Champions League: Liverpool v Real Madrid team news

Mario Balotelli: Could lose his place in the side

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has a decision to make over striker Mario Balotelli for the visit of European champions Real Madrid.

The Italy international has been woefully out of form and has only one goal – against Champions League minnows Ludogorets – so is coming under increasing scrutiny.

Fellow forward Daniel Sturridge is sidelined by a calf injury but left-back Alberto Moreno is expected to return after being rested at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid have confirmed they be without Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos for their trip to Liverpool.

Bale is also a major doubt for Saturday’s first El Clasico of the season against Barcelona due to an abdominal muscle injury.

Ramos has missed the last three games for club and country due to a calf problem, but his absence is more precautionary ahead of the weekend’s clash at the Bernabeu.

French internationals Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane, who missed Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing of Levante due to a fever, have been included in the squad.

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  • October 22, 2014 6:00pm