Jamie Carragher believes Sunday’s clash between Liverpool and Manchester City could play a defining role in the race for the Premier League title.
The teams enter the contest level on points at the top of the table having each won six and drawn one, with City occupying the no.1 spot as a result of their goal difference.
Their unbeaten starts to the campaign have seen pre-season expectations of the two spearheading the title charge begin to take shape.
Carragher feels Liverpool cannot afford to let City get the better of them over their two individual contests as they look to win the league for the first time since 1990.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Friday Night Football, he said: “If City took four points out of six against Liverpool I don’t think there’s any chance that Liverpool win the league.”
“It is a vital game for Liverpool.”
“I think the top six head-to-heads are vital in terms of the title and top four, but in terms of these two I think it’s going to be tight, and that means Liverpool have to do well in the two league games against City.”
Liverpool beat City three times out of four meetings across all competitions last season as the eventual champions failed to contain the movement and ferocity of the Reds’ attacking system.
It remains to be seen whether Guardiola reigns in his attacking ambitions in aid of restricting a Liverpool front three he admitted to fearing in preparation of their Champions League quarter-final match.
Klopp’s men are yet to find their feet in the final third so far and have been unusually guilty of lacking the required conviction in front of goal.
A matchup with a City side unlikely to sit back could prove key in supplying Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane the greater room in which to finally click as a trio again.