Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is relishing a Premier League title tilt at Anfield, in a fight he does not expect Manchester United to contest.
After 10 games of Jurgen Klopp's first full season in England, the Reds join Arsenal and Manchester City on 23 points at the Premier League summit, enjoying the joint-best attacking record.
Liverpool's thrilling, if often haphazard, approach was neatly summed up by Lovren's individual performance against Crystal Palace last weekend, the Croatia international committing two defensive errors, but scoring at the other end in a thrilling 4-2 win.
By contrast, United's season has not caught the imagination - Jose Mourinho's side have won only four of their 10 league games, stifling the Reds in a 0-0 stalemate recently - and Lovren believes the tide of dominance is once again turning in the clubs' great rivalry.
He told Sportske Novosti: "Everyone started to respect us more, Liverpool is a title contender.
"Everything is positive, but it is still early, and a lot of big clubs chase the title too.
"I am not sure Manchester United will recover in time and join the race, but you never know.
"The title will be decided in 'smaller' games, not derbies."