Martin Skrtel confesses that Liverpool's Premier League title aspirations will be in ruins if arch rivals Manchester United are not defeated on Saturday.

The Reds make the short trip to Old Trafford with hopes of a first league title in 19 years hanging by a thread as defending champions United have opened a seven-point lead at the top of the table.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side also enjoy the luxury of a game in hand over their North-West rivals, making Liverpool's task all the more testing, and Skrtel is well aware of the importance of the fixture.

The Slovakian centre-back, who was a part of the team which hammered Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, admits that anything less than three points at United would be fatal, but he is not throwing in the towel.

"If we can win at Old Trafford we would be able to complicate United's title bid," Skrtel - who has battled back from a serious knee injury suffered earlier in the season to regain a place as a first-team regular under Rafa Benitez - told Pravda.

"Any result other than a win would mean a definite end to our title hopes.

"Despite the point difference, we are going into the match with the goal of winning.

"We will see if we can do it but, one thing is for sure, we are in a good mood after beating Real."