Rickie Lambert should '100%' be starting ahead of Mario Balotelli, says Gary Neville

Lambert added to his Liverpool total against Ludogorets last night

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The Independent Online

Rickie Lambert should "100 per cent" be playing ahead of Mario Balotelli at Liverpool, according to Gary Neville.

The Manchester United great believes that Lambert, a summer signing from Southampton, deserves to keep his place in front of Balotelli.

Lambert started for the Reds in their 2-2 draw with Ludogorets in the Champions League last night, with Balotelli out injured with a groin strain.

The England striker has scored two goals in his last two appearances for Liverpool, the same amount as Balotelli in his 14 Reds; appearances.

The Italian striker is expected to be available to available for the Premier League game against Stoke on Saturday, but Neville says  he should not be playing ahead of Lambert.

Mario Balotelli has faltered at Liverpool

"He should be playing 100 per cent ahead of Balotelli," he told Sky Sports.


"The Liverpool players will want Rickie Lambert. He's someone to play off and make movements. He deserves to keep his place. He brought people into play and showed a good touch."