PICTURE: Carragher's Liverpool starting XI to face Madrid - Shock omission?

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Jamie Carragher would drop Mario Balotelli for the tie with Real Madrid.

Former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher has named his preferred line-up for the Reds' clash with Real Madrid.

Liverpool host the reigning Champions League winners at Anfield on Wednesday, hoping for a repeat of their 2009 match, with they won 4-0.

Real are a hugely different proposition nowadays however, and Liverpool are without first choice striker Daniel Sturridge through injury.

Carragher, remarkably, says he would line the side up without a striker in the team, snubbing £16 million signing Mario Balotelli.

Discussing his choice to omit the Italian, Carragher offered up an explanation, describing it as for the good of the team.

"He doesn't run round enough. You need energy to get the crowd going."

Carragher says he would rather play Raheem Sterling in a 'false 9' position with Coutinho in behind him, also overlooking another new boy, Rickie Lambert.

There is a certain logic in Carragher's theory, but to test out such a bold tactic in such a huge game would be a real gamble by Brendan Rodgers.

Balotelli is a player with a record of performing well in big games, with a Euro 2012 semi-final brace to his name, although there are misses to go along with his successes, as his mixed World Cup showed.

Rodgers must also consider the effect on his morale in snubbing him for such a huge game, and how his temperament could take a serious snub.

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