Balotelli? Lambert? Why not consider Borini for the visit of Real Madrid?

Fabio Borini

There has been a lot of talk about whether Mario Balotelli should start for Liverpool against Real Madrid, but one person that hasn't been considered is another Italian.

It's fair to say that Fabio Borini isn't well-fancied by Brendan Rodgers to deliver the goods for Liverpool this season, it would explain why he has only made the one start and a total of three appearances since returning from his season-long loan spell at Sunderland.

There has also been plenty said and written about the situation Liverpool have up front since their 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers, when Mario Balotelli put in a poor performance and missed a glaring opportunity to open his Premier League account as a result - as Liverpool look to cope through a busy fixture period without main striker Daniel Sturridge. 

For those who saw Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, you will have seen that former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said the Reds can't afford any passengers in the game against the European Champions, and he's right. 

As part of his team selection, he didn't have a recognised forward involved in his starting XI, and had a front three of Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling leading the attack in order to 'get after' Real.

His reasons sounded plausible, and though Adam Lallana has impressed since showing signs of him reaching full fitness, I would omit him from the starting line-up and introduce him into the action later on in the game, especially if it's a tight game. If neither of Balotelli or Rickie Lambert appeal to start up front, then what about Fabio Borini?

Ok, Liverpool's other Italian forward doesn't have the best goalscoring record but what he does do is work, his attitude is terrific, and is happy to move across the front line. 

Fans of Borini have always advocated his movement and how he can create opportunities for his teammates off the ball, whilst the chances he generally gets for himself are either creating space through movement, or persistence and hard work up against the opposition defence.

Add in the fact that he has the personality to spur on a crowd - which has been earmarked as potentially having an influence on the game in their own way.

What is going to be needed from Liverpool against Real is plenty of intensity and urgency, and it's something Borini brings to the game - and he will allow his teammates to flourish as well. Balotelli and Lambert both have their qualities they can bring to the Liverpool side, but this game just has the feel of a game when someone like Borini can thrive, and possibly make the difference.

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