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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Gerrard worry for Liverpool boss

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez could be without captain Steven Gerrard for next week's Champions League qualifier against Standard Liege.

The England midfielder suffered a thigh strain in tonight's 4-1 friendly victory over Norwegian side Valerenga.

Gerrard limped off in the first half of Liverpool's comfortable victory and Benitez hopes he will recover in time to face the Belgians, but he cannot yet be inked in for the game on Wednesday week.

'It is a thigh strain. We need to wait but it could be one week,' Benitez told www.liverpoolfc.tv.

Liverpool would not want to take any risks with Gerrard, however his presence against Liege would be welcome as the Reds attempt to take a big stride towards the group stages.

Goals from Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, David Ngog and Yossi Benayoun carried Liverpool to a comfortable victory against Valerenga, three days after they hammered Rangers 4-0 at Ibrox.

Benitez said: 'It was another good work-out. It was a good game, with four goals for us and good play.

'But the players aren't 100% yet - that would be difficult right now. The other team were fitter than us but you could see we were passing, pressing and the understanding between the players was better. I am really pleased with the result.

'Normally when you have quality, when you are playing well and creating chances, you will score goals.'

Liverpool's next opponents will be Lazio, who visit Anfield on Friday in a match Gerrard appears sure to miss.

However Benitez is optimistic about the talent emerging at Anfield, and has hailed his scouting network for finding players such as 19-year-old Ngog, the summer recruit from Paris St Germain.

'They are finding players like Ngog, players with quality who are not a high price,' said Benitez.

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