Lallana to play despite broken ribs

Adam Lallana could feature for Liverpool against Manchester United on Sunday despite nursing broken ribs.

The former Southampton wideman picked up the injury during Liverpool's 3-1 Premier League win at Leicester City on December 2, but has been included in the matchday squad for both games since.

Manager Brendan Rodgers insists Lallana remains part of his plans despite the problem, and believes the 26-year-old's condition is improving.

"He took a nasty injury in the game against Leicester and I didn't mention it because I wanted to protect the player and make sure he wasn't targeted in games," he said.

"He looks fully up to speed. He's obviously had some work done since he's been here and watching him in training, he's been fine.

"He's been available, but not fully fit. He looks much, much better now."

Mario Balotelli could also be involved on Sunday after making a return to full training following a groin injury.

"He's only just back into training, so it's something we'll assess," added Rodgers. "We've still got a bit of time, so we'll see what his fitness is like.

"He's been out for a little while now, but in the last couple of days he's looked good in training.

"We'll give him every chance to see if he can come into the squad."

Kolo Toure is also back in contention after recovering from a groin problem of his own.