Steven Gerrard has irresistible Liverpool opportunity as Man City can lay old ghosts to rest



He may not have realised it yet, given the timeframe of his switch from Rangers to Aston Villa, but Steven Gerrard could do Liverpool a massive favour on the final day of season.

Gerrard completed his switch south this week, leaving Rangers after three years at Ibrox. He won the SPL title last season, upending Celtic’s near decade-long dominance of the Scottish top flight.

It was only a matter of time before Gerrard was tempted into a move back to England. Many have speculated that he is a possible successor to Jürgen Klopp when the German eventually steps down from the Liverpool job, but Gerrard was always going to need another club, preferably in England, as a stepping stone to the Liverpool position.

The leap from Rangers to Liverpool was simply going to be too huge.

Gerrard’s first game as Villa boss will come after the international break, against Brighton at home. Four games later he will return to Anfield, in what is sure to be an emotional game for all concerned. Gerrard will no doubt receive a thunderous ovation from the home support due to his legacy.

However, as the season draws to a close in late May, Gerrard could play a key part in the direction of the title race.

That’s because Man City host Villa on the final day of the season at the Etihad, and given the three-horse nature of the league challengers this season, Gerrard could mastermind a victory that could swing the title towards Anfield for the second time in three years.

Of course, much would depend on the state of play at the time. On the penultimate day of the season, both City and Chelsea face tough away games, with Chelsea having to travel to Old Trafford to play Man Utd, while City face West Ham in East London, which is always a feisty place to go. Moreover, West Ham could be genuinely challenging for a top four finish, and thus will have extra motivation not to give Pep Guardiola’s side an inch.

On the final day, Liverpool face Wolves at Anfield, while Chelsea welcome old manager Claudio Ranieri back to Stamford Bridge (well, if he’s still in a job by then), as they host Watford.

Both those games are clearly winnable, but by no means easy. A Villa victory on the final day, inspired by Liverpool old boy Gerrard, could be the deciding factor in the title returning to Anfield.

A lot has yet to be decided between now and then, of course. Liverpool still have to navigate the tricky period in January, when they’ll lose Mohamed Salah, Sadio Manè and Naby Keïta to the African Cup of Nations. It could be the case that of one of Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea are out of the title picture by April (although highly unlikely, given how good the three teams are).

But just imagine the scenario in which it comes down to a fight between Liverpool and Man City, Pep vs Klopp (again) and Villa do Liverpool a massive favour and win on the final day? It would be another legendary feat by Gerrard, just one more reason for Liverpool fans idolise him.

He may not have won the title as a player for Liverpool, but he may just win it for them as a coach, even if he isn’t the manager, just yet. There is no redemption needed in the eyes of the adoring Anfield faithful, but for Gerrard it is a possible chance to lay old ghosts to rest.





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