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Liverpool captain out of both England qualifiers: Who will replace him on the left wing?!

The Reds travel to Aston Villa on Sunday for what should be a real test of their Premier League title credentials. They will come face-to-face with Gareth Barry, a player who was expected to arrive at Anfield this summer, and the Pool midfield will have to combat him without their captain.

The Guardian report that Steven Gerrard will be out of the weekend match, plus England’s qualifiers against Andorra and Croatia, due to him having exploratory surgery. It appears as though a groin injury has been having an impact on his fitness over the past few weeks and the club are keen to try and establish how it can be cured.

“The disappointing thing for us is that Gerrard will have to have a groin operation in the morning,” said a relieved Liverpool manager, Rafael Benitez. “He will be out for around 10 to 15 days. He needs to have the operation because he has been in a lot of pain. We knew he had this problem before he went on international duty with England last week [for the friendly against the Czech Republic] but yesterday I spoke with the club doctor and with Steven and he agreed he needed the operation.”

Benìtez added: “It is not a serious injury. Ten to 15 days is not long but he needs it.”

Reds fans will be pleased to hear that he’s only missing one match for the team, although Villa away is probably a game where they could do with his presence in the middle of the park. As for England, well Capello won’t be able to try and solve the unsolvable by playing Stevie G and Lampard in the same team, although is this a big loss for the national team or a blessing in disguise?

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