Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel believes Liverpool are not ready to compete with Manchester City this season.
Jurgen Klopp's side have managed to keep Pep Guardiola's recent treble-winners in their sights in the new Premier League campaign so far. The Reds have won four and drawn once, whilst their rivals have won all five fixtures.
The primary focus of Anfield chiefs during the transfer window was the club's engine room, bringing in four midfielders to strengthen this area. City meanwhile found replacements for outgoings in all positions, including the £90m signing of Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol.
It is Schmeichel's opinion therefore that the reigning champions remain one step ahead of Liverpool at present due to their supposedly superior back line.
ANALYSIS: What Van Dijk did after final whistle speaks volumes about Liverpool team-mate
QUOTES: Wolves boss makes bold Premier League title claim after Liverpool 'chaos'
"I don't think [Liverpool] can [keep up with Manchester City]. I don't think [they can]," the Danish pundit told the Premier League's matchday live. "If there is a team, it might be Arsenal - but that is a big might.
"I don't think anyone can stay with Man City, we were just looking at that line-up today and you look at their back four, how are you gonna compete with that? [Kyle] Walker, [Ruben] Dias, [Manuel] Akanji and Gvardiol - how can you compete with that?
"You can't match it, and Liverpool for sure can't match it. I agree with you [Steve McManaman], they are very, very vulnerable at the back."
Ex-Red McManaman was also on punditry duty alongside the former shot-stopper, dressing down Liverpool's defence prior to Schmeichel's blunt verdict.
"When you look at Liverpool it'sRead on liverpoolecho.co.uk