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Dec 5, 2012

Gerrard out of crunch Udinese trip

Steven Gerrard has been ruled out of Liverpool's Europa League decider against Udinese on Thursday evening.

• Blog: In defence of Europa League

The 32-year-old is not part of the squad flying to Italy on Wednesday because he is suffering with illness.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has used his captain sparingly in the competition this season, not including him in the squad at all for the previous two away games against Young Boys and Anzhi Makhachkala.

However, Gerrard had been set to play a vital role in Thursday's final Group A game, which Liverpool must win to guarantee a place in the last 32.

Rodgers' side will definitely be eliminated if they lose, but will go through with a draw if Young Boys fail to beat Anzhi.

The Liverpool manager will also go into the game without midfielder Lucas Leiva and central defender Daniel Agger.

Lucas, who made his comeback in the 1-0 Premier League victory over Southampton last weekend after three months out with a thigh injury, will be rested ahead of Sunday's trip to West Ham.

Agger, meanwhile, will also be given a breather to ensure he is ready for league business this weekend.

But Luis Suarez will travel to Italy, and could start a European away game for Liverpool for the first time.

Suarez, like Gerrard, has been left out of the club's away games in Europe to keep him fresh for the league.

But the Uruguay international is suspended for Sunday's trip to Upton Park after collecting five bookings.

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