Luis Suarez has said derailing Manchester United's title bid "would be a prize" for Liverpool ahead of the teams' meeting at Anfield on Sunday.
Liverpool, trailing fourth-placed Chelsea by nine points, will need to take all three points if they are to maintain any realistic hope of qualifying for the Champions League, but Suarez has emphasised that the games provides the Reds with the chance to prevent United securing a record 19th title.
"Of course, we know how important this game is," he said in the Liverpool Echo. "We know how important it is that United don't win the title because of the rivalry between the teams. We have the same amount of titles. It would be a prize for us to stop them winning the league.
"I remember many years ago watching this game on television and being impressed by the partnership between Gerrard and Fowler. They were very good together."
Suarez also revealed his Uruguay team-mate Diego Forlan, who famously scored both United's goals in a 2-1 win over Liverpool in the 2002-03 season, had talked up the North-West derby.
"Diego told me that it is the most important game of the year for them as it is for us," he said. "I know that of all the games in the season this is the one that both most want to win.
"To score in a game like this and help the team to win is something that as a player you always dream of, but my main objective is that the team keep on getting points.
"That the United fans still sing that for Diego shows the power of the fixture. It shows it is a very important game. I have played a lot of big derbies in Holland, Uruguay and for the national team against Argentina and Brazil, so I am calm.
"I am used to playing derbies, and these are the class of games you most want to play in in any competition - a derby between two really big teams both going for European places. That is why I came here."
Andy Carroll, who joined Liverpool alongside Suarez at the end of the January transfer window, is expected to make his debut at the weekend.
"My impression is that he has a lot of quality," Suarez said. "It is down to us as a group of players to help him fit in and ease him back."