• Premier League

Balotelli in line for debut against Spurs

ESPN staff
August 27, 2014
Can Liverpool finish among the Top 4?

Mario Balotelli is set to make his debut for Liverpool at Tottenham on Sunday, Brendan Rodgers has confirmed.

Liverpool completed the £16 million capture of Balotelli from AC Milan on Monday, though the transfer wasn't completed in time for the striker to feature against his former club Manchester City later that evening.

Mario Balotelli watched Liverpool's 3-1 defeat at Manchester City from the stands © Getty Images

Balotelli was in the stands at the Etihad Stadium to watch Liverpool lose 3-1, but will be available for selection at White Hart Lane.

"By the weekend [he'll be ready to feature]," Rodgers told Liverpool's official website.

"He's been into pre-season and he's played three 45-minute games. He might not be up to full match speed, but he's looking fit.

"We've done some analysis on him. The medical and sports science team have worked with him already and he's in very, very good condition.

"He's in to work and he'll be available for the squad for the weekend."

Balotelli already appears to already be a hit with his new team-mates, with Joe Allen claiming he is the perfect man to help Liverpool bounce back from their defeat to champions City.

"Mario's a player with massive quality, he has that spontaneous edge about him. He's going to give us a massive threat," said Allen.

"It's a signing that is another great addition and I'm really excited about working with him.

"Our squad has great balance now, strength in depth and there is certainly going to be competition for places in every area.

"Obviously we're disappointed with the result at City but all of us are excited going forward and we're looking to bounce back."

Jordan Henderson is also excited by the prospect of lining up alongside Balotelli.

"Everyone is looking forward to working with Mario. He's very talented and a big player. Hopefully he'll give us a big lift," Henderson said.

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