UEFA Champions League: Liverpool v Basel
The five-time European champions go into Tuesday night's Group B at Anfield encounter knowing only a victory will be good enough for them to progress.
Having won just five of their 12 home matches in all competitions this season after being held to a goalless draw by Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday, the pressure is on to perform.
Liverpool have also picked up just one point in four Champions League fixtures since opening with a narrow defeat of Ludogorets on Merseyside, but all that matters now is the next game.
Gerrard was again only used as a substitute over the weekend, but Rodgers will unleash the hero of so many great European nights at Anfield on Basel from the outset.
"He was excellent when he came on and, of course, he plays on Tuesday night," said Rodgers.
"Stevie coming onto the field gives us the world-class quality that the team needs and I thought he was brilliant when he came on.
"It can't be up to him every single game to be the catalyst, but it's very hard to replace that quality.
"He's still got that talent, he's got world-class ability and at this stage of his career it's about me managing that, along with him, in order to play in the big games."
Liverpool will again have to cope without injured England striker Daniel Sturridge (thigh), while Italy front man Mario Balotelli has missed five matches with a hamstring problem.
However, experienced defender Kolo Toure is still confident of coming through this crucial test.
"Our game against Basel is a final," the Ivory Coast defender told the club's official website. "We just need to win the game. There's no choice - we have to attack and try to win the match.
"It's going to be a really interesting game for everybody - for the players and for the fans. We need everything that we have got to win this game."
Basel go into the match buoyed by back-to-back away wins over FZ Zurich and Lucerne which extended their lead at the top of the Swiss Super League.
Top scorer Shkelzen Gashi took his tally for the season to 12 goals in 17 games with a brace on Saturday.
Veteran striker Marco Streller, who scored the only goal of the match when these sides met in Switzerland, has also returned to action after a slipped disc.