Daniel Sturridge: 'Mario Balotelli is misunderstood'

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge insists that teammate Mario Balotelli is sometimes "misunderstood".

Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge has insisted that teammate Mario Balotelli is "misunderstood", following the criticism that he has received since joining the club.

The Italian striker has struggled for form in front of goal since moving back to the Premier League this summer, and came in for criticism after swapping his shirt at half time during a recent Champions League match.

The England international told talkSPORT: "Mario has been under the microscope. That will always be the case when you play for a big club. You are going to have a lot of eyes on you.

"Mario's a great guy, and he's misunderstood sometimes. A lot of people are harsh on him. I get on really with him though. I have nothing but good words to say about him. He's working hard on the training field. People have told me he's working tirelessly to play the way we play.

"It's difficult moving to a new club and having new teammates, it doesn't just click straight away. Everybody is helping him and he's playing well. Sometimes you don't get the breaks in terms of scoring goals. Every striker goes through times when they don't score."

Balotelli scored the equaliser during Liverpool's 2-1 win over Swansea City in the League Cup last night.

Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on August 17, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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