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Balotelli Expected Fit for Palace

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Despite being sent home from Italy duty with a hamstring problem, Liverpool's medical staff believe Mario Balotelli will be fit to face Crystal Palace.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Given Liverpool's issues at striker this season and with injured internationals pretty much every season, news of Mario Balotelli's injury while on Italy duty felt a touch inevitable. Following clarification from the Italy camp that it was inflammation issue and not a more serious strain or tear, though, things started to look up.

They're looking a little better for the striker today, as with Liverpool's medical staff having examined him, it is believed that Balotelli will be fit to face Crystal Palace on the weekend. It's news that should make it a little easier for Brendan Rodgers to ease Daniel Sturridge, who is also expected to be fit for the weekend, back into action.

After missing two and a half months, Sturridge's return has begun to take on an air of expectancy amongst fans. The club has struggled to score in his absence, and his single goal this season—scored against Southampton in the season opener—means that half way through November he remains the club's top scoring striker.

That doesn't necessarily say a great deal about Balotelli's effectiveness, but for many the problem lies less with the player—who appears to be working hard and has shown signs he is attempting to alter his game—and more with Liverpool's manager. And so whether Rodgers has figured out the answers to Liverpool's scoring woes during the international break is the real question.

Neither of Liverpool's two big name strikers working their way back from injury issues this week are going to be able to solve this side's issues on their own. Their availability, though, at least gives hope that Rodgers now has the tools on hand to get Liverpool's attack firing again.