Vincent Kompany believes the top-of-the-table clash between Manchester City and Liverpool on Sunday will be decided by “small margins”.
Premier League leaders City have triumphed in just one of their last seven games against Liverpool, a 5-0 defeat of Jurgen Klopp’s side after Sadio Mane was sent off in the first half at the Etihad Stadium last season.
Liverpool won the reverse fixture 4-3 after scoring three times in nine minutes and they notched the same number of goals in a 19-minute spell to record a decisive 3-0 first-leg win in their Champions League quarter-final encounter.
For City captain Kompany it is the finer moments that will prove key when the reigning champions and their closest challengers look to maintain their unbeaten starts to the Premier League season at Anfield.
“I think if you take all four games of last season, including the home [league] 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,” said Kompany.
“One game we were more efficient and scored five, the other game they scored three in, what, 15 minutes [sic – 19]. 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. You have to make sure you can control this and be at our best.
“[In] these kinds 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.
“It’s too close I think to actually make any big statements – that’s what makes this game so interesting.”
Getting it done before heading home
Time to prepare for Sunday! pic.twitter.com/HgITtvL8oc
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 3, 2018
Regardless of the outcome, the Belgium international does not see the fixture as a meeting between the favourites to win the title.
“I don’t agree with just putting City and Liverpool as title contenders,” he said.
“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.”