Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has described cash-rich Manchester City as a "massive threat" to the established top four in the Premier League this season.
City exercised their financial muscle over the summer when spending well over £100m on new players, even raiding English football's established forces when signing Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor from Arsenal, and taking Carlos Tevez from under the noses of Manchester United.
They have started the new season with three consecutive league victories and although the manner of their wins over Blackburn, Wolves and Portsmouth has been solid rather than spectacular, Mark Hughes is yet to see his side concede a goal.
A real test of their credentials comes on Saturday when Arsenal visit Eastlands but Carragher, whose Liverpool side are already off the pace with two defeats in their opening four games, expects City to be a real danger to those clubs accustomed to finishing in the Champions League places.
"The top four places will certainly be up for grabs, but we want to make sure we are up there," said Carragher. "With the other teams becoming involved hopefully they will take points off the other big sides as well.''
"They [Manchester City] have got some great players, world-class players and I am sure they will be buying more in January, so they are going to be a massive threat.''
Carragher's Liverpool play Burnley on Saturday with the Reds looking to kick-start their season after disappointing defeats to Tottenham and Aston Villa.