Liverpool vs Hull City team news: Mario Balotelli starts despite recent criticism

A look at the teams lining up for this Premier League match

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The Independent Online

Mario Balotelli has a chance to quell the recent criticism heading in his direction after being named in the starting line-up for Liverpool's game against Hull City.

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The Italian striker is yet to score in the Premier League for Liverpool and in the midweek Champions League defeat to Real Madrid was ineffectual before being taken off at half-time. That he swapped shirts with Pepe as he left the field only provided more ammunition for his critics.

Yet Brendan Rodgers has kept faith in the £16m signing in the continued absence of Daniel Sturridge.

Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana and Emre Can provide the creative options behind Balotelli whilst Joe Allen starts alongside Steven Gerrard, with the Welshman selected ahead of Jordan Henderson, who is on the bench.

For Hull City, Hatem Ben Arfa and Abel Hernandez, who has three goals this season, will provide the main attacking threats.

Liverpool team: Mignolet, Manquillo, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno, Allen, Gerrard, Can, Sterling, Balotelli, Lallana.

Subs: Brad Jones, Toure, Lambert, Markovic, Johnson, Henderson, Coutinho.

Hull team: Jakupovic, Bruce, Davies, Chester, Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Diame, Livermore, Brady, Ben Arfa, Hernandez.

Subs: Watson, Rosenior, Meyler, McShane, Aluko, Ramirez, Quinn.

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