by Tom Allen
It was a terrific opening weekend of the new season in the English Premier
League and the next set of fixtures promises to be even better.
Having beaten Reading 4-2 on Tuesday it is Chelsea, with six points, who
currently lead the way and their match versus Newcastle on Saturday evening
catches the eye.
The standout fixture is at Anfield 24 hours later however where Manchester
City, fortunate to beat a spirited Southampton 3-2 at Eastlands last weekend,
are the visitors.
While Roberto Mancini would have been delighted with the three points, having
trailed during the second half versus the newly promoted Saints, his opposite
number on Sunday, Brendan Rodgers, saw his side humbled 3-0 at West Bromwich
Albion and the Northern Irishman has a sizeable task on his hands on Merseyside.
That opening defeat at The Hawthorns doesn't bode well for Reds fans and,
with Arsenal and Manchester United to follow the visit of the Champions, Rodgers
could come under pressure very quickly at his new club.
With Daniel Agger suspended following his dismissal against The Baggies,
Rodgers must be dreading the visit of the most potent forward line in the top
flight but Sergio Aguero's absence through injury is a boost.
That said, City have an astonishingly talented squad from which to field a
starting line up and Mancini will be none too fussed calling upon either Edin
Dzeko or Mario Balotelli to partner Carlos Tevez in attack.
Boasting Yaya Toure, David Silva and Samir Nasri in midfield, among others,
City are tipped to overrun a lightweight Liverpool central area if Steven
Gerrard plays in an advanced position and it could well be a long afternoon for
new Reds signing Joe Allen, too, against such experienced campaigners.
Allen followed Rodgers from Swansea to Anfield but Liverpool's home record
last season was poor, drawing nine matches and losing four en route to an eighth
place finish, and the value in the match odds undoubtedly lies with the away
Thumping wins at White Hart Lane and, famously, Old Trafford last season
showed the rest of the Premier League just what Manchester City are capable of
on the road on their day and the 7/5 with Bet Victor and Coral about them
maintaining their 100% start seems generous.
2pts Back Manchester City (vs. Liverpool) @ 2.40 (Bet