The three wise men on title showdown between Liverpool and Man City

"Yes, with the record we had in December, we had a good moment and we have a very, very, very good football team".

Ilkay Gundogan believes that if Manchester City can contain Liverpool's dynamic attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, they will win Thursday night's crunch clash between the two sides. However, the Belgian is a doubt for Thursday's game and has missed a large chunk of the season so far, opening the door for others.

City best bid to close the gap between them and the Liverpool to beat them at the Eithiad when they host Liverpool on Thursday mid-week match day later.

"Even if we don't win this game we will be going for so many titles this season".

"It's a really strong football team with an outstanding manager", insisted Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp's red army sits at the top of the Premier League with 54 points from 20 Premier League games, winning 17 of them in the process.

Liverpool have won only five of their last 17 matches in all competitions in January (D5 L7), with the Reds losing nine of Jurgen Klopp's 24 matches during the month (W8 D7).

Asked if the City defeat laid bare the size of Saints' survival fight, Hasenhuttl replied: "I knew it from the beginning, I knew exactly what a brutal schedule was waiting for us, and to prepare a new team, to know the new players, what they can do for you". If we would be 10 points behind then would my first thing after the game be to say: 'We still will catch them!' Of course not.

But despite Liverpool's unbeaten start to the league campaign and their seven-point advantage at the summit, Klopp is adamant City remain the best.

He said: "For us, we don't go there to take Man City out of the race, we go there for a Premier League game".

For all their squad depth it is the one position in which they are wholly dependent on the 33-year-old, with an array of other midfield talent unable to play that role to the same standard. Therefore I needed the experiences and impressions I've got today from the team I've played. Of course not, it's hard with the qualities all the teams have.

Fernandinho's return to full fitness was a boon for Pep Guardiola last weekend as the Brazilian global was crucial in maintaining City's control in midfield.

"I just can't see how they can stop Liverpool from scoring goals".

All three scored in the same Premier League game for the first time this season on Saturday as Arsenal were blown away 5-1 at Anfield.

Mo Salah has flitted between right wing and centre forward this season, but has generally played out wide in the matches against big teams. Good signing for Chelsea but good deal as well, Dortmund can keep him.

  • Steve Townsend