Ilkay Gundogan has warned Manchester City face their sternest examination of the season when they face Liverpool this weekend.
It’s the challengers versus the champions on Sunday, when top-of-the-table City make the short trip to Merseyside to take on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Both sides are on 19 points after their first seven matches of the season but City have only managed to avoid defeat on five of their last 17 visits to Anfield.
Gundogan told ESPN: “It’s very tough, probably the toughest away game of the season in the Premier League.
“But as a player there is not much more that you can achieve than playing these type of games, because when you play them or when the atmosphere is like that, you know it’s a big thing.
“So there’s nothing better than playing these type of games. Although you’re much more nervous before these type of games than in others maybe, even then after your first successful pass, first successful tackle or your first good dribble, you get more and more confidence.”
Gundogan is a doubt for Sunday’s mouth-watering showdown after limping off during City’s 2-1 Champions League win over Hoffenheim in midweek with a hamstring injury.
The German midfielder scored in added time in City’s 4-3 loss at Anfield last season where Liverpool’s attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane all found the back of the net.
Gundogan added: “You have to be careful because, especially [with] their front three, any single mistake you make they can punish you so quickly so we have to be very careful.
“Last season we lost the game unfortunately at Anfield in the Premier League because of two or three mistakes in the game and they scored three times out of three mistakes.
“So that’s the new target for this game – to leave these mistakes. We know we are always able to score. We scored already three times in the last season away, which is also not normal to score three goals at Anfield and we will try to repeat and it can be a great game for us.”