Philippe Coutinho has stressed the importance of Liverpool's game against Manchester United on Sunday, dubbing the match a 'six-pointer'.
The Reds lie in fifth place heading into this weekend's game against Louis van Gaal's men, who sit in fourth with just two points separating the pair. A win for Brendan Rodgers' men would see them leapfrog their north west rivals into the final Champions League spot.
End of the season
With the Premier League closure quickly coming to an end, time is not on Liverpool's side to break into the top four for the first time since the opening day of the season.
With plenty up for stakes on Sunday, Coutinho believes that Manchester United represent one of Liverpool's toughest fixtures of the campaign and it is a must if his side are to qualify for Europe's elite club competition.
"It's a really important game for us, and a tough one," Coutinho told Liverpoolfc.com.
"They're a good team with great history and I know this is a massive derby.
"Both teams are fighting for the same thing in the Premier League. It's going to be a critical game and one we would call a 'six-pointer game' in Brazil.
"I've always watched these big matches on television. The entire world knows how big a fixture this is. It's a first-class clash and one we enjoy playing a part in.
"I'm sure it'll be a hard-fought derby and I hope we can be the winners. No fan wants to lose this game, which I see as one of the world's greatest fixtures.
"There are still quite a few games to be played and we need to be winning as many as possible to achieve our objective.
"All remaining matches have to be treated equally as they'll be decisive for our season. We want to be in the top four and qualify for the Champions League next season.
"We know we will stand a good chance if we win this vital game.
"It's always a hard-fought encounter for the great players both clubs have and for their history. It's a crucial game for us and everybody is looking forward to it."
The top-four has quickly turned into a four-horse race with just nine games in the top flight remaining. Manchester City looked to be matching Chelsea for the title however, after hiccups against Liverpool and Burnley, they have fallen off the pace and into the top-four rat race.
If Liverpool prevail against United, a Champions League finish is by no means guaranteed. The Reds still have to travel to Arsenal and Chelsea before the season is out and losses in both of those games could see the Merseyside club's chances slide away.
Improvement Since Last Meeting
When Liverpool met United in December, they were thrashed 3-0 and the Red Devils firmly hold the bragging rights. However, Rodgers' men are unbeaten in the Premier League since that loss and have been very impressive.
Since the change to 3-4-3, Liverpool have looked a completely different outfit. Fast-flowing football has returned to Anfield, with the likes of Coutinho and Jordan Henderson really coming into their own.
Daniel Sturridge was side-lined for the game in December with injury however he will be looking to take advantage of an exposed United defence.
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