The race for the Premier League title is shaping up to be the tightest for some time with none of the 'big six' having stamped their authority on the competition during its early stages.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look as the issues facing the usual suspects as they attempt to slip into top gear.
Liverpool steamrolled their way to the title last season as miserly defence and clinical finishing laid waste to the opposition. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane – but not, as yet, Roberto Firmino – have already been back among the goals, but at the other end, a return of one clean sheet in six games in all competitions – one of them an eye-watering 7-2 drubbing at Aston Villa – tells its own story. Addressing that issue will be all the more difficult with central defender Virgil Van Dijk facing much of the season on the sidelines as he prepares to undergo knee surgery.
At their best, City are simply irresistible going forward with the brilliance of Kevin De Bruyne and the potency of Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling usually more than enough to blow away all but the very best. However, defensive frailty has been a theme for much of Pep Guardiola's reign to date despite heavy investment in reinforcements and those problems persist despite the £40million summer addition of Nathan Ake to the mix. Aymeric Laporte was missing for a shock 5-2 home defeat by Leicester, which featured a Jamie Vardy hat-trick, but was in the side as they failed to hold on to a 1-0 advantage at promoted Leeds.
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