Vincent Kompany feels there is little to choose between Manchester City and Liverpool as they prepare for this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash.
City and Liverpool, last season’s Premier League champions and beaten Champions League finalists respectively, have lived up to their billing as title favourites in the opening months of the current campaign.
City head to Anfield on Sunday as the leaders on goal difference from the Reds, with both sides still unbeaten.
City captain Kompany said: “In these kind of games you need a lot of things to come together – you need a little bit of luck, a good performance, you need to be clinical and defend well, and that goes for both teams.
“But it’s too close, I think, to actually make any big statements. That’s what makes this game so interesting.”
City thrashed Liverpool 5-0 early last season but the Merseysiders turned the tables in their next meeting to win 4-3 after scoring three times in a remarkable nine-minute spell at Anfield.
Liverpool then won both meetings between the clubs when they met again in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Kompany said: “I think if you take all four games of last season, including the home game, it’s a game of small margins. You look at each and every game and there’s not a lot of difference in terms of how the games happened.
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“One game we were more efficient and scored five, the other game they scored three in, what, 15 minutes? And that’s how these games seem to go.
“The margin is so small between both teams and a lot of things happen in a very short period of time.”
City won the Premier League by a 19-point margin last season but Kompany is expecting the race to be much tighter this term.
The defender said: “I don’t agree with just putting City and Liverpool as title contenders. Chelsea have shown so much already this season. Arsenal, Tottenham are coming back.
“You’d think there’d be a bigger points gap by now but it’s not. I think most teams at the top are firing on all cylinders at this moment in time and this makes this league exciting.”
Pep Guardiola’s side go into the game on the back of a hard-fought Champions League win at Hoffenheim on Tuesday.
City conceded inside the opening minute but Sergio Aguero quickly replied and David Silva struck a winner three minutes from time. The result secured their first points in Group F after a surprise loss to Lyon in their opener.
Kompany said: “We needed to start this campaign. There’s a lot of pressure on these kind of games when you play away in the Champions League after you’ve lost at home. You couldn’t think of a worse situation to be in and we dealt with it.”