Team News: Mario Balotelli keeps place in Liverpool starting lineup

Liverpool's Italian striker Mario Balotelli plays during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane in London on August 31, 2014
© Getty Images
Mario Balotelli keeps his place in the Liverpool side for tonight's Champions League clash with Real Madrid at Anfield.

Mario Balotelli has retained his place in the Liverpool starting lineup for tonight's Champions League clash with Real Madrid at Anfield.

The striker's place in the side was thought to be under threat following his recent struggles in front of goal, but manager Brendan Rodgers has kept faith in the Italian.

Rodgers has made a total of three changes to his team after seeing them beat Queens Park Rangers on the weekend, with Alberto Moreno, Joe Allen and Philippe Coutinho all earning recalls.

Madrid are without the injured pair of Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos, but Cristiano Ronaldo, Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema all feature for the defending champions.

Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno; Gerrard, Allen; Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling; Balotelli
Subs: Jones, Toure, Manquillo, Can, Lallana, Markovic, Lambert

Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Varane, Pepe, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos; Ronaldo, James, Isco; Benzema
Subs: Navas, Khedira, Hernandez, Carvajal, Nacho, Illarra, Medran

Follow Sports Mole's live text coverage of this evening's match here.

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his goal with Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Pepe during the Spanish league football match on October 18, 2014
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