Liverpool vs West Brom team news: Mario Balotelli DROPPED as Rickie Lambert is handed a rare start

Balotelli pays the price for his poor performances of late

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The Independent Football

Mario Balotelli paid the price for his poor performances of late as Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers dropped the Italian striker to the bench, choosing instead to start Rickie Lambert as the Reds continue without the absent Daniel Sturridge.

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Balotelli is yet to score in the Premier League having notched a single goal since his £16m summer transfer from AC Milan, and it appears Rodgers is ready to go with a different path in an effort to record their first league victory in four matches.

Without Sturridge, Liverpool have taken just a single point, and they’ll need to do so again today as the England striker misses out as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury.

Rodgers makes three changes as he brings both Adam Lallana and Alberto Moreno back into the side along with Lambert, with Jose Enrique, Lazar Markovic and Balotelli the trio from the defeat in Basel to miss out.

 

There’s a welcome return for England right-back Glen Johnson on the bench, with the 30-year-old having not played since the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in August.

West Brom are without right-back Andre Wisdom as the England Under-21 star cannot play against the club he is loaned from, so Christian Gamboa comes in to fill and otherwise unchanged Baggies side from the 4-0 win over Burnley last weekend.

Line-ups:

Liverpool: Mignolet; Manquillo, Lovren, Skrtel, Moreno; Gerrard, Henderson; Lallana, Coutinho, Sterling; Lamberts.

Subs: Jones, Toure, Johnson, Lucas, Markovic, Borini, Balotelli.

West Brom: Foster; Gamboa, Lescott, Dawson, Pocognoli; Dorrans, Morrison, Gardner, Brunt; Sessegnon, Berahino.

Subs: Myhill, McAuley, Mulumbu, Blanco, Yacob, Baird, Samaras.

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