Sadio Mane admitted Manchester United "are better this year" as he sent a rousing message to his Liverpool teammates ahead of Sunday's derby.
The Reds know only a victory will restore them to the top of the Premier League as they face United at Anfield.
Liverpool earned the bragging rights over their bitter rivals last season, following up a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford with an emphatic 2-0 home win on their charge to the title.
Mane anticipates a closer affair as United come calling this season, but he declared Liverpool "do not fear" any opposition on the eve of the top-of-the-table encounter.
"Like I always say, I don’t like to talk about our opponents," the Senegalese forward told Liverpool's official website. "All that I can say is I want to get the maximum points we can.
"They are better this year and that’s what I can say about United. The rest, we will see on the pitch.
"We do not fear any team in the league, we are capable of beating any team.
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"We are Liverpool and we will do everything possible within our massive stadium to win the game.
Liverpool face United on the back of a run of two draws and a loss in the league, and Mane stressed the importance of training with intensity as his side bid to return to winning ways.
The 28-year-old added: "Everything starts at the training ground.
"At the training ground you have to show all the things like desire, attitude and all of these things, then in the game you can see it.
"The difficult moment has happened, it was not the first time for us, but we are more mature and we know these kind of things [can happen].
"It is behind us and, as I said, now we’re looking forward to the Manchester United game."
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