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Locking horns with an old friend...

Stewart Downing and Steven Gerrard were team-mates for club and country at Liverpool and England

20 July 2019

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Team-mates for both Liverpool and England, Stewart Downing and Steven Gerrard will meet again when Rovers take on Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday.

The pair spent two years together as players at Liverpool, whilst the duo shared a dressing room on numerous occasions when representing England.

Downing, who arrived at Ewood Park on a free transfer from Middlesbrough, has a strong friendship with Gerrard, who is set for his second season as Gers boss.

And previewing the encounter, 35-year-old Downing is looking forward to catching up with his old pal, but admits he's desperate to get one over his former colleague.

“In terms of the quality and the standard, it’s a tough game," Downing, who will also be up against another old team-mate in Jermain Defoe, told iFollow Rovers.

"I don’t think Steven Gerrard would go to Rangers if they weren’t a strong club.

“Steven knows what he wants and he won’t be treating it as a pre-season game. They’re in the Europa League, they’re up to speed really and are a few weeks ahead of us.

“He’s gone there for a reason. They’re a good team with some experienced players. We realise that it’ll probably be our toughest test of pre-season.

“We want to win every game, but there will be a bit of needle in the game as we’re up against some players who we know really well.

“We want to get one over on them."

Having known Gerrard for so long, Stewart confessed that he had a feeling that the Liverpool legend would move into management after hanging up his boots after a stellar playing career.

“You always knew deep down that Steven had it in him to be a manager," he revealed.

“I don’t think he actually said he wanted to be a manager but you always knew that it would be an ideal role for him. Rangers is a great club to start his management career with.

“It’s a big club and he’s done a very good job there."

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