Gareth Barry believes that the Blues can put down an early marker should they beat Liverpool tonight.
After the fixture computer threw both clubs two opening fixtures against genuine top four rivals, a haul of four points would be considered a fine start by either manager Roberto Mancini or Roy Hodgson.
And Barry is banking on home advantage and an electric CoMs atmosphere helping the Blues send out of message of intent.
“We have made a decent start with two clean sheets and a win away in Europe. As a unit we have been very solid,” declared the England international.
“This is a chance to put a marker down even though it is another tough game for us.
I suppose ourselves and Liverpool could be said to have had the hardest starts in terms of fixtures and this is a huge game at any time of the season
“We have each seen Chelsea, United, Arsenal and Spurs all get out of the blocks fairly quickly so we want to keep pace.
“We are going to be right up for the challenge and I am sure our fans are too. After the draw at Spurs – which was a great point in the end - this is a chance to show everyone what we are all about. If we win it will be a great start for us.”
There could be two home debuts this evening with James Milner and Mario Balotelli both anxious to get the nod from boss Mancini.
Barry believes both will have a major impact on the season ahead.
“James is another great addition to the squad,” he said of his former Villa and current England teammate.
“I am looking forward to seeing him again. What he will bring to the pitch will improve us again. If you look in our changing room there is quality all over the place and James’ arrival just adds to the competition that you need to drive you on and make you better.
“As for Mario he was straight into the action in Romania; fans got on his back, he was booked and he scored. I think he is an exciting and welcome addition to the Premier League.
“It is a challenge now just to get into our 18 never mind the starting eleven. We are a tight unit and respect each other we are all friends and rivals that is how it has to be.”