Evening Times

Gerrard closing in on Dalglish

- By JOHN McGILL

STEVEN GERRARD will today play his 500th game for Liverpool – and boss Rafael Benitez insists his skipper can clock up another 200 games for the club.

Gerrard will become only the 13th Anfield player to reach the landmark when he leads the team out at Blackburn this afternoon.

Ian Callaghan holds the all-time Liverpool record of 857 games and that is unlikely to be beaten by Gerrard, but he is now just 20 short of Kenny Dalglish’s tally for the club.

He will once again be without his front-line colleague Fernando Torres, who will still not be risked as he recovers from a groin problem, despite having taken part in three training sessions this week.

So again it is mainly down to Gerrard to continue the rescue act to salvage Liverpool’s erratic season and Benitez knows that the England man can do it.

Benitez said: “When Stevie is on top form, Liverpool can beat anyone.”

He added: “To reach 500 games for one club is remarkable.

“Usually good players don’t stay with one club. Bigger clubs with more money tempt them away.

“He is certainly one of the very best players I have ever worked with.

“He has won a lot already in his career, but if we can win even more trophies with him he will go down as one of the greatest players in history.

“He is at a good age and is very profession­al.

“If we can keep him fit he can still play another 200 or more games for this club, hopefully at the same level he has shown for many years now.

“Steven is the kind of player that can make a difference in a game. We want him to keep doing that for another four years or so.”

 ??  ?? Gerrard set for 500th game
Gerrard set for 500th game

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