Paul Merson insists Liverpool’s attacking potency will be too much for Manchester City at the back when the two sides meet at the Etihad on Thursday.
The Reds enter the contest seven points ahead of their Premier League title rivals having gone unbeaten across their opening 20 games of the season.
City returned to winning ways against Southampton on Sunday having lost consecutive games to Crystal Palace and Leicester earlier in December.
Despite the season having only just passed the half-way mark, Merson believes the top-of-the-table clash could prove decisive.
He told Sky Sports: “This might sound silly, but I’d be shocked if Manchester City won this game. I’d be shocked. I just can’t see how they can stop Liverpool from scoring goals. As the game goes on, I just don’t see how Liverpool don’t go on to win it.”
“My only question of Liverpool would be how they play it. Do they go out and think that if they draw they’ve probably taken Manchester City out of the equation? Or do they go for the jugular and win the Premier League on Thursday night?”
He added: “City look all over the place at the back. I don’t really see their shape. They’re great on the ball, but they close down quickly for so long and then drop off and if they do that against Liverpool and they get through one line, they’ve got too much pace for City to deal with.”
The sides met for the first time this campaign at the beginning of October, defying high scoring expectations by playing out a 0-0 draw.
It needed only a look at Pep Guardiola’s more cautious setup on that occasion to realise the respect City hold for Jurgen Klopp’s men after suffering three defeats to them last season.
With City looking for their first clean sheet in seven league matches, Liverpool will feel they have the attacking talent to outscore the champions.