Can Reds resist might of City?
LONDON - Since the formation of the Premier League two decades ago, Liverpool have been classed as one of the division's "Big Four" but their weakening grip on a place among the true elite was eroded further by a woeful start to the new campaign.
The kings of England in the 1970s and 80s have fallen on hard times after seventh, sixth and eighth-place finishes in the past three seasons and Sunday's visit of champions Manchester City follows an opening day 3-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion.
The club's American owners hoped for a return to the eye-catching passing that was a hallmark of their glory years when they appointed new manager Brendan Rodgers, whose Swansea City wowed the top flight with their attractive game last term. Their first home league game on Sunday will be a much sterner challenge against the might of City, albeit minus injured striker Sergio Aguero.
Rodgers had rested most of his big names for yesterday's Europa League play-off first leg at Scotland's Hearts and reckons Roberto Mancini's City are in for a rough ride at Anfield.
Left-back Jose Enrique could return from injury for Liverpool while City are set to choose between Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli to partner Carlos Tevez up front after Aguero's knee injury in their 3-2 opening win over Southampton.
The other standout game of the second weekend of the Premier league season sees European champions Chelsea at home to last season's surprise packages Newcastle United tomorrow.
Both teams started with respective victories over Wigan Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur, while Chelsea also beat Reading 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Manchester United, pipped to the title by City on goal difference last term, opened with a 1-0 defeat at Everton and new striker Robin van Persie will be itching for a first start when Alex Ferguson's men host Fulham tomorrow.