Sergio Aguero has insisted that Manchester City still consider Manchester United as the club's biggest rivals, despite admitting that Liverpool are their main title challengers.
The defending champions travel to Anfield on Sunday looking to close the gap on Jurgen Klopp's side, who currently hold a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
It is set to be second season in a row that the two clubs will be involved in a tight contest for the title, after Pep Guardiola's side narrowly beat the Merseyside club to the league championship by a single point last season.
And although Liverpool's recent success has seen them develop a strong rivalry with City, Aguero is adamant that his side still consider their meetings with local rivals United to be more important.
“It may be the clasico for television, but for us, the clasico, it’s the match against United," the Argentina international told France Football (via Sport Witness).
"Liverpool has always been a tough opponent. But when I arrived, the team we were fighting for the title was United.
"Initially, it was something strange in the city that City competes against United. Then there was Chelsea ."
The prolific striker, who has scored nine league goals this season, continued: "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.”
Although they overturned a larger points deficit to win the title last season, Guardiola's side head into Sunday's meeting knowing that defeat would put Liverpool firmly in the driving seat.
City haven't won at Anfield since 2003 and come up against a side that is yet to lose in the league this season, with their only two dropped points coming in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
Addressing the weekend's trip, Aguero added: “We know that this is a ground where it’s very difficult to win, but we’ll try to do it because it has been a long time since the club last won there.
"This will be a key match for the title.”