Rafa Benitez has played down the significance of Liverpool's clash at Manchester City and claims the outcome will not decide who finishes in the top four of the Barclays Premier League.
Liverpool and City are locked together on 44 points with Benitez's men just nudging ahead in fourth place on goal difference but with their rivals having two games in hand.
The Reds visit Roberto Mancini's side at Eastlands on Sunday but Benitez says there is still a long way to go in the season before it is decided who takes that final Champions League spot.
Benitez said: 'City have two games in hand, and that's important - but they have to win them. We just need to concentrate on the next game, which is against them and will be a massive game. Still I have the same idea - it will be a long race and we have to keep going. It's a very important game but even if we win we'll have to keep winning games.'
On paper, Liverpool have a slighty easier run-in to towards the end of the campaign as City still have to face Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
However Benitez insists he is not looking too far ahead at this stage of the season and is just keen to have all his players fit.
Vital: Keeping players such as Fernando Torres fit is vital to Liverpool's chances
He said: 'I was analysing (the fixture list) a little bit but not too much. With the experience we have we know to take one game at a time. You cannot waste too much time because you can't control other games.'We have two or three very difficult games on paper but every game is tough in the Premier League.'It's important to have all the squad available, not just because players like Torres and Yossi and Johnson are important - but also for the competition in each position.'
Fernando Torres not set for Manchester City comeback, insists Liverpool boss BenitezGood news for England boss Fabio Capello - Liverpool defender Glen Johnson is backLIVERPOOL FC