Jamie Carragher has described on Sky Sports how a Liverpool win will affect City in the title race.
“Liverpool lost the league by a point last season and you look at where they slipped up, but they only lost one game,” Carragher said on Friday Night Football. “You think of the draws they had and Man City went to a lot of the top teams, the rivals, and won.
“In years gone by, if you went to a rival and drew, you’d be delighted, but it’s not good enough now for the top teams or certainly if you want to go for the title. Liverpool only won at Spurs last season [away to the big six teams] and they have to improve that. Chelsea is the first place for them and it’s a big away game.
“With Liverpool having a five-point lead, it is very early and I don’t think it really matters too much. But to go to Chelsea and win, I think that would be a little blow for City.
“It is very early and there is months to go but when you see your rival going to a tough game and get three points, they’ll be thinking ‘we’ve still got to go there and do the same’ so it is a big game for both teams obviously. But if Liverpool could get three points there, that’s the area they have to improve upon from last season.
“The start of this season has been good because it feels like 10 years ago when we were playing, where – even though Gary played for one of the top teams – in the first seven or eight games, they might draw a game or lose a game and then they’d kick into gear. That happened every season.
“With City and Liverpool, especially last season, they just win from day one and it doesn’t seem to change. Now though, it is all happening like a normal season and it is only Liverpool really who haven’t had that hiccup early on.
“I still class Liverpool as favourites [on Sunday]. It’s a tough game but if you had to pick Chelsea or Liverpool to come out on top in that game, you’d still fancy Liverpool.”
There is also pressure on Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, having yet to win at Stamford Bridge this season, and Neville hopes a home win could add some drama to the season early on.
“Sunday is a big game,” Neville added. “The last two years have been completely unique in terms of title-winning seasons. City have been incredible, and Liverpool have been playing title-winning football for 18 months and it would be nice to see them [both] drop points.