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Balotelli blames Brendan? "I would always go with two strikers"

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has blamed Brendan Rodgers’ tactics for the fact he has struggled to make an impact at Anfield.

Balotelli has scored just one goal – against Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets in the Champions League – since his £16 million summer move from Milan, and says this is partly because he has been asked to play as a lone striker. 

Asked about playing under Rodgers, Balotelli told the Liverpool Echo: “He is very good, a strong character, and I think that comes out in the way the team plays.

“I think he can help me improve as a player. He is very open, everybody can talk to him, but first he looks at the person, and second he looks at the footballer. With Brendan, you need to be a good person."

“I need to get in the box more. I don’t do it enough, but it is something I am working to try to do more. I have never been a real, out-and-out striker – I have always been someone who goes around the pitch, you know?"

“If it was my choice, I would always go with two strikers. It’s the way I like to play, but Brendan asked me to play as the first striker. I understand that when the ball comes from wide on the left or right, I need to be in the box otherwise there might be no-one there at all."

  TeamPosTotal Scoring Attempts per AppGoalsShot Accuracy (%)AppsMins
Mario Balotelli Liverpool FW 4.60 0 30.43 5 336

“I can see already that the Liverpool fans really like me, although I know that maybe they are a little upset because I don’t score. I see they appreciate that I am working hard, though, which is nice for me."

“I know I have one goal in the Champions League, but in the Premier League I have to start with one. After that, I might set myself a target, but I swear right now my first league goal is my first and only objective.”

Throughout the opening few weeks, Balotelli has found himself under the cosh. Having recorded more shots per game than any other Premier League player, he is still yet to find the back of the net for the Reds

Nonetheless, with Daniel Sturridge likely to return to action this weekend, we could see Rodgers deploy a two-man strike partnership, giving Balotelli much-needed support. As the Anfield outfit prepare to face a struggling Queens Park Rangers, the odds of the Italian opening his league account are well and truly in his favour. 

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