City are four points worse off than they were at this stage last season when they incredibly collected 98 points on their way to the title.
Guardiola’s side have not been as convincing or dominant this term, however, with surprise losses against Wolves and Norwich denting their charge for a third straight title.
Sunday’s trip to Anfield presents a chance for City to reassert their dominance on their north west rivals, although they have won there just once since 1983.
Injuries to key defenders such as Aymeric Laporte seem to have unbalanced the side and such small fragilities in the team are a worrying sign in the eyes of Lawrenson.
“The little things are going against Pep Guardiola’s side, and some very small cracks are starting to appear, while Liverpool just seem to get stronger and stronger,” he told BBC Sport.
“City did a good job of stopping Liverpool playing the last time they came to Anfield, a 0-0 draw in October 2018.
“I cannot see them coming out and playing really open this time either.
“Liverpool go nine points clear if they win, which is a lot. That is what I think will happen too.”
As to whether the 25kg Premier League trophy will adorn sky blue or deep red tassels come May, Lawrenson was unequivocal in his prediction.
“I think Liverpool will win the league this year and they have shown us why in the past few weeks,” he added.
“If anyone gives them a problem they just seem to know how to solve it.
“I just don’t think City are at the same high level as last season.
“Part of that is down to injuries but, even with largely the same players, there does not quite seem to be the same feel about the team.”