Aug 31, 2014, 7:44 AM EDT
The Mario Balotelli Show returns to the Premier League on an appropriate stage: the city of London.
Liverpool travels to White Hart Lane in England’s capital at 8:30am ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
Balotelli, still just 24 years old, returns to the English top flight after leaving Manchester City just two years ago for his home country of Italy, a move which he said he regrets.
Back in the league where he launched “Why Always Me,” Balotelli is in the starting lineup for his new club, starting up front next to Daniel Sturridge to form a potentially new partnership in the absence of former partner Luis Suarez.
Elsewhere in the Reds starting lineup, Brendan Rodgers has shaken up his defense after allowing a trio of goals to the defending champions Manchester City last week. Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson are both unfit to play and are not in the starting lineup. In their places, Javi Manquillo and Mamadou Sakho slot in the lineup, with Alberto Moreno passing a fitness test and former Southampton player Dejan Lovern rounding out the back four.
Spurs have a new signing of their own in Federico Fazio, but he cannot make the Spurs squad for this big matchup. With the central defender not ready to go just yet, Younes Kaboul will wear the captain’s armband while Mauricio Pochettino still decides on a permanent skipper, and plays next to Jan Vertonghen.
The lineups from Pochettino is an unchanged from a team that was victorious at Loftus Road last season.
This fixture last year doomed Andre Villas Boas to the sack, as Liverpool stormed Spurs 5-0 at White Hart Lane, and again 4-0 at Anfield in the reverse fixture, so things can only go up for Spurs against fellow top-four candidates.
Tottenham: Lloris; Dier, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb, Capoue; Chadli, Eriksen, Lamela; Adebayor.
Bench: Friedel, Chiriches, Davies, Dembele, Holtby, Townsend, Kane.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Manquillo, Moreno, Lovren, Sakho; Gerrard, Allen, Henderson, Sterling; Sturridge, Balotelli.
Bench: Jones, Enrique, Toure, Lambert, Coutinho, Can, Markovic.
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