Jamie Redknapp: Balotelli will be full of confidence after scoring

The former Liverpool midfielder thinks the Italian will want to extend his tally for the Reds at West Ham this weekend.

Mario Balotelli will be 'full of desire' to score against West Ham, according to Jamie Redknapp.

The Liverpool striker, who joined the Reds from AC Milan for a fee of £16 million this summer, scored his first goal at Anfield during the 2-1 Champions League win over Ludogorets in midweek.

And former Liverpool midfielder Redknapp believes Balotelli's maiden goal will 'do wonders' for his confidence, as well as the team's confidence in him.

"A big boost for him this week, though, was Mario Balotelli scoring his first goal for the club," Redknapp wrote in his Sky Sports column.

"That strike against Ludogorets will do wonders for his confidence but also for the team’s confidence in him. The longer he went without scoring the more they would have started looking around thinking ‘we need [Daniel] Sturridge back’ but that goal should breathe life into him.

"I don’t know what performance we’ll see from him on Saturday Night Football – I’m sure [Brendan] Rodgers and even Balotelli himself don’t know either – but he should be full of desire to score more goals for Liverpool."

Balotelli is virtually guaranteed a starting spot at West Ham, although it is less clear who will play alongside him in Rodgers' starting XI.

Sturridge is not yet back from injury but could return for the Merseyside derby. That means that, during their Premier League clash with the Hammers and Capital One Cup tie versus Middlesbrough, Liverpool will have to use either Rickie Lambert or Fabio Borini.

The other option will be to continue with the 4-3-3 that brought them two lacklustre performances against Aston Villa and Ludogorets, unless Rodgers is prepared to use Sterling as a false nine in what could be considered a bold tactical move.

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