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Top Billing to Manchester Derby, Liverpool-Chelsea

The EPL season is just one week old, but already there are some crucial matchups at hand. Two games in particular are vying for top billing: first on Sunday we have the season's first Manchester derby, held at the City of Manchester Stadium, followed by Liverpool-Chelsea at Anfield.

The Manchester derby is already shaping up to be a must win for Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils, who've already dropped four points in their first two games, scoring once. Moreover, United will be missing PFA Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo, who received a three-match ban following his sending off against Portsmouth on Wednesday, and injured Wayne Rooney The EPL champ is facing a very different Manchester City from previous seasons; Sven Goran Eriksson's overhauled side looked particularly effective in its first two games. Elano, Martin Petrov, Rolando Bianchi and young Englishman Michael Johnson have all impressed so far, but Sunday is their first big test.

Meanwhile, Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho can talk all he wants about how the pressure is on Liverpool for Sunday's clash at Anfield, but the truth is, the Blues labored to beat both Birmingham City and Reading in their first two matches. Worse, they gave up three goals in the process-yet another glaring reminder of captain John Terry's absence at the back. Liverpool also did not have the easiest of starts to their season, relying on a late-game unstoppable free kick from Steven Gerrard to beat Aston Villa. The Reds' captain then broke his big toe during a Champions League qualifying match in Toulouse, though he is expected to play through the pain against Chelsea on Sunday.

Read the whole story at Various Reports »

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