Rickie Lambert
Rickie Lambert has replaced Mario Balotelli in the last four games Getty Images

Adam Lallana has praised teammate Rickie Lambert for how the Liverpool striker is coping up front in Mario Balotelli and Daniel Sturridge's absence.

Lambert has started the last four Liverpool games, scoring two goals, while Balotelli is out after Italian striker was injured on international duty and Sturridge remains on the sidelines.

Having scored a goal during the 2-2 draw against Ludogorets in the Champions League, as well during the 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, the former Southampton star was crucial in the 3-1 victory over Leicester City on Tuesday 2 December, playing a vital role in Lallana's leveller.

"I know the big man will pin his man and he probably just saw me running on to the ball. I just hit it instinctively and it ended up in the back of the net," Lallana said to Liverpool's official website.

"[Lambert] has been brilliant for us in the last four games, coming into the team. He has contributed in every game with a goal or assist. He has worked hard for this moment and his run of games. I always knew he was going to turn the corner, and I'm delighted for him and the team."

After putting behind them a run of five games without victories, with wins over Stoke City at the weekend and the game against Leicester, Lallana hopes to keep the momentum in the match against Sunderland on Saturday 6 December.

"It was a huge result for us and that's back-to-back wins. It builds up to the game at the weekend nicely," he said.

"It's a massive result for us. It has been a big week and we want to finish it well. We have got a great chance to get three points against Sunderland. That's what we'll be aiming to do,

"There were glimpses, especially in attack. I thought Raheem [Sterling] was brilliant again, and Rickie again, and Stevie [Gerrard]. We have got quality to win games, so if we stay in the game like we did, we can push on and hopefully creep up the table."