Richard Dunne has warned former club Everton that Manchester City are gunning for this season's fourth spot in the Premier League table.
With Liverpool having endured the type of season that Rafa Benitez's nightmares are made of, the likes of Merseyside neighbours Everton, Sven Goran Eriksson's rejuvenated City and Martin O'Neill-inspired Aston Villa are all pushing to break the 'Big Four's' grip at the summit.
Liverpool, for all their troubles, are unlikely to relinquish UEFA Champions League football without a fight but it is Everton who Dunne has set his sights on catching.
The two clubs meet next Monday and should City taste success at Eastlands then they will draw level on points with David Moyes' Toffees.
And with games against Wigan and Reading to follow, City's bid for the Champions League could be handed a major tonic.
"We go now into the game against Everton just three points behind them, knowing quite well that we can beat them," Dunne told the Manchester Evening News.
"If we do that, we're right back in with a chance of a Champions League spot."
Dunne could be set to hand City a fresh boost by agreeing a contract extension, having been engaged in discussions with the club's board over the past few weeks.
The Irish stopper has enjoyed another excellent campaign at the heart of City's defence and given he could leave in the summer by buying out the last 12 months of his contract, it is no surprise Blues chief executive Alistair Mackintosh is eager to wrap up the deal as quickly as possible.