Liverpool and Manchester City are preparing to lock horns in a crucial Premier League encounter at Anfield, with Jamie Carragher claiming the hierarchies of the two clubs “cannot stand each other”.
The battle for domestic supremacy in England appears set to once again be played out between heavyweight outfits from Merseyside and the Etihad Stadium.
City claimed bragging rights in 2018-19, as part of a historic treble, while Liverpool conquered Europe in a memorable Champions League triumph.
Carragher claims the respective successes of two ambitious outfits does not sit well with those behind the scenes, with there now added spice whenever the two teams cross paths.
The former Liverpool defender told The Telegraph: "I do not believe I am exaggerating when I say the hierarchies of Liverpool and City cannot stand each other, resentments which are reflected in the fanbases.
"City appear to suspect Liverpool of lobbying governing bodies to investigate the legality of their transfer spending, while they make no secret of their belief that the positive coverage of the Klopp era is disproportionate when compared to Guardiola’s trophy haul, and City’s in general since the Abu Dhabi takeover.
"Within Liverpool, eyebrows are raised when stories emerge about fears of another attack on City's bus as happened in the Champions League quarter-final in 2018, and there was incredulity at Guardiola's comments about Sadio Mane's diving .
"As Klopp suggested, it certainly feels like Guardiola talks about Liverpool more than Klopp does Manchester City, and City generally seem preoccupied with how Liverpool are portrayed in the media."
Carragher added when it comes to matters on the field: "These tensions have never been echoed by the managers or players, many of whom appear to be friends as they are international team-mates.
"I do not recall any interview with Liverpool or City players speaking ill of their rivals, and the admiration between the coaches is obvious."
Guardiola has sparked a response from Klopp with some of his comments in the build-up to an eagerly-anticipated clash.
“It is nothing to do with ‘mind games’,” Carragher said.
“Guardiola sounded more like a fan who could not hide how fed up he was that his direct rival had won in the last minute again. If Mane had not been the match-winner, I doubt he would have bitten on the question.
“Klopp’s response 48 hours later seemed more considered as he had time to think about what to say. He has home advantage and there is no manager better at utilising that.
“He knows Anfield is in Guardiola’s head. The City manager admitted as much in an honest interview during which he was hugely flattering to Liverpool at the end of last season.”
Liverpool will play host to City on Sunday sat six points clear of the Blues at the top of the table and aware that another positive result could carry them a long way towards bringing a 30-year wait for title glory to a close.