Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Liverpool's recent rivalry with Manchester City has been a 'cool' one, but has played down suggestions that Sunday's meeting will decide this season's Premier League title race.
The Reds travel to the Etihad Stadium trailing City by just one point and can climb to top spot for at least a week for the first time since the start of October.
Speaking ahead of Sunday's mammoth clash, Klopp insisted that this is 'a very important game', but ultimately won't be the decisive one.
"I cannot decide what people think but we can just go through the possible results: if we win, we are two points up," Klopp said.
"If everybody thinks that’s done and dusted with the league, I cannot help. If we lose we are four points behind. If anyone thinks that’s it, I cannot change it, but I know nobody from a City point of view would think like that.
"If it’s a draw, one point behind. That’s it. A very important game, I’m really looking forward to it, one of the biggest challenges you can face in football, but that’s really nice, that’s why you do these kinds of things.
"Imagine we would still be 14 or 15 points behind, it would still be a great game but a lack of something - meaning less and these kind of things. So, it’s good. We qualified for a great game with the season we played so far and I’m really happy we can be part of it. I can imagine a lot of people will watch it and we give it a try, that’s all I can say."
Klopp was then asked about the ever-developing rivalry between Liverpool and City since he and Pep Guardiola came to England, with the two having regularly been favourites to win both the Premier League and Champions League in the last half-decade.
"It’s cool. The last four years or whatever since we stepped up a little bit and could close the gap to City slightly, it’s interesting, absolutely," Klopp added.
"We push each other to incredible point tallies, madness, I would have never thought these kind of things are possible - especially not in this league. The consistency both teams showed in that period is absolutely crazy.
"We had our top year where we won the league, where there was a little gap. And obviously there were years - especially last year - when the gap [to City] was again big because we had our problems. Apart from that, it was always close, which I like. I always said, the closer you get the more likely it becomes you can overtake.
"But we know it is tough. What changed in these four years is everyone else thinks it’s tough as well when they face us, and that’s really good."