Tottenham vs Liverpool: It's not the 'Mario Balotelli show', insists Brendan Rodgers
The Italian striker is expected to make his Liverpool debut this weekend
Brendan Rodgers insists it's not the "Mario Balotelli show" at Liverpool, despite the £16m signing being in line to make his debut this weekend.
Liverpool take on Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday and much of the focus is on the Italy international who completed his switch from AC Milan on Monday.
Read more: Reds will need Balotelli to recover killer
Balotelli takes seat at the Etihad
Match report: Man City 3 Liverpool 1
However, speaking ahead of the game today, Rodgers was keen not to get wrapped up in the maverick striker. With children at Liverpool's Melwood training ground looking to get a glimpse of the Reds, Rodgers said: “I don’t think they were just trying to get a look at Mario. We’ve got some great players here.
"It's not the Mario Balotelli show. He's talented, but he's got a lot of work to do. The star of this team is simply the team."
The Liverpool manager also revealed how the 24-year-old is settling back into life in England after his 18 month return to Italy.
"Balotelli is a member of the team, he’s top quality, a class act. He’s versatile, he’s settled in well," said the Liverpool manager.
"Mario's fine, he’s settled in very well and looked fantastic in training. Focus very much on his football. He's a good lad."
Liverpool are looking to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat against Manchester City on Monday night. Despite the scoreline, Rodgers believes there are positives to take from the defeat to the reigning champions.
"I analysed the Man City game and we played well, but they had the cutting edge at their attacking end of the field."
He continued: "If you look at our stats since I’ve been here, we’ve been good at bouncing back from bad results.
"We’re not used to losing, without sounding arrogant. We analyse everything from a coaching perspective after, we’ll take positives."
Liverpool will have a hard task against Tottenham who are yet to concede a goal in the Premier League this season and have won all four of their competitive games under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Brendan Rodgers celebrates Liverpool's 4-0 victory over Tottenham last season
However, the Reds may feel confident having won 5-0 at White Hart Lane last term and beaten them 4-0 at Anfield, and as well as welcoming Balotelli into the side, Rodgers revealed Adam Lallana will also be in the squad, although he may not be able to play a full 90 minutes.
"He’s looked good in training but is short of match fitness," said Rodgers of the summer signing.
The match between Tottenham and Liverpool kicks off at 1.30pm.
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