Mario Balotelli will start for Liverpool in today’s English Premier League clash at Hull City.
Balotelli will lead the attacking line for the Reds, who are hoping for a victory to cut the deficit between them and Manchester United to four points. Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert are among the substitutes.
Hull City, who are coming off a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, will seek another to strengthen their chance of playing in the Premier League next season.
Meanwhile, Steve Bruce fields an unchanged Hull City side from the one that won at Selhurst Park at the weekend.
Dame N’Doye, who netted a brace in the last outing, will continue to lead the attack.
HULL CITY (Sporting Alert) — Liverpool will try to close the gap between them and fourth place Manchester United with a win at Hull City in the Premier League on Tuesday night.
Watch Hull City v Liverpool Live Streaming on NBCSports Network | Live At 1:00 pm CT
Willing To Fight For Champions League
The Reds are trailing the Red Devils by seven points in the EPL standings, but can trim that lead to four points with a victory and defender Martin Skrtel insists the team has not given up on the chance of earning qualification to the Champions League again next season.
“We have five more games to play and we are ready to fight for every single point,” Skrtel said on Liverpool FC official website at www.liverpoolfc.com.
“We play against Hull City and we need to win this game in order to keep our chances of reaching Champions League alive.
“It will not be easy because they are trying to avoid relegation and we must win this game. But I think we have the quality and we are ready to show it on the pitch.”
Big Striker Problem With Sturridge OUT
But Liverpool will have to continue the fight for points without striker Daniel Sturridge, who again has been ruled out of the trip to the KC Stadium because of a hip problem.
In fact, Liverpool are unsure when the England international will return to action, with several reports claiming that his injury-hit season may have finally come to an end.
Sturridge has missed three games with the problem and his manager is also doubtful about his return date.
“He’s not fit,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said earlier.
He added: “It’s been difficult, Daniel is a good lad who wants to play and help the team but it’s been one of those seasons for him. He’s been very unfortunate and we’ll have to monitor day by day and see where he’s at.
“When he’s been fit, he’s been brilliant, it’s just about getting him back on a consistent basis. Whether that’s this season, or pre-season, has to be seen.”
In other Liverpool team news ahead of the clash, defender Mamadou Sakho (thigh) and midfielder Lucas Leiva (thigh) are expected to miss out due to injuries and fitness worries, but Adam Lallana, who returned after a groin injury as a substitute at West Brom on Saturday is expected to be available from the start.
For the hosts Hull City, manager Steve Bruce will be hoping for another victory, as the battle for survival heats up.
The Tigers are sitting 16th at the moment in the EPL standings, but a poor run in these latter stages could damage their campaign.
In team news, both Mohamed Diame and Andy Robertson, who missed Hull City’s vital win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, are pushing for returns on Tuesday night.
However, David Meyler remains out due to suspension.
Hull (squad): McGregor, Harper, Dawson, McShane, Bruce, Chester, Rosenior, Brady, Robertson, Elmohamady, Livermore, Diame, Huddlestone, Quinn, Hernandez, Aluko, N’Doye, Sagbo.
Liverpool (squad): Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Lovren, Ibe, Henderson, Allen, Moreno, Coutinho, Sterling, Balotelli, Jones, Johnson, Manquillo, Toure, Markovic, Gerrard, Brannagan, Lambert, Borini, Lallana.
Premier League Selects
P Team Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 33 77
2 Manchester City 34 67
3 Arsenal 33 67
4 Manchester United 34 65
5 Liverpool 33 58
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 58
7 Southampton 34 57
16 Hull City 33 31
17 Leicester City 33 31
18 Sunderland 33 30
19 Queens Park Rangers 34 27
20 Burnley 34 26