James Milner has stoked the flames ahead of Liverpool's trip to Manchester City by saying the Reds team he plays in is better than the City squad with which he won two Premier League titles.
Milner was a part of the City sides that lifted the trophy in 2012 and 2014, before completing a move to Anfield on a free transfer ahead of last season.
With Chelsea seemingly destined for domestic dominance this time around, City and Liverpool's main focus is securing a top-four finish and Champions League football for 2017-18.
Just a point and a place separates the clubs heading into the weekend's meeting at the Etihad Stadium and, despite their inconsistent nature, Milner believes Liverpool possess the quality to stand alongside City's title-winners.
"I've been very fortunate to play in a lot of good teams, with a lot of good players," he told Sky Sports.
"Obviously winning a couple of titles at City, we had some very good players, but as a team this is probably up there as the best team I've played in.
"The Man City team were obviously a top side, and arguably had more standout individual players. We've got a lot of good players at Liverpool too, but I think as a team we play a different style, everyone works together and we need to do that the way we play.
"It's two completely different teams and styles of play, but two fantastic teams."
After five years and four major trophies with City, Milner is more aware than most of the danger posed by Sunday's opponents.
"We always work on the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition. They've got a lot of top, top players," he said.
"David Silva is incredible, he always gets the weight of pass right, Raheem [Sterling] has gone and done really well, and obviously Sergio [Aguero] is so sharp around the box.
"They've got a lot of top players to stop, but we've got a good record against them, we'll set up the way the manager wants, we'll set up in training this week, look at their weaknesses and hopefully exploit them."