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Balotelli was a nightmare for Tottenham the last time he faced them with Manchester City.
Tottenham's last experience coming up against Mario Balotelli was not a pleasant one.
In January 2012 Harry Redknapp's side were still considered in the title reckoning when they came up against Manchester City. After going 2-0 down at the Etihad Stadium, goals from Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale leveled proceedings.
Defoe narrowly missed a chance to give Spurs the lead, but the difference between a valuable point and a crushing defeat soon emerged in the form of the brilliant but violent Balotelli.
The Italian stamped at a grounded Scott Parker's head, only just avoiding causing some serious damage. Though he was subsequently banned for four games for violent conduct, referee Howard Webb missed the incident during the match. As a result, Balotelli was still on the pitch in stoppage time when he won, and scored the game-winning penalty.
The trip down memory lane is to demonstrate just how big an influence the striker can be. Even when, like in 2012, he was only on the pitch for just over 25 minutes.
If the new Liverpool signing starts this weekend, he will be in his element as the centre of attention.
Consistency may not be chief among Balotelli's qualities, but making a grand entrance is. This is, after all, a player who scored on his Manchester City and AC Milan debuts—against FCU Poli in 2010 and Udinese in 2012, respectively.
With Daniel Sturridge his likely starting partner in the event of Balotelli playing, Liverpool will have no shortage of skill, energy and firepower.
Spurs—particularly their defence—must be alert to the Reds pair's ability to spring to life at any given moment. Not to mention Balotelli's ability to provoke a wide-range of responses, be it with a ball at his feet or otherwise.
The north Londoners could have a debutant of their own if Federico Fazio stars. But be it him, Vlad Chiriches, Eric Dier, Younes Kaboul or Jan Vertonghen who plays in central defence, they must remain cool and ready up against Balotelli.