Liverpool v Aston Villa: Balotelli boosted to score first

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The absence of Daniel Sturridge is a cause of concern to Brendan Rodgers and the majority of Liverpool fans, but two people who could be laughing come Saturday evening is Mario Balotelli – and you.

That’s because Ladbrokes is at it again with another price boost special that has seen the Italian move from 3/1 to 4/1 to score the first goal of the game against Aston Villa in their late 5:30pm kick-off at Anfield.

In reality, Sturridge’s injury could prove to be a blessing in disguise for both Balotelli and any punters planning to get on these great odds.

With the England man out of the first-team, Balotelli will most likely take centre stage in the Liverpool attack, something which could help the 24-year-old get off the mark for the Reds.

The Italian scored 14 goals in 30 Serie A games for AC Milan last season at a rate of just under a goal every two games for the Rossoneri in the league.

Having failed to get off the mark in an otherwise solid debut display for the Reds against Tottenham two weeks back, his track record would suggest Liverpool fans could be in store for a goal or two this weekend.

He certainly has a habit of finding the net in big games, having scored the winner for Italy against England at the World Cup this summer.

And Balotelli will be keen to make a good impression on his Anfield debut, though his track record certainly suggests he is capable of doing just that, having scored on his San Siro bow for AC Milan following his move to the Rossoneri from Manchester City.

With Liverpool finding the net in each of their last six competitive encounters with Aston Villa, all roads point to a home debut to remember for Balotelli – just make sure you don’t miss out on making it a weekend to remember with Ladbrokes.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.