Pep Guardiola does not expect Philippe Coutinho's big-money move to Barcelona to weaken Liverpool when they host his Manchester City on Sunday.
Liverpool are undefeated in their last 17 games across all competitions, while Premier League leaders City have won 20 and drawn the other two of their top-flight matches this season.
They do have a significant Anfield hoodoo to overcome, having last won at the famous Merseyside ground in May 2003, but the departure of influential playmaker Coutinho for £142million earlier this week might offer grounds for encouragement.
Not, however, in the eyes of Guardiola.
"There is no doubt about the quality of Coutinho," the former Camp Nou boss told reporters. "I think Barcelona have signed a top, top player who suits perfectly the way they want to play for the last 20 years.
"Saying that, Liverpool have resources. They can go to the market and Jurgen [Klopp] knows exactly what he has to do with his team. Liverpool remain a top, top team
"This season they played a lot of games without Coutinho for many circumstances – injuries and other reasons. Always they were a good and stable team.
"That is not going to change my opinion about Liverpool on Sunday."
Guardiola is looking forward to his latest showdown against Klopp, who he first faced during their respective spells in charge of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
Even with Coutinho out of the picture, the Catalan knows the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino represent major threats to his side, who hold a 15-point advantage over Manchester United at the Premier League summit.
"I think that when our central defenders have the ball, Salah, Mane and Firmino are going to go to take this kind of ball," he said, before acknowledging the potential impact of Liverpool's freshly minted club record signing, with whom City were also linked.
"With [Virgil] Van Dijk now their build-up will be better," Guardiola explained.
"Of course, Jurgen Klopp is a master for the counter-attack. They are a team who, with three or four touches they arrive in the finishing area.
"When we lose the ball in dangerous positions we have to control Salah and Mane because they are so fast, so quick and so clever in the box.
"Maybe now they don't have the talent of Coutinho in the middle but [Georginio] Wijnaldum, Emre Can and [Adam] Lallana – these are guys who have energy and are strong. They are good on set pieces
"I think Liverpool play like Liverpool was in the past, in all their history. Their fans demand attacking football."
SQUAD! pic.twitter.com/9I0iZ083UK— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 12, 2018
Defeat at Anfield would still leave City as heavy favourites to collect a third Premier League title in seven seasons, but Guardiola had not started crunching numbers.
"I am not thinking about how many points left to be champion or how many games left to make a big crash," he added.
"I never spoke with the players, saying we need to win seven, eight or nine games to be champion or you have to drop so many games to not be champion.
"Liverpool, what they do, what we are and what we have to do to beat them - that is the point. Always we will be judged on the results.
"In sports everything can happen. Of course, we can lose the title because you never know what is going to happen in the next 13 or 14 games we have to play.
"It is simple like that. Just focus on the next one – that is the best advice I can give to my players."
|Thomas turns down Celtics´ video tribute|
|Moyes unaware of Chelsea interest in Carroll|
|Verdi wants Bologna stay amid Napoli links|
|Ronaldinho retires – A shining light of Brazil´s 2002 World Cup-winning team|
|Ronaldinho retires – a World Cup and Ballon d´Or among Brazil great´s prizes|
|Celtics great White dead at 71|
|World Cup glory and Bernabeu magic - Ronaldinho´s best moments for Barca and Brazil|
|Trust the Process – 76ers only behind Warriors and Cavs in merchandise sales|
|Ligue 1 Review: Balotelli at the double as Payet shines and Malcom toils|
|Pato still dreaming of World Cup selection|
|FA Cup Review: Iheanacho makes VAR history, kit confusion reigns|
|Wallaby saves wallaby: Farr-Jones in Sydney Harbour Bridge rescue mission|
|2016-17 UEFA Study: PSG, Man City drive record-breaking spending|
|Conte packing in homework as Chelsea games stack up|
|2016-17 UEFA Study: The headlines in transfers, wages and revenues|
|2016-17 UEFA Study: Manchester United record highest revenue but largest debt|
|Monaco stay perfect, Murcia overcome Oldenburg|
|Iheanacho scores English football´s first VAR goal|
|Materazzi not surprised by Coutinho transfer fee|
|Ronaldinho retires - Brazil and Barca great plans 2018 farewell|
|Jags RB Leonard Fournette uninjured in three-car accident|
|India revenge would heal Proteas´ scars - Elgar|
|Koziello swaps Nice for Cologne|
|Simeone ready to unleash Costa and Vitolo alongside Griezmann|
|Head coach Cooper to leave Stade Francais|
|Silverwood plays down talk of replacing Bayliss|
|Lambert ´never thought´ he would return to Premier League|
|Wenger ´very aggressive´ towards referee Dean, says FA report|
|Reported Arsenal target Malcom starts for Bordeaux vs Caen|
|Valverde not making big deal of Dembele´s latest Barca blow|
|Costly day for Kohli as Proteas close in on series win|
|Date set for Afghanistan´s maiden Test|
|Returning McIlroy ready to end winless run|
|In-form Short leaves coach Kirsten needing dental treatment|
|Arsenal will have a ´hard time´ signing Malcom|
|Ronaldo and Madrid nominated for Laureus awards|
|Nantes´ Diego Carlos brands Chapron clash ´historic´|
|This is not important - Conte unconcerned if substitutions upset Hazard|
|Conte ´doesn´t think´ Chelsea have pursued Sanchez|
|Cobblestone climb part of 2019 Tour de France Grand Depart|
|Emery hints at Neymar return against Dijon|
|Joshua labels Parker claims ´fake news´|
|´Emotional´ Fleetwood honoured by Seve Ballesteros Award|
|Tears for Kvitova as Bouchard sets up Halep meeting|
|Mkhitaryan key to United-Sanchez deal, claims Raiola|
|WATCH: Sabalenka wins point using racquet throat|
|Federer, Djokovic and Zverev among Australian Open first-round winners|
|Kubica gets reserve role as Williams hire Sirotkin|
|Shambolic Stars out after Sixers thrashing|
|Wales pick uncapped Worcester wing Adams in Six Nations squad|
|Tevez: CSL spell was a holiday|
|Mignolet considering Liverpool future|
|Laidlaw among several returning stars in Scotland Six Nations squad|
|´Fairy tale´ 2017 motivation for Federer|
|Fred waiting for Guardiola call amid Man City speculation|
|Dominant Federer makes light work of Bedene|
|Halep faces nervous wait over ankle injury|
|Inter confident but patient over Rafinha|
|Kohli fined after umpire outburst|
|Djokovic hits back at Australian Open boycott suggestions|
|De Grandhomme lifts Black Caps to win in Taylor´s 200th ODI|
|Giggs had counselling after Old Trafford exit|
|Durant continues dominance over Cavs as Warriors win|
|Halep survives scare and rolled ankle at Melbourne Park|
|Westbrook ejected against Kings after arguing call|
|Djokovic eases past Young on return|
|Sharapova staying grounded after Melbourne win|
|Neville: Mourinho would happily swap Mkhitaryan for Sanchez|
|Raonic suffers surprise loss in Melbourne|
|Sharapova wins on return to Australian Open|