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Report: Liverpool's Mario Balotelli returns to fitness, but Adam Lallana a doubt

Balotelli In Italy Kit

Mario Balotelli could return to the side against Aston Villa, but Adam Lallana is still a doubt for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final clash.

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli could return to the squad for this weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa at Wembley, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The Italian has not been seen in action for the Reds since he made a substitute appearance in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United prior to the international break - though he did play 45 minutes, and scored, in the All-Star charity game the following week.

He has had both a knee problem and illness to contend with during this relatively short absence. Though he may not have been in great form this season - only scoring the four goals in all competitions - manager Brendan Rodgers will be pleased to have another striking option available to him, especially since Daniel Sturridge missed the 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Monday night because of a hip problem.

However, it looks like the Reds will be without Adam Lallana, who has not been seen since he was subbed at half-time during the loss to United.

His time at the club has been hampered by injury and with Jordon Ibe cup-tied, it would be handy to have the former Southampton star as part of the squad on the day, especially if it was just the one goal needed to decide the game in the latter stages.

As a result, if Rodgers is still without Sturridge for this weekend's game, Lazar Markovic could take the place of Ibe.

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