Sergio Aguero believes the Premier League will again be a two-team title race this season as Manchester City seek to overhaul leaders Liverpool.
City pipped the Reds to top spot last term but now trail Jurgen Klopp's men by six points in their bid to go three in a row.
The deficit will be halved as soon as Sunday if the champions prevail in a top-of-the-table encounter at Anfield.
But defeat could leave them behind Chelsea and Leicester City, who are two points further back, by the end of the weekend.
Despite the form of the teams below, star striker Aguero expects the challenge to come solely from Merseyside.
"Liverpool has always been a tough opponent," Aguero told France Football.
"But when I arrived, the team we were fighting for the title was [Manchester] United. Initially, it was something strange in the city that City competes against United. Then there was Chelsea.
"But these last four seasons, Liverpool have become a very strong team and are now fighting with us to win the Premier League.
"It's the only team in the league that can hurt us. They have been chasing a new league [title] for years. Last season, they didn't go all the way, so they are very motivated. This year, they are in front of us and will try to go to the end."
Argentina international Aguero knows plenty about winning the Premier League, with his name forever etched in City history as the scorer of the dramatic goal that delivered the title in 2011-12.
He claimed another winners' medal in 2013-14 and has been at the forefront of the club's sustained excellence over the previous two title-winning seasons, scoring 42 Premier League goals in that time.
Aguero did not always seem to fit under Pep Guardiola but the 31-year-old insists the pair now share a strong understanding.
"We have come to know each other since his arrival and everything is clear between us," he said.
"I know how he is and vice versa. When he picks me, I try to do the best possible, because I know that behind me I have Gabriel Jesus, an attacker who scores goals whenever he has the opportunity to be on the field."