Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool can kick off against Manchester City on Monday evening with 'great belief' after outlining his happiness with the squad strength provided by the club's summer transfer business.
Two new recruits are expected to form part of the contingent that travels to the Etihad Stadium, with Serbian attacker Lazar Markovic fit again and full-back Alberto Moreno eligible to participate.
Manuel Pellegrini's reigning champions narrowly edged out the Reds in the pulsating race for the Barclays Premier League title last season and have since bolstered their ranks with a clutch of signings too.
Rodgers, of course, is aware of the capabilities of rivals, yet the Northern Irishman has no doubts that his fine-tuned team can compete with the established powers at the summit of England's top flight.
"Every year the competition grows and gets stronger," the boss told the Liverpool Echo. "But we will become stronger as well. We just got pipped by Manchester City over 38 games last season.
"But it's a new season with a new team here which is evolving. We've done some great business this summer and I'm delighted with the squad I've got.
"We played very well in the two games against City last season so we'll go there with great belief. We're going into it after a winning start to the season and confidence is high.
"City are the champions and I think you have to regard them as favourites for the title. They'll probably look at themselves and think with the squad they've got and the additions they've made they'll expect to be up there.
"Chelsea will be strong and Arsenal have strengthened so it's looking like being a really competitive league this season."
Another asset in the manager's updated armoury - and one that he has referenced repeatedly since the opening day win over Southampton - is the ability to make important changes in personnel and system mid-match.
Rodgers made a number of successful alterations and substitutions en route to claiming a 2-1 victory against the Saints, further boosting confidence before a heavyweight clash with City.
He continued: "When you look at last week's game, it showed the great adaptability of the players. We changed the system three times.
"We started 4-2-3-1 and then at 1-1, when we started to lose some of our control, we stuck Joe Allen on and were able to regain control of the game.
"We went 4-3-3 and then with 15 minutes to go, to try to win the game we went to a diamond and we got the result. Systems can change but the key for us is to retain our positivity and know we are always in with a chance of winning."