Vincent Kompany does not think Manchester City's showdown with Liverpool on Thursday will necessarily decide the destiny of the Premier League title.
City returned to winning ways with a 3-1 triumph at Southampton on Sunday but head into the encounter seven points shy of Jurgen Klopp's league leaders having suffered defeats to Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leicester City during December.
Kompany was restored to the heart of Pep Guardiola's defence at St Mary's and City's long-serving club captain believes Liverpool are not immune to a slump similar to the one his team-mates recently suffered.
"I've been long enough in the game to know how important this game is but, at the same time, to know that this is not the all-defining game – as much as people want to put it this way – because so many things can happen," the 32-year-old told Sky Sports
"Who would have thought that we would have three difficult games in December? Nobody would have, a month back.
"So there's nothing to say that with circumstances, injuries and everything that it can't happen to any team in this league.
"Therefore, this game – as much as we want to, need to win it – it's not the all-defining game.
"But if we play how we can, then I will feel very confident – despite the result, whatever it is – to go into every other competition and try and win it."
We finished an amazing 2018 strongly. So much history written for our club, so much to be proud of. Let’s look forward to 2019 and all the opportunities that lie ahead. #ManCitypic.twitter.com/MC9msCqCFL— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) December 30, 2018
City beat Liverpool 5-0 in the corresponding fixture last season but then suffered three consecutive defeats to Klopp's men, starting with the return game in the Premier League at Anfield before losing both legs of a Champions League quarter-final.
The game between the sides on Merseyside earlier this term ended 0-0 in October after City winger Riyad Mahrez skied a late penalty.
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