Man City boss Pep Guardiola insists the Premier League title race can be nearer than final season.
Liverpool completed 18 factors forward of second-placed Man City as they gained a primary top-flight title in 30 years.
Jurgen Klopp’s facet suffered simply three defeats and amounted a membership file 99 factors.
Now, the Reds are prime of the desk by a degree after seven matches, whereas City are in 10th place with a recreation in hand.
Tottenham and Chelsea have been tipped to problem City and Liverpool for the title after considerably strengthening their squads in the summertime.
Talking forward of his facet’s conflict with the Reds on Sunday, Guardiola stated: “They [Liverpool] are the most important favorite.
“However I believe, with what occurred with the [coronavirus] pandemic, the state of affairs is a bit completely different. I see different groups robust.
“I believe this season there can be a whole lot of groups there. The final 5 to 10 video games can be necessary to reach there to battle for the title.
“Hopefully we might be there and arrive on the finish with an opportunity to battle for the title.”
Man City secured a 4-Zero win over Liverpool on the Etihad in July.
Nevertheless, Guardiola expects his males to wrestle at instances in opposition to the reigning champions this weekend.
The Spaniard added: “Once you play in opposition to groups like Liverpool you at all times have moments the place you must undergo.
“We all know it. We have now to do it and attempt to play to our strengths as a lot as attainable.
“We all know one another fairly nicely. We have now performed many instances. I don’t anticipate a recreation of 90 minutes the place we can be there, or the place they are going to be there for 90 minutes. There can be ups and downs.
“We have now to be steady within the dangerous moments and, within the good moments, take our good probabilities and be scientific.
“It’s at all times good to play in opposition to the strongest groups and final 12 months they have been stronger.
“They’re an distinctive group, they’ve had the identical supervisor for a very long time and it’s good to face him on a regular basis to enhance our stage.”