Cape Town - Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne insists "there's no way the season would be over" if Liverpool were to win Sunday's top-of-the-table clash at Anfield.
City are seeking a third successive Premier League title but they have some ground to recover if they are to make it a hat-trick of domestic crowns.
The defending champions are six points behind pacesetters Liverpool ahead of Sunday's meeting at Anfield.
A victory would see City move up to second and within three points of the Reds, while defeat would leave them nine points off the pace and in fourth spot after Leicester and Chelsea both won on Saturday.
De Bruyne knows a loss would put a huge dent in his side's title aspirations but he says even if they fail to get a result on Merseyside they will not be out of contention.
"If they were to win, then the gap is big, but it's not season-defining," De Bruyne told the club's official website.
"There's no way the season would be over, there's still so many games after with a lot of points to play for, but obviously if you have a nine-point gap then they'd be very happy and for us there would be more pressure."
Chelsea and the Foxes have enjoyed excellent starts to the season and both have to considered as title contenders at this stage, with the two sides five points behind Liverpool.
De Bruyne refused to rule out either keeping the pace and battling for Premier League glory but the Belgian international believes that ultimately the title race will come down to a fight between his side and the Reds, who he sees as City's "biggest threat".
City are unbeaten in six games across all competitions and are seeking a fourth Premier League win in a row, while Liverpool remain unbeaten in the league and have picked up 31 points from a possible 33 ahead of Sunday's huge fixture at Anfield.