Football: Gerrard in contention for a place in FA Cup semi-final against Villa

LONDON (AFP) - Steven Gerrard is gunning to lead Liverpool against fellow Premier League side Aston Villa in an FA Cup semi-final at London's Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

The Reds captain, in his final season with the Anfield club, is available after missing the last three matches through suspension, having been sent off for stamping on Ander Herrera during a 2-1 league defeat to Manchester United.

But now the question is how Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will deploy the veteran midfielder.

The Liverpool native has been a one-club man in his 17-year professional career but is set to, come the end of the season, join Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy.

For Liverpool fans, the fairytale finish would see the former England captain lifting the FA Cup on May 30 - his 35th birthday.

Reds' staff organised a behind-closed-doors friendly on Monday to help assess his fitness but Rodgers was in no doubt he could feature against Villa.

"He's a special footballer. He has always produced big goals and big moments. The most important thing is having him back for Sunday," the Northern Irishman added.

Liverpool also have a chance of finishing in the top four and qualifying for next season's Champions League but goalkeeper Simon Mignolet said they should not have to decide between dreams of Europe or FA Cup success.

"The next game is the FA Cup semi-final so the focus is on that but you don't really choose between your mum and dad so we still have two things to play for and we will try to do that from now until the end of the season," he said.