BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
Venue: Anfield Date: Sunday, 26 August KO 16:00 GMT
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will return after being rested for the Europa League tie against Hearts.
Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson should also be back, but Joe Cole may miss out and Daniel Agger is banned for his red card last week.
Defending champions Manchester City are without last season’s top scorer Sergio Aguero, who has a knee injury.
Gareth Barry (stomach) is set for a reserves outing but Micah Richards (ankle) is still out of action.
Defeat is virtually unthinkable for Brendan Rodgers’s Liverpool; should they lose, he would be the first boss at Anfield since Bill Shankly (in December 1959) to be pointless after his first two league games.
Still, Shankly didn’t do too badly in the end – and former Swansea manager Rodgers is not lacking in ambition, however slowly he insists it might take to build his own empire.
Hosting the Premier League champions is perhaps the toughest assignment they could face in their first home match.
Though the faces may chance in the odd position, Manchester City have an established unit and need only minor adjustments to better last season’s winning formula – Jack Rodwell, for example, could do with a dose of Nigel De Jong’s snappiness in the tackle, but he looks to be a better player with the ball.
Conversely, Liverpool are essentially starting from scratch.
Rodgers is determined to instil the passing sensibilities he so brilliantly endowed Swansea with. He is insistent they will not cut corners, and results could suffer in the short term. That 3-0 opening day defeat at West Brom was proof enough and, additionally, the Northern Irishman is still desperately putting the finishing touches to his squad for this season.
So the hosts have it all to do, and Roberto Mancini’s City – with David Silva pulling the strings and a strong choice of striking options to choose from, despite the absence of Sergio Aguero – will be determined to beat Liverpool at Anfield for the first time since winning 2-1 in May 2003, when Nicolas Anelka scored twice for the Blues in the final 20 minutes.
Manchester City have not beaten Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League since winning 2-1 in May 2003 (a run encompassing nine matches without victory).
Liverpool have won half of the past 20 Premier League games between the two clubs, compared to Manchester City’s four.
Liverpool have lost 10 of their past 15 Premier League games.
They have only won one of their past five Premier League games at Anfield (4-1 versus Chelsea).
No full-time Liverpool manager has ever won his opening Premier League match in charge of the club (three draws and four defeats).
City have won their last three competitive games by a scoreline of 3-2.
They only conceded 17 goals away from home last season.
Roberto Mancini’s side are now unbeaten in their last 29 Premier League home games, winning 27 and drawing two since a 2-1 defeat by Everton in December 2010.
Carlos Tevez is now two goals away from becoming the first player to score 50 times in the Premier League for Manchester City.