Rose is on-loan at Sunderland from Spurs.
He told The Journal: "I have to be honest with you about Mario Balotelli; I like him.
"He is definitely entertaining and, for me, the most entertaining thing he's done so far is when he took off his shirt after scoring for Italy against Germany in the European Championships semi-final.
"He does get a bit of negative press, but that might be a sign that everyone secretly likes him.
"I do get a buzz from playing against people like him and the other City players.
"You should always want to raise your game against the champions. It's also an early kick-off because it's on Sky so a lot of people will be watching. It's a massive game. I would say that City have probably got the best starting eleven in the league. They are all world-class players."