Fresh from opening his Liverpool account in Europe, Mario Balotelli is being boosted by Ladbrokes to kick-start the scoring at West Ham.
The bookmakers have extended the Italian international’s odds from 4/1 out to 5/1 to pinch the opening goal of the game in the televised Saturday evening kick-off between the Irons and the Reds.
Against Ludogorets in the Champions League, Liverpool’s big summer signing showed exactly why Brendan Rodgers went back on his initial claims by bringing Balotelli to Anfield.
The Azzurri’s number nine showed off all his best attributes in putting the Reds one ahead on the night.
Firstly Super Mario displayed strength to fend off two defenders, skill to set himself and finally a predatory instinct to flick the ball into the far corner with the outside of his boot.
Balotelli’s goal!!! 1-0! https://t.co/8srIpu8Oa0
— Liverpool Vine (@LiverpoolVine) September 16, 2014
Liverpool fans will be hoping for plenty more of this from their new striker, beginning at Upton Park where he’s almost certain to start with Daniel Sturridge still missing through injury.
Last season’s runners-up may have started a little shakily with a pair of wins and losses, but they have a fantastic record against the east Londoners, winning eight of 11 recent clashes, tasting defeat just once.
Aside from the obvious desire to make ground on their title rivals, Balotelli and co have the incentive of breaking a Liverpool top-flight record if they can trouble the scoreboard – something they’ve achieved 33 times in 11 away games.
If they notch one more on at West Ham, that will see them reach 17 consecutive away games in which they’ve scored.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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