck down with an illness.
The 32-year-old was unable to travel with the rest of the Anfield squad on Wednesday as they flew over to Italy and Rodgers will now be sweating over his availability for the trip to West Ham United on Sunday.
Gerrard will be needed for that game as star man Luis Suarez is suspended and Liverpool’s attacking threat has been minimal outside of the Uruguayan.
Suarez is expected to be in the starting line-up against Udinese and it will be the first time he has appeared for the Reds away in the Europa League this season, with Rodgers preferring to rest his key men.