Manchester City and Liverpool meet at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday in a Premier League summit meeting that could decide the title and set the tone for the rest of the season.
Just one point separates the two teams that have dominated English football in recent years after Liverpool – 14 points behind City at one stage – relentlessly hunted down their rivals.
Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have been involved in some epic battles in recent seasons, in particular in 2018/19 when City pipped Liverpool to the title by a single point despite a record points haul for the runners-up.
The two sides also meet in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley next week and could even play each other in the Champions League final.
Liverpool are aiming to win an unprecedented quadruple while City are trying to emulate the famous treble that Manchester United won in 1999.
The stakes could hardly be higher.
But the Liverpool boss insists the race will be far from over whatever the outcome as the club chase a record-equalling 20th English league title.
Guardiola, hunting his fourth Premier League triumph in five years, believes his rivalry with Klopp is the most intense he has experienced during his illustrious managerial career.
The Manchester City boss famously clashed with Jose Mourinho when he and the Portuguese managed Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Yet he feels the level of competition City have faced from Liverpool in recent years has been a level above anything he had to deal when he was competing with Real.
Did you know?
Victory for Liverpool will put them top of the Premier League table at the end of a day for the first time since 1 October. Of the last eight PL meetings between the top two sides to take place within the final 10 matches of the season, the team in second has won seven times (L1), including each of the last five in a row.
Manchester City have lost only one of their last 12 Premier League home matches against Liverpool (W7 D4), going down 4-1 in Jurgen Klopp’s first top-flight visit to the Etihad in November 2015.
Liverpool have won each of their last 10 Premier League outings, keeping eight clean sheets in this run. It is their fifth run of 10+ consecutive PL wins, with each of their previous four being ended by different sides (2-2 v Bolton 2006, 0-2 v Chelsea 2014, 1-1 v Man Utd 2019, 0-3 v Watford 2020).
Man City’s Phil Foden has scored in each of his last three Premier League matches against Liverpool and could become only the second player to net in four straight appearances against them in the competition after Jamie Vardy (five between 2016 and 2017).
Referee: Anthony Taylor. Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn. Fourth official: Andre Marriner. VAR: Paul Tierney. Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood.