Balotelli set to start for Liverpool again - but stats show his Anfield start is WORSE than Andy Carroll's

Brendan Rodgers will reportedly keep faith with the Italian against Hull City. But the stats don't look good...

So Brendan Rodgers is set to start Mario Balotelli against Hull City, according to reports.

Both the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror suggest that Liverpool will keep the Italian in their starting XI, which can be seen either as a disaster or good management...

But would Rodgers reconsider if he realised that Balotelli's Anfield career has got off to a worse start than the man he sold - Andy Carroll?

 2011/12 GoalsAssistsDribbles WonAerial Duels WonSuccessful Final-Third PassesShotsAppsMins
Andy Carroll 1 0 2 28 38 18 7 467
 2013/14 GoalsAssistsDribbles WonAerial Duels WonSuccessful Final-Third PassesShotsAppsMins
Mario Balotelli 0 0 2 3 38 30 6 426

Indeed, as Opta stats show, Balotelli has struggled more during his first few Premier League games for the Reds than Carroll did during his first season on Merseyside.

The 25-year-old is now at West Ham, after Rodgers himself lost faith in the striker. Granted, he offloaded Carroll to the Hammers because he felt he didn't fit in with his style of play - but does Balotelli?

The Italian has failed to score or assist a goal in his first six appearances, while Carroll at least scored once in his opening few games. The latter did make one more start during Liverpool's first eight games with him in the squad but still only played a few more minutes and still took 12 less shots.

Interestingly, the pair completed the same amount of final-third passes and dribbles - but West Ham United man Carroll was far superior in the air.

Rodgers will hope, though, that Balotelli can produce something out of nothing against Hull. But will it happen?

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