Liverpool face the challenge of bouncing back from their opening day defeat as they welcome Premier League champions Manchester City to Anfield.


Two clubs who have experienced contrasting fortunes over the last few years face each other. Liverpool, once the kings of Europe, now struggle to qualify for the Champions League. Manchester City, meanwhile, have risen from a mid-table club to become the best in England under Roberto Mancini, thanks to the financial muscle of their Abu Dhabi-based owners.

The Reds will be desperate to bounce back from their disappointing 0-3 defeat at West Bromwich Albion last week, while the Citizens came back from a goal down to beat newly promoted Southampton 3-2 at the Etihad. Brendan Rodgers had one eye on the visit of the champions when he rested several senior players for the midweek Europa League tie against Hearts. And with games against City, Arsenal and Manchester United, plus a tricky trip to Sunderland, all coming in the space of a month, the new Anfield boss is facing a baptism of fire.

Liverpool Striker Luis Suarez
Liverpool will be hoping for a special performance from Suarez Reuters

Team News and Tactics

Liverpool: Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson will return to the starting line-up after missing out the trip to Edinburgh. Jose Enrique could also be back in contention after missing the West Brom game due to a knock sustained in training. Daniel Agger is serving his one-match ban after being sent off at the Hawthorns and Nuri Sahin is ineligible, while both Andy Carroll and Joe Cole, who have hamstring problems, are unlikely to feature.

Pepe Reina will continue in goal and if Enrique, who has a late fitness test, makes it the Spaniard and Johnson will be the Reds' full-backs. But if the former Newcastle man is out, then Johnson will shift to the left and Martin Kelly will play on the right. Martin Skrtel will surely be in the centre, and after the horror show by Jamie Carragher against Hearts, there's speculation that Sebastian Coates will partner the Slovakian against the English champions.

The midfield is the key to Liverpool's chances and Rodgers is likely to go with his first choice trio of Lucas, Gerrard and Joe Allen. Luis Suarez will lead the attack, with Fabio Borini and Stewart Downing lining up alongside him up front. Borini might be on tired legs after starting against Hearts, but there are not many options, unless the manager decides to hand new winger Oussama Assaidi or youngster Raheem Sterling - who impressed midweek - a chance.

Carlos Tevez
With Aguero out, Tevez will lead City's attack Reuters

Manchester City: The Citizens have enormous depth in their ranks and Mancini always has strong squad available for selection. So even if the Italian will have to make do without the services of Sergio Aguero, who injured his knee against Southampton, Gareth Barry and Micah Richards for this tie, he will have enough selection head-aches.

The backline against Southampton featured Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott and Gael Clichy lining up in front of Joe Hart and there's no reason to expect anything different for this game. With Barry out, either Jack Rodwell or Nigel de Jong will partner Yaya Toure in the centre of City's 4-2-3-1 formation. Edin Dzeko came on for Aguero and scored last week and the Bosnian should be able to see off competition from Mario Balotelli to play in front of Carlos Tevez. The attacking quartet will be completed by David Silva and Samir Nasri on the flanks, with James Milner giving them competition for a spot.

Probable Line-up:

Liverpool (4-3-3): Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Coates, Enrique; Allen, Lucas, Gerrard; Borini, Suarez, Downing

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Rodwell, Yaya Toure; Silva, Tevez, Nasri; Dzeko

Where to Watch Live

Kickoff is set for 4pm BST and the match will be shown live on Sky Sports 1.