Louis van Gaal believes Jurgen Klopp's style gives Liverpool an edge over Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the Premier League title race.
City brought the title battle back to life by inflicting Liverpool's first league defeat of the season with a 2-1 win on Thursday.
However, Klopp's men still hold a four-point lead at the top and have conceded just 10 goals in 21 games – six fewer than the next best in Chelsea.
Van Gaal, who has won LaLiga, the Bundesliga and Eredivisie among numerous trophies during his coaching career, feels Liverpool are still title favourites.
"Klopp has turned Liverpool into an absolute fighting machine – both attacking and defending," he told the Daily Mirror.
"So, if I was to put my money on one club for the league, it would be Liverpool.
"Liverpool's team is not based on the highest quality when it comes to their players. In fact, the highest quality players are at City.
"But, at the same time, that is the weakness in Guardiola. He only coaches his teams in an attacking way – always.
"The moment his team have to defend, they look terrible. Liverpool have a team that can defend much better."
After a record-breaking last season in the Premier League, City have stumbled this campaign, although no team have scored more than their 56.
Van Gaal said he enjoyed watching Guardiola's men, but he also praised Liverpool.
"City have fabulous football ideas and a sparkling way of playing – but not the right fighting spirit," he said.
"Don't get me wrong, I still love to watch the way City play. But the way Klopp makes Liverpool play is absolutely fantastic."