Liverpool vs Manchester City preview - Rodgers backs Borini to be Anfield hit

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Posted Sunday, August 26, 2012 by PA

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is backing forward Fabio Borini to be a success at Anfield but admits the 21-year-old has to learn to deal with the expectation on his shoulders.

The Italian was the new manager's first signing in a £10million deal from Roma last month.

Rodgers knows the youngster well having coached him at Chelsea and also had him on loan at former club Swansea.

The player got his Liverpool career off to a good start with a goal on only his second appearance, scoring the opening goal in the 3-0 Europa League qualifying win over FC Gomel.

And while he is far from the finished article Borini will have to step up a level this season in a forward line in need of a regular source of goals with Luis Suarez and the out-of-favour Andy Carroll the only recognised strikers.

"Expectancy is what comes from being at a big club so you have to deal with it both as players and manager," said Rodgers, who is looking for his side to bounce back from their opening-day defeat at West Brom at home to champions Manchester City.

"He is not alone. When you come to a big club there is always big expectation and pressure.

"This is a kid who works well and works hard and he will come good there is no question about that.

"The most important thing is he is fighting for the shirt.

"The biggest thing in football you need is perseverance. All these players are persevering and want to work."

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, striker Luis Suarez and defenders Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson all return to the squad to face Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.

The quartet were rested for the Europa League win over Hearts while striker Andy Carroll, who travelled but missed out with a hamstring problem, will be assessed in the next 48 hours.

Centre-back Daniel Agger is suspended after his red card last weekend but fellow defender Jose Enrique could return after a knee injury kept him out at West Brom.

Meanwhile, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini claims it is "impossible" for injured striker Sergio Aguero to play for Argentina next month and "ridiculous" he has been called up.

Aguero is out of action with a knee injury after falling awkwardly in last week's Barclays Premier League opener against Southampton and the club are not expecting him back until mid-September at the earliest.

But that has not stopped Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella naming the 24-year-old in his squad for World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Peru on September 7 and 11 respectively.

Mancini accepts Argentina have a right under international rules to summon Aguero - and can carry out their own medical assessment if necessary - but he thinks it is a ludicrous situation.

The Italian said: "It is impossible because Sergio needs a minimum of two weeks without training. After two weeks he can start again.

"If in one week if he could be ready to play it is different, but I think he needs another two weeks.

"He can go and fly back quickly. These are the rules and we need to respect them - they are ridiculous rules."

Micah Richards (ankle) is also set to miss the trip to Anfield, while midfielder Gareth Barry (abdominal) is set for a reserve outing.



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