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."
|Chung continues dream Australian Open run|
|Keys unhappy with quarter-final display|
|Kerber full of confidence in Melbourne|
|Neymar is loved by PSG fans – Emery|
|LeBron James becomes youngest NBA player with 30,000 points|
|NBA All-Star Game reserves leaked ahead of announcement|
|Kerber crushes Keys to reach Aus Open semis|
|Serena Williams set to make competitive return in Fed Cup|
|Heat guard Waiters undergoes season-ending ankle surgery|
|Simeone shoulders blame for Atletico´s Copa exit|
|Wenger: Sanchez not a mercenary for joining Manchester United|
|Phil Neville deletes Twitter account after controversial posts surface|
|Sam Curran added to England T20 tri-series squad|
|Guardiola: Quadruple-chasing City will only be judged on trophies|
|Karsiyaka and Nymburk reach FIBA Champions League last 16|
|Batshuayi out of chances to convince Conte|
|Chelsea lacked finances to compete with City & United for Sanchez - Conte|
|Sevilla 3 Atletico Madrid 1 (5-2 agg): Griezmann stunner not enough for semi spot|
|Bristol City 2 Manchester City 3 (3-5 agg): Guardiola through to first English final|
|Serena can return for more grand slam success – King|
|O´Neill signs Ireland extension|
|Teachers bowled over by Edmund ability|
|Woods grouped with Reed and Hoffman at Torrey Pines|
|New signing Jach sees Palace as platform for World Cup spot|
|Thomas replaces Sinckler in England training camp|
|Phil Neville appointed England Women´s manager|
|Heat unveil Miami Vice-themed uniforms|
|Kenedy leaves Chelsea for Newcastle loan|
|Wozniacki still haunted by 2011 Li Na loss|
|PSG rule out ´traumatic´ injury for Mbappe|
|PSG boost midfield options with surprise Diarra signing|
|Dyche commits to Burnley to 2022|
|Patriots elect to wear white in Super Bowl LII|
|Kobe Bryant´s ´Dear Basketball´ short film nominated for Oscar|
|Zidane tells Real Madrid fans to stop jeering Benzema|
|Players must manage their own schedules, says Cilic|
|Lucas Moura free to leave PSG, confirms Emery|
|Kenedy set for Newcastle as Conte waits for window to close|
|Bouchard agrees to another Super Bowl date|
|Neymar and Mbappe in doubt for PSG´s clash with Guingamp|
|Targeting the backhand, attacking the net and 83 winners: How Cilic subdued Nadal|
|Mascherano to leave Barcelona as Hebei move looms|
|Wozniacki reaches Australian Open semi-finals in early hours|
|Conte rules Morata and Fabregas out of Arsenal clash|
|Tamim and Shakib leave Zimbabwe facing tri-nation exit|
|Clarets snap up Lennon from Everton|
|Too many people are getting injured - Nadal frustrated by Aus Open retirement|
|Dzeko set to face Sampdoria despite Chelsea reports|
|It´s really unfortunate for Rafa - Cilic sympathises with injured Nadal|
|Zidane rejects suggestions he won ´battle´ over Kepa|
|Surprise semi-finalist Mertens ready for more Melbourne magic|
|Sorry Stars fail to shine again as Sixers claim consolation win|
|Injured Nadal bows out of Australian Open to Cilic|
|Ramos trains for Real Madrid as wounded Ronaldo works indoors|
|Wijnaldum admits Liverpool ´gave a half away´ against Swansea|
|I know what it feels like to be Andy Murray - Edmund revels in limelight|
|Wenger: Arsenal are about values, not millions|
|Gracious Dimitrov says Edmund deserved to win|
|Aubameyang to Arsenal not close, says Wenger|
|Hernandez open to West Ham exit|
|Superstar Sanchez will lift Manchester United squad, says Giggs|
|De Bruyne 2023: The sensational displays that won Manchester City´s talisman a new deal|
|How new recruit Sanchez compares to Manchester United´s forwards|
|Edmund claims shock win over Dimitrov to reach Aus Open semis|
|Cousins posts one of greatest stat lines in NBA history|
|Rockets close gap on Warriors by beating Heat|
|Lucas ´not happy´ at PSG|
|Svitolina reveals hip injury struggles|
|´Dangerous´ Cilic can beat Nadal, says Philippoussis|
|Mertens stuns Svitolina in Melbourne|