Team News: Mario Balotelli starts for Manchester City

Mario Balotelli
© PA Photos
Mario Balotelli starts for Manchester City in tonight's first leg Carling Cup semi-final against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.

Mario Balotelli starts up front in the first leg of Manchester City's Carling Cup semi-final against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium tonight.

The striker has not featured since Boxing Day due to injury.

Captain Vincent Kompany misses out through suspension, while goalkeeper Joe Hart returns in goal for the Premier League leaders.

Gareth Barry also comes back into the side following a one-match suspension.

Steven Gerrard makes a rare start for the Reds following a long-term injury, and Andy Carroll is paired in attack with Craig Bellamy.

Man City: Hart; Richards, Savic, Lescott, Clichy; Barry, De Jong, Milner, A. Johnson, Balotelli, Aguero
Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Hargreaves, Onuoha, Nasri, Dzeko

Liverpool: Reina; Kelly, Skrtl, Ageer, Johnson; Gerrard, Spearing, Downing, Henderson; Carrol, Bellamy
Subs: Doni, Enrique, Shelvey, Kuyt, Carragher, Adam, Coates

Roberto Mancini
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