The outoome of Liverpool's clash with Manchester City is likely to hinge on how Virgil van Dijk copes with "absolute phenomenon" Erling Haaland, according to Gary Neville.

City trail Premier League leaders Arsenal by a point ahead of their trip to Anfield on Sunday, while Liverpool are 13 points further back, seemingly out of title contention already.

Pep Guardiola's men are the only unbeaten side in the Premier League, thanks in no small part to the extraordinary exploits of Haaland.

Having only played nine games in the top flight, Haaland has already broken the records for most goals (15) and goal involvements (18) in a player's first 10 appearances in the competition.

A trip to Merseyside will see Norway striker face arguably his toughest opponent yet in Van Dijk, and Neville is excited by the prospect of their duel.

"I still think, no matter what form Liverpool are in and where they are, Sunday will still feel like the toughest game they [City] are going to face," Neville told Sky Sports.

"Look, at the end of the day you know what I feel about those two clubs, but on Sunday you can't help but think of Haaland against Van Dijk.

"You just can't stop thinking about how that's going to play out. The best centre-back in the world for the last three or four years, who has struggled a little bit more this season.

"But he's against this absolute phenomenon. That Liverpool back line, which pushes up with space in behind… I'm fascinated by that, I can't wait for it, to be honest."

Liverpool are winless in their last five Premier League meetings with the champions (D3 L2) – they have never previously gone six without a victory against City in the league.