Liverpool's Steven Gerrard STILL in the dark on FA Cup semi place.

Reds' MLS-bound captain is available again after suspension but may start what could be his final Wembley appearance on the subs' bench.

Steven Gerrard is sweating over his Wembley place after Brendan Rodgers refused to say if he would start Sunday's FA Cup semi-final.

Liverpool’s talismanic skipper Gerrard is back after completing a three-game ban for his reckless red card against Manchester United.

Rodgers welcomed the midfielder's return, but would not be drawn on whether the 34-year-old MLS-bound star would lead his Reds out to face Aston Villa in what could be his last ever Wembley appearance.

“I don’t really want to talk about that,” said the Liverpool boss. “Steven is available for the squad. This is a game which is for the team and Stevie is available which is great.”

Rodgers organised a behind-closed-doors friendly this week to sharpen Gerrard’s match fitness and says his vast experience will be invaluable to the squad at Wembley.

“He’s definitely ready,” said the Ulsterman. “We had a behind-closed-doors game on Monday in which he and a few of the others who have been out played.

“Steven is fine.

"The most important thing is that Steven is available. He’s a very, very special footballer, Steven. Wembley is somewhere he knows very well. Whether he plays, he will be a very important member of the squad for us.”

Raheem Sterling will start, and Rodgers says the England forward and pal Jordon Ibe have learned they must be more careful.

The Reds youngsters were pictured this week with shisha pipes, while Sterling was also filmed inhaling potentially-lethal laughing gas, and Rodgers has spoken to both of them.

“I spoke to both players, and they’re fully aware of what has happened,” he said. “They’re young players who will learn. I think both young players are aware of their responsibilities. All you can do is continually educate them.”

Rodgers claims last season’s heartbreak in the title race can spur Liverpool on to victory over Villa and a place in the final against Arsenal or Reading, who meet in the other semi on Saturday.

“I always think if you trace back the winners in sport, you see they go close on a number of occasions before they go and step on,” he said. “It’s all part of the journey of being a winner.”

Source: Daily Mirror

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