Mario Balotelli ready to step up, declares ex-Liverpool star
Michael Owen is confident that Mario Balotelli can step into Daniel Sturridge's boots in the coming weeks
Michael Owen believes Mario Balotelli will soften the blow of Daniel Sturridge’s injury with the Liverpool and England striker sidelined for six more weeks.
Sturridge, who netted 25 goals last season, suffered a thigh strain in September, before picking up a calf injury in October.
He returned to training earlier this month, but suffered a new thigh injury, which looks set to rule him out until the new year.
Balotelli also suffered an injury scare while on international duty with Italy and remains doubtful for Liverpool’s trip to Crystal Palace.
However, as well as his Premier League drought, Owen believes Balotelli will revive his and Liverpool’s campaign during the hectic Christmas period.
Owen wrote on Sportlobster.com: “The timing of Daniel Sturridge’s latest muscle injury couldn’t be worse for Liverpool with plenty of big games between now and the January transfer window.
“The only obvious solution is for Brendan Rodgers to get the most out of Balotelli.
“He is more than capable and the upcoming fixtures are not the most daunting.
“It’s a big opportunity for Super Mario to do the business and I think he will.”
Liverpool will look to win their first Premier League match in four games when they take on Neil Warnock’s Palace.
Brendan Rodgers’s side currently sit in the bottom half of the table, despite finishing runners-up in the previous season.
The Reds threw away a three-goal advantage in the space of 11 minutes against the Eagles last season, swinging the title race in the favour of eventual winners Manchester City.
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