Liverpool continue to trouble Pep Guardiola and Manchester City, says Jim Beglin, as the Reds “are in their heads” and causing the Premier League champions to question themselves.
Jurgen Klopp has succeeded where many others have failed when it comes to tactical battles with a fellow coach considered to be one of the best in the business.
Guardiola has often been unable to get the better of a German rival, with those failings highlighted again during an otherwise productive campaign for City in 2017-18.
Liverpool ended the Blues unbeaten run in the English top-flight last season, before then dumping them out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.
Two sides now battling it out for title glory in 2018-19 are set to be reunited at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday, and former Reds star Beglin believes Klopp holds the upper hand once more.
He told RTE Radio 1: “Manchester City have to change their gameplan, really. I think Liverpool are in their heads.
“When Liverpool hosted them at Anfield earlier this season, City adjusted their game. They didn't come to try and play the open game we've seen in the past because they obviously suffered in the Champions League last season.
“Pep Guardiola changed it all around but they'll have to be less cautious this time. The caution we saw at Anfield will have to take a backseat.”
Liverpool will head to Manchester in midweek sat seven points clear of City and yet to taste defeat through 20 fixtures.
Success to this point has given them a margin for error, but Beglin is not convinced that their next outing will have any great impact on the destination of the Premier League title.
Klopp’s side does have the chance to put down another marker, but there is still a long way to go and many more twists and turns to come.
The Irishman, who spent six years at Anfield in his playing days, said: “I wouldn't regard this as a title decider.
“I would consider it a title shaper. It could have a big psychological impact if one side can outdo the other. But it's way too early [to be a decider].
“We've seen big comebacks in the past in the Premier League. You can never take it easy.
“Even if tonight's game ends in Liverpool's favour, Manchester City won't be backing off. There's no easing up. The pressure is on you right to the end.”