The biggest game of the English premiership fixtures took place on Monday evening, as last year's Premier League champions, Manchester City played hosts to the runners up and five times European Cup champions, Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium. Both teams provided entertainment galore last term in scoring over a hundred league goals apiece.

Liverpool stumbled at the very end of a 38 match league season, just as it seemed that they would cast off their 24 year hoodoo, to allow Manchester City to claim their second title in three years. The Reds are not as fancied for the title this year as their well financed opponents, given the "distraction" of Champions League involvement this time around, but have still spent big in the shadow of the sale of their once mercurial striker Luis Suarez.

The Mourinho 'factor' ensures that Chelsea are title favourites with the bookmakers, especially given their and striker Diego Costa's strong start but City will not worry about that given the strong spine to the team that they have established. Hart (if selected), captain Kompany, midfield dynamo Yaya Toure and star striker Aguero (if fit to start) provide a solid base to work around. Add to that the reliable Zabaleta at the back, the silky David Silva just behind the strikers and the forward strength of Dzeko at their disposal and it would be fallacy to bet against them retaining their title. They have ensured that their squad strength has been maintained in the close season by bringing in £32 million defender Mangala and Fernando from Porto, with Sagna slipping in neatly at full back from Arsenal. Who would bet against Frank Lampard’s loan spell having an impact when called upon to come into the team as well? Forward Negredo is a definite non starter against Liverpool as he is currently out of contention with a long term foot injury.

Liverpool, despite last season's "over achievements" remain a work in progress, especially now that Suarez has left. They have bolstered their squad significantly and brought in some interesting talents such as (the currently injured) Lallana from Southampton, whilst moving some experienced players on such as Pepe Reina and making contingency arrangements for the future in Origi's purchase and immediate loan, in the light of the extra European workload. Lovren and Moreno have been brought in with a view to strengthening the defence, an area that they had clear troubles with last time. Home grown Lambert has been purchased to offer different striking options, along with the expected arrival of the enigmatic Balotelli (although the transfer will not be concluded in time for the Man City match), but it would be a brave man indeed that would suggest that they could match the Suarez haul from last season. Whatever the outcome, Liverpool will still have more points from their first two fixtures than the corresponding fixtures last year.


Both the home match to the Saints and the away fixture at City resulted in losses, so they are three points up already! 

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