The Hairdryer

The cheeky, naughty move Gerrard HAS to make

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Liverpool face Sunderland at Anfield tonight very much in the title race and one of the key reasons they are in such a good position is because of the magnificent form of Steven Gerrard.

The England captain has reinvented himself as a deep lying playmaker, and while Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have garnered most of the headlines, it could be argued that Gerrard is even more integral to the way Brendan Rodgers' team is playing at the moment.

However, if Liverpool are to end their 24-year wait for the title, chances are they are going to have to beat Manchester City at Anfield next month and it is hard to see them doing that without Gerrard ticking things over in midfield.

Therefore, Gerrard simply MUST try and get himself booked against Sunderland this evening.

For you see, Gerrard has currently got nine yellow cards for the season and FA rules state that if you get 10 bookings before the second Sunday of April (the day Liverpool play City) you receive an automatic two-match ban.

For the record: Ramires (Chelsea), Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal) and Gareth Barry (Everton) are also all on nine yellow cards.

After facing Sunderland, Liverpool have a home match against Tottenham and an away fixture at West Ham, fixtures that look winnable for Liverpool even without Gerrard.

However, if he does not get booked against Sunderland, but does get booked in either the clash against Spurs or the match at Upton Park then he will be ruled out of that crucial title showdown against Premier League favourites City.

Of course, the ideal situation for Liverpool would be that Gerrard plays the next three matches without getting booked after which point it goes up to 15 yellows before you are eligible for a ban.

However, in a high-octane title race, it is hard to imagine Gerrard stays clean for three matches, especially as most of his bookings have come since playing in his deeper role.

A 'calculated booking' against the Black Cats just might be the best option for both Gerrard and Liverpool so they can get his ban out of the way.

With the Tottenham match on Sunday being Liverpool's third game in the space of eight days, a rest for their captain in that fixture might even be beneficial; a fresh Gerrard would be the last thing City would want to see on April 13.

What tactic do you think Liverpool should employ when it comes to Steven Gerrard and his potential two-match ban? Leave your thoughts below.

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