Brendan Rodgers will play his current attacking hand as Mario Balotelli looms large over Liverpool's Premier League trip to Manchester City.
Enigmatic former City striker Balotelli arrived at Liverpool's Melwood training ground on Friday in the hope of concluding a transfer from Milan, widely reported to be worth £16million.
The Italy international is likely to dominate much of the pre-match narrative, with Liverpool playing a club where he remains something of a cult hero despite a combustible two-and-a-half year stay in Manchester.
Liverpool were unable to conclude a deal by midday on Friday, meaning their prospective new signing cannot feature in Monday's game and the front three of Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge deployed last weekend against
Southampton are set to start once more as the Etihad Stadium provides the backdrop for an early reprise of last season's gripping title battle.
England duo Sterling and Sturridge were both on target in a 2-1 opening win at Anfield and manager Rodgers - who will be without Adam Lallana, Jon Flanagan and Daniel Agger (all knee) - is hopeful of an open contest that will allow such talents to shine.
"If you look at both sets of players, there's lots of invention and creativity - both teams will be creative and want to score goals," he said.
"We know we need to be compact and solid when we haven't got the ball, we need to be aggressive and press well. That's the nature of our game.
"We know we have the freedom, movement and pace that can hurt teams. We understand it's early on, but it'll be a good game for sure. It's been a great start to the league campaign."
The last time the teams met competitively, Liverpool secured a gripping 3-2 victory on Merseyside that looked to have tipped the balance of last season's title battle in their favour.
But City held their nerve, as Rodgers' men dropped points against Chelsea and Crystal Palace, to win a second Premier League crown in three seasons by two points.
Both sides flexed their muscles in a pre-season joust in New York, when Liverpool twice came from behind to win on penalties.
By that time, Luis Suarez had completed his big-money move to Barcelona - a loss City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes will be keenly felt by a Liverpool squad he still rates very highly.
"I watched Liverpool's game [against Southampton] and we played against them in the United States," he said. "We know what they are doing.
"It's difficult to say after one game but Liverpool will always miss Suarez, he was a very important player. They have brought a lot of important new players and continue being a very strong squad also."
City remain without striker Alvaro Negredo due to a broken foot, but Pellegrini has increased options elsewhere as his returning World Cup stars build their fitness.
Pablo Zabaleta or Bacary Sagna are likely to displace Gael Clichy, who featured at right-back in their opening 2-0 win at Newcastle United.
Sergio Aguero came off the bench to complete the scoring at St James' Park and will push Stevan Jovetic for the starting berth alongside Edin Dzeko in attack. New signing Eliaquim Mangala is not yet fit to play.
|35||S. Jovetić||41' 55'|
|Coach: M. Pellegrini|
for David Silva 65'
for E. Džeko 68'
for S. Jovetić 80'
|Exhausted Keane needs a break, says O´Neill|
|Football League Review: Bristol City bounce back|
|Real Sociedad 3 Elche 0: Vela hat-trick gives Moyes first win|
|Marseille 2 Nantes 0: Bielsa´s men stretch lead to four points|
|Freiburg 1 Stuttgart 4: Harnik secures win on Stevens´ return|
|Dordrecht 0 Willem II 4: Armenteros double inspires visitors|
|Bayern Munich turnover breaks half-a-billion barrier|
|Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund: Gundogan demands winning run|
|Milan v Udinese: Inzaghi out to break winless run|
|Pele showing signs of improvement|
|Prandelli axed by Galatasaray|
|Tottenham v Everton: Martinez expects Tottenham to be a force|
|Valencia v Barcelona: Mathieu eyes triumphant Mestalla return|
|Roma v Inter: Campagnaro eyes first-team chance|
|Estoril 3 PSV 3: Wijnaldum puts visitors through|
|Nesta comes out of retirement to join Chennaiyin|
|Messi ´obviously´ not joining Chelsea, says Mourinho|
|Everton and West Ham fined by FA|
|Romario-like Aguero will be decisive, acknowledges Koeman|
|Southampton v Manchester City: Koeman issues challenge|
|Juventus v Torino: Champions target 25 in a row in derby|
|South Africa v Ivory Coast: Squad players get platform to impress|
|McCarthy´s hamstring issues concerning Martinez|
|Rodgers ignoring talk of the sack|
|Mourinho keen to avoid complacency|
|Tottenham and Legia face disciplinary hearings|
|Klopp convinced Dortmund´s fortunes will turn|
|Dzeko close to City return|
|Real hit back at Platini over Ballon d´Or comments|
|Ancelotti: Tired Kroos will play|
|United defender Shaw out for ´a few weeks´|
|Melbourne Victory 3 Adelaide United 2: Hosts edge five-goal thriller to go top|
|Mexes determined to stay at Milan|
|Guardiola positive despite City defeat|
|Hull striker Hernandez out of United clash|
|River Plate 1 Boca Juniors 0 (agg 1-0): Pisculichi goal sends hosts into final|
|Wenger confirms Arteta lay-off|
|Negredo not ´obsessed´ with ending barren run|
|Kroos admits fatigue|
|Keane quits Villa role|
|Henry vows to help Arsenal after retirement|
|Everton can go far in Europe - Jagielka|
|Pardew expects Carroll return|
|Michu undergoes ankle surgery|
|Brandao sentenced to prison|
|Allardyce slams ´rather silly´ Tomkins|
|Rodgers similar to Wenger - Toure|
|J.League Preview: Flying Gamba chasing Urawa|
|Benitez happy to progress|
|Montella: Fiorentina have ´impressive mentality´|
|Pele ´doing fine´, receiving kidney treatment|
|Ausilio praises Handanovic´s ´remarkable statistics´|
|We need to improve - Stambouli|
|Estoril versus PSV postponed due to rain|
|UEFA Europa League Review: Feyenoord and Everton qualify in style|
|Martinez hails Everton perfection|
|Tottenham 1 Partizan 0: Stambouli settles it for Spurs|
|Inter 2 Dnipro 1: Osvaldo strikes as 10-man hosts earn hard-fought win|
|Tottenham-Partizan clash temporarily suspended due to pitch invasions|
|McKinlay named Moyes´ assistant|
|Poyet issues Chelsea challenge|
|Wolfsburg 0 Everton 2: Martinez´s men secure top spot|
|Lambert defends Bent loan move|
|Sunderland v Chelsea: Johnson eyes next major scalp|
|Riera released by Udinese|
|QPR v Leicester City: Pearson aiming to build on positives|
|Galatasaray and Anderlecht face disciplinary proceedings|
|Liverpool v Stoke City: Hughes plotting Anfield success|
|Vermaelen out for four to six months|
|Swansea City v Crystal Palace: Monk looking for positive response|
|Printant to remain Bastia head coach|
|Irvine knew nothing of Berahino drink-driving case|
|Pele admitted to special care unit|
|West Ham v Newcastle United: Allardyce pinpoints vital phase|
|Skripnik agrees three-year extension at Werder|
|Monk rubbishes talk of Michu return|
|FA charges Whelan over comments|
|Burnley v Aston Villa: Lambert laments list of absentees|
|Manchester United v Hull City: Bruce wary of in-form Rooney|
|Hughes hopeful over unwell trio|
|Grant named as Ghana coach|
|Bielsa expecting tough Nantes challenge|
|Basel charged by UEFA following pitch invasion|
|West Brom v Arsenal: Mertesacker refocusing attention after midweek win|
|Colaco banned by FIFA|
|Championship Preview: Derby head to happy hunting ground|
|Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich: Hosts out to take advantage|
|Taylor injury ´not as bad as first feared´|
|Wilshere out for three months|
|Torosidis suffers calf strain|
|Malaga v Real Madrid: Ancelotti´s men in search of sweet 16|
|England climb FIFA rankings, Germany remain number one|
|Bolasie staying put - Warnock|
|Sewe Sport v Al Ahly: Ivorians eye more history|
|Schalke lose Matip with broken foot|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Nice: Ibrahimovic looks to end Ligue 1 goal drought|
|K. League Preview: Seoul, Steelers tussle for third|
|No complaints over FA charge for Allardyce|
|Redknapp ready for crucial run|
|Zapata targets regular first-team role at Milan|
|Fabregas revels in career-best form|
|Eriksen claims Tottenham struggling to ´connect´|
|MLS Preview: Schmid labels Galaxy ´physical´|
|Costa Rican Primera Division Review: Cartagines secure semi-finals berth|
|Serie A Preview: Roma out to stay in touch with Juve|
|The Strongest 1 Bolivar 1: Capdevila strike saves leaders|
|Sao Paulo 1 Atletico Nacional 0 (agg 1-1, 1-4 on penalties): Colombians reach final|
|Cruzeiro 0 Atletico Mineiro 1 (agg 0-3): Culpi´s men win first Copa do Brasil|
|Malmo´s Hareide furious with referee´s injustice|
|Dermendzhiev elated with Ludogorets display|
|Defour withdrawal stalled Anderlecht|
|Atletico achievement delights Simeone|
|Atletico did ´many´ things well - Michel|
|Raul Garcia promises no let-up from Atletico|
|Missed chances disappoint Rolfes|
|La Liga Preview: Real out to break club record at Malaga|
|Ancelotti praises defence after record-equalling win|