The Uruguay international left Anfield to join Barcelona in a €88 million deal earlier this summer, while Rodgers has bolstered his attacking options with a number of signings.
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Although he feels Balotelli is a good signing, Pellegrini believes Suarez’s exit will still be keenly felt at Anfield this season.
"I'm not surprised because I think Mario Balotelli is a very good player," he told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
"He went here from Manchester City to Italy but I think he can play everywhere he wants.
"They will always miss Luis Suarez because he is a very important player, but they have brought a lot of important new players and continue being a very strong squad also.
"We hope to win our three points here at home."
Pellegrini maintains City are not dwelling on last season's Premier League title victory, and insists his side must hit the ground running in their first home game of the season.
"We are just starting this season. Last season for us is finished," he added.
"We are not thinking any more about what happened last season. Different games, different moments but it is very important to start winning our points at home."
City signed Eliaquim Mangala earlier this summer in a €40m deal but Pellegrini has confirmed that the France international will not play any part in the clash at the Etihad Stadium and will join Alvaro Negredo on the sidelines.
"Mangala is just starting working with us so I think that he needs more time to go with our squad," he said.
"All the rest of the squad is fit except Negredo. Sergio [Aguero] needs a long pre-season, that is why he is playing just some minutes during the game but he is available and [Frank] Lampard also.
"Pablo [Zabaleta] and Bacary Sagna and [Vincent] Kompany and [Martin] Demichelis and Fernandinho, they already played. For this week all of them will be not 100 per cent but ready."