Liverpool line-up v Newcastle – Is this how to get the best out of Balotelli?

first_img1 Mario Balotelli found his shooting boots against Swansea While their performances continue to leave much to be desired, Liverpool’s form book isn’t looking too shabby, with the Redmen having lost just one of their last five in all competitions.Brendan Rodgers’ men left it late in the Capital One Cup in midweek, but it will be hoped that the morale-boosting victory can be translated to the Premier League as the Merseysiders travel to the North East and St. James’ Park to take on a Newcastle United side enjoying their own particular purple patch.The Magpies followed crucial victories over Leicester and Tottenham Hotspur with a surprise scalp of Man City in midweek, prompting the Toon Army support to talk up their chances of adding another top-flight heavyweight to their list.Kop boss Rodgers has no new injury concerns, with Daniel Sturridge still struggling with his battle against a series of injuries (calf), while Jose Enrique (knee), Mamadou Sakho (thigh), Jon Flanagan (knee) and Suso (groin) all remain absent.The big question will once again surround Mario Balotelli. The Italian looked woeful against Hull City last weekend, but he did his confidence the world of good, coming off the bench to score against Swansea on Wednesday.Rodgers will be hoping he can take that into league competition as the former AC Milan striker looks to break his Premier League duck, so expect Balotelli to get the nod in attack on Saturday, but who else will feature in the Reds’ starting XI? 1 While Liverpool looked better defensively against Swansea, expect some alterations from that backline, but given their performances on the flanks, we suspect that both Javier Manquillo and Glen Johnson may retain their positions.Rodgers’ real decision comes in how he sets his attack up. He could play it bold and field two strikers, or stick with a more familiar formation with Balotelli as the focal point of attack.Midfield seems the likeliest area where this match will be controlled and won, so we think Balotelli will lead the line, with Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling either side. However, given his strong showing in midweek, don’t be surprised to see Fabio Borini handed a rare start.Liverpool fans, how do you think you’ll line-up on Saturday? Comment below…last_img read more

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