Rodgers: Liverpool style will return

Brendan Rodgers saw his side stumbled past Southampton last week. Photo: PA

Manager Brendan Rodgers is confident Liverpool will be able to produce more of the kind of fluid football this season that made them such a force last term and has backed them to show their creativity in Monday's Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester City.

The Reds' 2014-15 top-flight campaign got under way last Sunday with a 2-1 home win over Southampton, a result Rodgers felt his men had had to "grind out".

Certainly, it was not a performance akin to those they were putting on for much of the conclusion to 2013-14, in which they fell just agonisingly short of claiming the Premier League title.

Since then, Liverpool have lost the services of Luis Suarez - scorer of 31 goals last term - and brought in a raft of new players, with AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli looking set to add to that.

But despite all the change and the fact that many of his squad came into pre-season off the back of playing at this summer's World Cup, Rodgers is sure the Merseyside outfit's old potency will return.

Reflecting on the Southampton victory, the Northern Irishman said: "We were certainly delighted to start with a win.

"I was very, very pleased and very happy we won the game.

"Of course, we will perform better and that fluidity will get better as the season goes on. You have to understand a lot of players are coming back late."

Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge will need to provide the goals. Credit: PA

City scored 102 goals on their way to being crowned Premier League champions last term, while runners-up Liverpool notched 101.

Their encounters during the season saw City win 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium - the venue for Monday's match - before Liverpool triumphed 3-2 at Anfield.

And while expecting a close battle this time around, Rodgers also anticipates there being plenty of creative attacking play in the game, even given how early on it is in the campaign.

Asked if he thought Monday's contest would be a cagey one, Rodgers said: "I don't think so.

"I think the nature of both teams is the offensive game, but of course they're normally tight games.

"If you look at both sets of players, there's lots of invention and creativity in the team. I think both will be creative and want to score goals.

"We know we need to be compact and solid when we haven't got the ball, and we need to be aggressive and press well.

"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."