Lucas and Allen to Step up in Gerrard's Absence

Clive Brunskill

Though he hasn't always been at his best this season, Steven Gerrard's injury leaves a big hole in Brendan Rodgers' preferred midfield, but the manager is confident Lucas and Joe Allen can step up in his absence.

With a match that will be key in determining how successful the first half of Liverpool's season is coming up, Brendan Rodgers faces a string of injury headaches, from Jose Enrique's continuing absence at left back to Daniel Sturridge's injury having depleted the strike force. The name given all the attention this week, though, has been Steven Gerrard, with the captain out for at least a month with a hamstring injury.

Even if Gerrard hasn't always been at his best this season, and even if many had hoped he would be given a few minutes off occasionally both to preserve his fitness and to give time to the likes of Joe Allen and Luis Alberto, losing a regular starter to injury always leads to uncertainty. However, Rodgers is confident that Allen along with Lucas Leiva can step up to fill any void left by the captain's absence.

"Steven is such an important player for us, but we have other players and dynamics in the team and they have to step up," said Rodgers. "Lucas has been excellent for us and he has forced his way into the Brazil side, so he has that quality and experience to step up and take the responsibility [and] Joe looks like he did when he first came here with his movement, his body work, and fluency on the ball and that's what we need right now."

While Lucas and Allen are certain to start against Tottenham on Sunday, Jordan Henderson remains questionable after Kevin Nolan's late, red carded tackle last weekend left the midfielder wearing a protective boot and on the sidelined from practice. However, unlike in the cases of Gerrard, Enrique, and Sturridge, if Henderson isn't ready to go against Tottenham he won't be expected to miss an extended stretch of games.

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