Liverpool will have to repeat their Chelsea heroics if they are to end Manchester City's unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League season, insists Stewart Downing.
The England winger points to the Citizens' emphatic wins at Old Trafford and White Hart Lane as proof of the danger they pose, and has urged his Reds teammates to prove their mettle in order to emerge victorious.
"It's going to have to be a top performance," Downing told Liverpoolfc.tv. "They are a top team with many, many great players, not just in the 11 but on the bench.
"We are going to have to be right up for it and start well. If we don't they will punish you, which they have shown against the top teams this season. But we have belief in our own ability.
"I think we should look forward to it and say 'Why can't we be the first team to beat them?' It's a great incentive for us. Obviously they are coming off a defeat in Napoli so they will be right up for it.
"We are full of confidence from our result at Chelsea so it has the makings of a cracking game. We are at home at Anfield so I'm confident we can get a result."
Roberto Mancini's men come into the clash on the back of a disappointing result in the UEFA Champions League but remain the team to beat on the domestic front.
In comparison, Kenny Dalglish's side are on a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions, and Downing admits that confidence is high on Merseyside.
"Confidence is flying, especially the way we won the [Chelsea] game because it was difficult circumstances in the second half and we nicked it right at the end," he added. "Training has been really intense and we are really looking forward to the [City] game."
"Inside the club we have the belief that we have a really good team, but we have quietly gone about our business and got some good results.
"We made a big statement on Sunday by beating Chelsea on their home turf and they don't lose there very often. We are going about our work quietly and that's the best way to do it."
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