Brendan Rodgers: Chelsea and Arsenal are strong, but Manchester City are favourites

Brendan Rodgers says that Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are his side's major rivals for the Premier League title this season.

Brendan Rodgers has picked Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal as the three sides who can challenge Liverpool for the Premier League title this season.

The Reds boss feels that City are rightful favourites to retain their crown, but concedes that both Arsenal and Chelsea look strong this season.

“City are the champions and I think you have to regard them as favourites for the title,” he is quoted as saying by Liverpool's official website. “They'll probably look at themselves and think with the squad they've got and the additions they've made they'll expect to be up there.

"Chelsea will be strong and Arsenal have strengthened so it's looking like being a really competitive league this season."

Chelsea brought in Filipe Luis, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas in an eye-catching summer and have arguably been the most impressive of all the title contenders so far.

Although it is still very early to make assumptions, their performances against the newly promoted duo of Burnley and Leicester City have been very encouraging.

Confidence is also high at the Emirates Stadium, but Arsenal have rather faltered out of the blocks with a couple of mediocre displays.

Despite picking up four points from their first two fixtures, Arsene Wenger’s men have been slightly off the pace and will have to improve if they are to mount a serious title challenge.

Liverpool, meanwhile, take on City tonight in a clash between last season’s top two. Rodgers’s side visit the Etihad Stadium and will be looking to put a marker down by landing the first big blow of the season.

The Reds are without Luis Suarez this season - he left Liverpool to join Barcelona - but they are still hopeful of retaining their top four squad and the imminent arrival of Mario Balotelli has increased confidence.

There is a heightened expectancy around Anfield this season and, despite the fact Balotelli cannot play tonight, the Merseyside outfit will be looking to continue this momentum.

Liverpool started the season with a 2-1 win against Southampton, but know they will have to show an improvement on that display if they are to get anything from a tough test this evening.

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