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."
23. April 2018
|´Shameful´ Bolivian side forfeit match at 7-0 down after fielding youth team|
|Henderson fired up for ´fantastic´ De Rossi battle|
|Klopp urges Liverpool fans to ´show respect´ to Roma|
|Juventus confirm muscle tear for Chiellini|
|Klopp key to surprising Salah success – Totti|
|Hartley to miss South Africa tour with concussion|
|Salah´s PFA award made more special by De Bruyne form – Klopp|
|Liverpool have earned the right to be feared, says Gerrard|
|Arsenal confirm ankle ligament damage for Elneny|
|Cubs´ Kris Bryant ´as good as can be expected´ after being hit with 96 mph fastball|
|Hector pledges future to struggling Cologne|
|´Crazy´ fans can help Roma knock out Liverpool, says Voller|
|Sharapova not short on desire despite struggles|
|South Africa to test unbeaten home record vs Pakistan & Sri Lanka|
|Kerr: Ginobili should keep playing another two years|
|He keeps getting better and better - Henderson full of praise for PFA winner Salah|
|Roma v Liverpool: Giallorossi have chance to write positive headlines|
|Prove you are the best - Povetkin promoter lays down Joshua gauntlet|
|Wenger will not be short of offers from clubs - Dein|
|LeBron hails Korver & Clarkson as Cavs square series|
|I may play the kids in the FA Cup next season, reveals bemused Pochettino|
|Simeone weighing up three-man defence for Arsenal tie|
|Kings wait for Bogut signing approval|
|Vieira refuses to address Arsenal rumours and Wenger departure|
|Cueto lowers historic ERA in Giants´ win|
|Spurs avoid sweep, Cavs edge Pacers|
|WATCH: Smith beats first-quarter buzzer with near full-court shot|
|Harden, D´Antoni hope Rockets regain top form|
|Man United star Pogba can win Ballon d´Or, says Ronaldinho|
|Silva loves me more than his girlfriend – Mendy|
|MLS Review: Timbers end NYC´s unbeaten start, Sounders claim first win|
|Flyers´ Couturier played with torn MCL|
|Emery praises PSG for maintaining motivation|
|Cavs´ Hill out for game four with back spasms|
|Oblak unsure over Atletico Madrid future|
|Klopp ready for ´different´ Roma test|
|Salah always determined to prove his Premier League worth|
|Landry earns first PGA Tour victory at Texas Open|
|City´s Sane named PFA Young Player of the Year|
|Salah pips De Bruyne to PFA Players´ Player of the Year award|
|Napoli bus spat at and insulted, Sarri claims|
|Navas will be at Real Madrid for many years – Perez|
22. April 2018
|Juve still have the advantage, Allegri claims|
|Racing coach Labit ready for ´formidable´ Leinster challenge|
|Smalling not giving up on World Cup|
|Hard to catch Man City if they invest, Mourinho warns|
|Pogba: I have no problem with Mourinho|
|Koulibaly: Napoli have always believed in Scudetto|
|Bordeaux 0 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Lo Celso keeps champions on track for records|
|Atletico Madrid 0 Real Betis 0: More concerns for Simeone ahead of Europa League|
|Juventus 0 Napoli 1: Partenopei close the gap thanks to Koulibaly|
|Dominant Marquez maintains perfect record in Austin|
|Guardiola has no problem with Manchester City pitch invasion|
|Neymar must join Real Madrid to become the best - Rivaldo|
|There was no player better than De Bruyne - Guardiola backs City man for PFA award|
|Top managers should want Arsenal job, says Moyes|
|Manchester City boss Guardiola aiming to smash records following title triumph|
|Las Palmas relegated from LaLiga after 4-0 home defeat to Alaves|
|Archer and Gowtham combine for dramatic Royals victory|
|This won´t happen forever - dominant Nadal reflects on latest success|
|Andrew Bogut returns to Australia, signs with Sydney Kings|
|Manchester City break Premier League passing and possession records|
|Conte: Morata still important despite Giroud impact|
|Inter gave up against Chievo, admits Spalletti|
|Conte denies Mourinho rift ahead of FA Cup final|
|Levy claims fifth European Tour crown in Rabat|
|Diouf miss ´a turning point´ for both Stoke and Burnley|
|Hughes upset with lack of VAR after Southampton´s FA Cup loss|
|Manchester City 5 Swansea City 0: Guardiola´s champions turn on the style|
|Manchester United are FA Cup favourites, claims Chelsea boss Conte|