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Chapter Two: AA's Liverpool v. Manchester City Preview

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A meeting with last year's champions is in store following a testy opening day win.

Alex Livesey

UK: 8PM-Sky Sports 1

US: 3PM-NBC Sports

We pay a visit to last years' champions Manchester City in what will surely be a huge early season clash. Both teams won their opening games with far from convincing performances and will need to be up for it if they want to get anything out of the game.

Both Alberto Moreno and Lazar Markovic will be involved in some way as manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that they're both fit to play as the winger recovered from a hamstring problem, while Moreno had been confirmed as a Liverpool player just before last week's clash with Southampton.

Jose Enrique is rumored to have a slight knock and may well not be involved, while Daniel Agger continues his recovery from a knee problem. Jon Flanagan and Adam Lallana are back in full training from their own respective injuries.

Last week's win against Southampton was one that fans of other teams would argue that we didn't deserve, but Brendan Rodgers was quick to point out that the first priority of the opening day was to win, no matter how it was done.

Liverpool's form at the Etihad in recent years means that we'll be unafraid, with a win in the Carling Cup in 2012 before a streak of three 2-2 draws home and away against the Citizens, while we, for many, were unlucky losers in a close 2-1 loss on Boxing day last year.

For City, their 2-0 victory over Newcastle last week came via goals from David Silva and Sergio Aguero, but they seemed to only turn on the style when it was required, and, like us, will look to be more fluid this week.

On the injury front, City only have new signing Equalim Mangala and Alvaro Negredo unfit, as Sergio Aguero played last week after an injury in preseason.

The players to watch will be on the wing - both the aforementioned David Silva, who seems to be able to create chances at the drop of a hat, and Jesus Navas who has pace for days can cause problems, along with the ever-present Yaya Toure.

This proves, without doubt, that, like our team, City live and die by their midfield. And so Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard will have big jobs to do in defense, with Hendo being an especially important player on both sides of the ball.

Other thoughts:

On paper, we should, in my opinion, play Moreno and Manquillo as the wing backs, with either Can or Markovic on the left side of defense. Glen was okay last week, but needs a bit of time out to buck up his ideas. (JAceKopite16)

-Say what you will about our wing backs coming up to support the midfield, and how it may be unbalanced, and you may have a point, but do any of our wing backs stay back anyway? Whether we play Moreno/Manquillo or Manquillo/Glen or any sort of combination, none of our wing backs are known to stay back, nor should we change our system just because it's City, because especially against a team of City's quality, we cannot play scared. (JAceKopite16)

-Who plays on the left side of midfield? With the formation likely pushing Raheem Sterling up centrally, the one to give us the same pace would be Lazar Markovic, while Emre Can could step in after Lucas was far from convincing against Southampton last week. (JAceKopite16)

-I'm really hoping to see Moreno start. While I don't exactly like the idea of him getting his first start against the reigning champs, I definitely like it better than the idea of Glen Johnson playing. I don't want Glen starting any league games, but certainly not any league games against top tier teams. (blunatic)

-I also would really like to see Emre Can get the start. Control of the midfield will likely decide this game, and Can matches up much better with City's mids than Lucas or Allen. Can is a relative unknown, and I think without the focus on him, he could be a real difference maker. (blunatic)

-The City midfield will be powerful, and so I agree with blunatic that Can should start to counteract that. (Dan)

-It'll be interesting to see if Rodgers sticks with the 4-2-3-1 shape. My guess is that Liverpool will line up much differently than they did against Southampton to try and catch City by surprise. (Dan)