Pep Guardiola has warned his Manchester City side a failure to beat Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday will effectively mean their title challenge is "over".
Reigning champions City revived their bid to retain the Premier League trophy with a 3-1 win away to Southampton on Sunday that followed shock defeats by Crystal Palace and Leicester.
Victory at St Mary's, however, still left City seven points behind leaders Liverpool and for a while it seemed Guardiola's side might drop more points on the south coast.
"We knew it, that with the position of Liverpool, if we drop points then it is over, it (the title race is finished," Guardiola said.
"It would be almost impossible. Of course they are going to drop points but not too many. If you want to be there as far as possible until the end we have to remember what happened last season and this as well -- apart from the last few days," the City manager added.
Guardiola was adamant he had not lost confidence in his side, despite the Palace and Leicester reverses.
"How can I doubt them?" he said. "Football is like this. We make 30 exceptional minutes again, especially without the ball, we create chances to go 2-0 or 3-0, and we concede one goal."