Jamie Carragher can foresee Manchester City “putting a marker down” against new Premier League champions Liverpool if things go to plan for Pep Guardiola’s side.
The Reds are set to get a guard of honour from the 2017/18 and 2018/19 champions at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday night, exactly one week on from City’s loss at Chelsea
And Carragher thinks Guardiola’s men will be determined to respond to that show of respect with a show of force ahead of a renewed title battle next season.
“There’s 23 points between the teams but I don’t see the gap as being that big,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“There’s no doubt that Liverpool have the edge, but I certainly don’t think there will be that much between the teams next season.
“I think City will want to put a marker down and win the game.
“When City are at their best, they’re almost unstoppable, but one of the few teams that can stop them are Liverpool, so I think it will be a brilliant game to watch.”
Carragher thinks that his former side can get the better of City if they shut down the hosts’ key man.
“Kevin de Bruyne is, for me, the best player in the Premier League,” he continued.
“If I could pick one player to have in my team, it’s a toss-up between him and Virgil van Dijk.
“When De Bruyne is in space at the Etihad and he gets on that ball and he’s playing passes or crosses, it is a joy to watch.
“Can Liverpool control Kevin de Bruyne? And can City’s back four cope with Liverpool’s front three?
“I think those are the big questions, really. If Liverpool can stop that man in midfield, I think that will stop a lot of City.”