Mario Balotelli-Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers, manager of Liverpool, talks with Mario Balotelli during a training session at Melwood Training Ground.Getty

Liverpool players are reportedly frustrated by the favouritism shown by their manager Brendan Rodgers towards striker Mario Balotelli, according to the Mirror.

The Italian international was signed from AC Milan for £16m in August. Since joining the Merseyside club, he has featured in nine Premier League games and is yet to score a goal in the league for the Reds.

Daniel Sturridge has been out of action since last featuring for Liverpool during their victory over Tottenham Hotspur earlier in August. The England international is expected to spend a few more weeks on the sidelines after sustaining a new injury.

With the former Chelsea man missing most of the Reds' league fixtures, the Northern Irishman has started Balotelli ahead of Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini despite the Italian's poor run this season.

Liverpool stars are reportedly frustrated with Rodgers' decision to field the former Manchester City striker despite failing to score in the league. The Mirror claims the senior players at Anfiled are worried over their manager's decision to start the goal-shy striker.

"There is a growing sense of frustration. It seems no matter how badly Mario plays, he's in the team. It's almost like the manager is trying to prove a point, playing him until he scores," a source close to the players was quoted as saying by the Mirror.

The Reds make a trip to London as they face Crystal Palace for a Premier League clash on Sunday. The Daily Mail reported that Balotelli was spotted in Liverpool watching a boxing match between Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

It is likely that the underperforming striker will be left out of the squad when Rodgers' side take on the Eagles on Sunday. Lambert could start for Liverpool on Sunday and they would be hoping the England international could score his first goal for Liverpool.