By Tom Finn

Liverpool defender Kolo Toure feels that the upcoming crucial Champions League clash with Basel will be the perfect match for rested Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard came on for the final quarter of the disappointing 0-0 match against Sunderland on Saturday and showed by his display why there will always be questions whenever he is left on the bench.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror ahead of Tuesday night’s Group B decider Toure said: “The game against Basel is made for Steven Gerrard, of course – he is a man of great days!

“He makes a difference, if I can say he makes the magic when nobody can make it, that’s why he is one of the best players in the world,” the former Arsenal star explained.

“His age is nothing, for me it doesn’t matter. People just keep talking, but if you have a player like that in your dressing room he is very important. With his experience, he makes a difference. Today he came on, he made a difference.

“He was there, he was making some amazing passes and you could see the energy he brings to the team. Players like that, they don’t need to play 90 minutes to make a difference, he only needs 20 minutes, 30 minutes to make the difference.

“For me, I am really happy to have him as a captain first, and as a mate, because he is a great, great player.”

It was obvious to all watching the Sunderland game that Gerrard made a huge difference when he came on and linked up particularly well with Raheem Sterling who in the absence of the injured Daniel Sturridge looks to be the Reds only real threat up front.

Even Sunderland manager Gus Poyet commented on Gerrard’s impact when he came on for the last 20-minutes saying:

“It would be very easy for Brendan to play Gerrard 90 minutes every game but then lose him for a month with an injury.

“It is tough. Of course, when he came on, it wasn’t just the players who were affected. The crowd, the atmosphere – everything changed,” he said.

“That is when we started suffering as Liverpool were coming at us from everywhere. Listen, he is special. He is a player who with his presence on the pitch makes the whole place better. So it was good news when Brendan never played him. I was quite pleased!

“You are going to be lucky. I am going to tell you a little secret. We checked Gerrard playing in front of the back four and we checked him playing off the front man.

“We watched it on the video, the difference between Liverpool when they play with him at the back or at the front. Then he wasn’t playing and some of our players were saying “thanks for that gaffer! Well done on the videos – all that work for nothing!”

“So we were getting ready for it but it was good, you know? He is special so when you show your team the sheet and you see he isn’t playing? Phew. It is good news. The (Sunderland) players wouldn’t have been very impressed with their manager.”