No protection for Balotelli – Rodgers

By on November 1, 2014

Brendan Rodgers has downplayed the need for him to provide some protection for his misfiring Italian Mario Balotelli against other Premier League players. Balotelli is widely known to be bad-tempered and it was even reported that the striker was required by Liverpool to sign a clause on his contract that will ensure that any misdemeanour on his part will be solely borne by him alone.

During the Reds league cup victory over Swansea City, the Liverpool forward had a clash with one of the Swans midfielder Jonjo Shelvey but the Anfield boss was quick to play down the actions of the Italian. Rodgers was quoted by Goal to have said: ‘I don’t have to protect Mario, he’s fine. There is no concern.’ Obviously the manager will have much more on his mind now than to be worrying over any altercation between players especially one that is already under-fire for performing far below expectations.

The manager will have no choice but to deploy Balotelli against Newcastle this weekend with Danny Sturridge still out injured. For several weeks now, Sturridge has been out with an injury and although he has been recovering quite nicely, Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that the striker won’t be fit enough in time to face Newcastle and Fabio Borini will be the one who gets to play instead.

Apart from the misfiring Balotelli and the injured Danny Sturidge, another player Jose Enrique will also be missing this weekend. The Liverpool boss also took the time to praise Newcastle who subdued the current Premier League champions. Goal further quoted the manager to have said:

Jose is still not available.’ It’s an issue with his knee, but we have no other fresh concerns. Newcastle were outstanding at Tottenham and thoroughly deserved their win at Man City. I know Alan is a top class manager. He is experienced and talented. He has over 600 odd games now. I think the division as a whole is tight. Newcastle have some momentum, but we are coming into the game with confidence.’

Mario Balotelli will be hoping to at least get his first league goal when he faces Alan Pardew’s men so he can reassure the manager and thousands of Anfield fans that the gamble they made on him could still pay off.

By Tomilayo Alapinni

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