Jamie Carragher on Liverpool controlling City, Balotelli's best position and more

Former Reds defensive mainstay believes Mario Balotelli's best position is central and that in order to accommodate him, Rodgers will have to tinker.

Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli all provide Brendan Rodgers with options throughout a campaign where Liverpool will be competing on four fronts, but in order to get the very best out of spear-heading striker Balotelli, he must be deployed centrally.

That is the opinion of former centre back Jamie Carragher, who believes the Italian was mis-used during his time at Manchester City as he was often pushed out wide, which is an area of the pitch that does not capitalise on the 24-year-old's obvious strengths - his physical prowess.

Liverpool take on Tottenham Hotspur this weekend and Carragher said: "I think Balotelli will probably start on the bench at the weekend against Tottenham and then come right into contention to start after the international break.

"He is a good option because he can play up front on his own or with Daniel Sturridge and he might do the first one a bit because you don’t always get a full, injury-free season out of Sturridge."

On flexibility and squad depth providing Rodgers with options, Carragher said: "He is always tinkering with systems so there will certainly be a place for Balotelli somewhere, whether as a starter or a key substitute, and a lot of it will depend on the form of him, Sturridge and Rickie Lambert throughout the season.

"However, I am certain he will play centrally because I wasn’t that enamoured with him when he played on the left for Man City and because Liverpool are well stocked in those wide areas these days.

"As for the City defeat, I would not be too worried. I thought Liverpool were in control of the game and looked dangerous until City’s first goal went it and it is always going to be difficult going to the champions’ backyard and facing perhaps the best set of attacking players around when you are still bedding new guys into the side."

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch