Fabinho: Manchester City clashes are not decisive for Liverpool's title ambitions
Liverpool know the value of beating Manchester City but key man Fabinho remains hesitant about overstating the occasion.
Liverpool midfielder Fabinho is not convinced the top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City will define the Premier League title race. European champions Liverpool have the chance to take a commanding nine-point lead at the summit with victory in Sunday's match-anticipated match at Anfield.
No goals at Anfield in last season's meeting
The clubs played out a goalless draw in this exact fixture last season before City prevailed 2-1 in January's return encounter, eroding Liverpool's hard-earned advantage back to four points. Pep Guardiola's men ultimately pipped the Reds to the title by a point but Brazil international Fabinho does not view those missed chances as being decisive.
"I don't think the outcome last season was based on the results against Man City," Fabinho told the Liverpool website. "But if we beat them then we will have a large points advantage over them, which will be important for us. But this game is always a bit more special because we have the chance to pick up points and stop a direct rival from picking up points. So we're going to do all we can to win, but I'm not sure if this result will define the outcome of the season."
Pre-match mind games and compliments before Liverpool-City
Barbs have been traded ahead of the latest instalment of this burgeoning rivalry, with Jürgen Klopp highlighting City's propensity for "tactical fouls" after Guardiola accused Reds star Sadio Mané of diving. Nevertheless, Klopp affirmed his admiration of Guardiola in his pre-match news conference and Fabinho holds an equal level of respect for what the Premier League champions have built under the Catalan.
"We've played against this City team before and they've shown us what they're about," the former Monaco star said. "They're great with the ball and they are hard-working, they're great in attack and all of this makes them one of the best teams in Europe today. But in the Premier League there are so many good teams and we've managed to play well in these situations as well. So playing City will be another challenge, but I think we're ready for it."