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Blundering Gerrard caught short with his Europa League squad

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Steven Gerrard was caught short over his Europa League squad as he faces a crisis in central defence.

Connor Goldson was forced to self isolate, missing yesterday’s match at St Johnstone with Filip Helander picking up what appears to be a serious injury.

Jack Simpson came off the bench to replace Helander yesterday but has been left out of the 25-man squad that Gerrard named for the Europa League.

With Nikola Katic on loan at Hadjuk Split it seemed odd that only three central defenders were registered with UEFA although Gerrard spoke yesterday about Simpson facing Lyon on Thursday night.

Covering his post-match interview with Sky Sports, The Sun reports Gerrard saying:

I’m concerned about Helander. He’s with the doctors being assessed. It doesn’t look great. But until we scan it in the next 24 or 48 hours we’re not sure.

We’ve got other defenders who will need to step up if we’re short. I’m hoping Connor will be available for Thursday but if not we’ll go with Jack and Leon (untested 17-year-old Leon) who are more than capable.

Jack Simpson’s ready. I can’t find him enough appearances at the moment but an opportunity might come on the back of this.

Simpson won’t be playing in any Europa League group stage ties, next Sunday’s match against Motherwell is a possibility with suggestions from Gerrard that Helander could be facing a long term absence.

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