Mario Balotelli out of Liverpool's Champions League clash against Ludogrets

Balotelli In Italy Kit

Balotelli missed Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in the Premier League through injury.

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is out of tomorrow's crucial Champions League Group B match with Ludogorets in Bulgaria tomorrow night because of a groin injury.

Balotelli missed Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace through the injury he picked up on international duty with Italy.

It could mean that Rickie Lambert will be given the opportunity to build on his first goal for the club after he scored inside 90 seconds at Selhurst Park.

The other option available to Brendan Rodgers should he wish to use him is Fabio Borini. There is a chance that the Italian will at least play some part given that Lambert played a full 90 minutes for the Reds on Sunday, and as the Reds face a busy fixture schedule, there will be one eye on the next game - which this weekend is a home clash against Stoke City at Anfield.

There is some good news for Liverpool in that vice-captain Jordan Henderson has returned to the squad, along with left-back Jose Enrique after illness and injury respectively. Mamadou Sakho has been pictured returning to training but hasn't travelled as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury.

Despite Balotelli's poor form since arriving at Liverpool, Rodgers will hope the Italian is available sooner rather than later, especially given the injuries that have plagued Daniel Sturridge's season so far. The last thing the Reds will want is their strike force depleted even further.

The Reds' squad is as follows: Mignolet, Jones, Johnson, Enrique, Toure, Lovren, Gerrard, Lambert, Coutinho, Henderson, Moreno, Manquillo, Lallana, Lucas, Can, Allen, Borini, Sterling, Skrtel, Markovic, Ward.

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