Liverpool up against the champs

Liverpool's regrets about missing out on a first English league title for 24 years last season will be stronger than ever on Monday when they visit champions Manchester City, who pipped them by two points.

The meeting of last term's top two is the highlight of the weekend Premier League programme, in which Arsenal and Manchester United face tricky away games while Chelsea will expect to record a second straight win over a promoted side.

With three matches to play last season, Brendan Rodgers' side were nine points clear of City, who had two games in hand but had just lost 3-2 at Anfield.

Liverpool then lost at home to Chelsea, and then frittered away a three-goal lead at Crystal Palace, allowing City to finish top by winning their four remaining games.

The Manchester side were the more impressive of the two on the opening weekend of the new campaign, easing to a 2-0 win at Newcastle United with goals by David Silva and Sergio Aguero.

City's neighbours Manchester United visit Sunderland on Sunday hoping to shrug off last weekend's surprise 2-1 home defeat by Swansea City in their first league match under new manager Louis van Gaal.

The late kickoff on Saturday sees Arsenal travel to Everton, needing to recover physically from a long trip to Istanbul in the Champions League playoff round on Tuesday, when they were somewhat fortunate to draw 0-0 with Besiktas.

Chelsea play Leicester City, who were impressive in holding Everton 2-2. Important clashes: Saturday: Everton vs Arsenal; Sunday: Sunderland vs Manchester United; Monday: Manchester City vs Liverpool.

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