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."
|Kerber downs Sharapova in Melbourne masterclass|
|I prefer Fekir to Neymar - Lyon president Aulas fires another pre-match barb at PSG|
|Wales dealt Priestland blow ahead of Six Nations|
|Zverev fails to reach last 16 after shock loss to Chung|
|Will Smith brings A-list power to the Big Bash League|
|Sleep and chocolate – Halep too exhausted to think about tennis|
|Beal leads Wizards past Pistons, Raptors edge Spurs|
|Dortmund boss Stoger leaves door open for Aubameyang return amid Arsenal links|
|Davis tired but upbeat after matching Aus Open record in marathon loss to Halep|
|Halep prevails in record-equalling epic at Australian Open|
|Neymar can play with Ronaldo at Real Madrid – Mijatovic|
|Dyche compares Sanchez-Man United move to Harry Potter|
|Landry grabs second-round lead as Rahm lurks|
|Kristaps Porzingis takes subtle jab at fans, media for All-Star starter snub|
|Schurrle annoyed at more dropped Dortmund points|
|Carrick expected to become Man Utd coach, reveals Mourinho|
|Koepka faces race to be ready for Masters|
|Barkley ´obsessed´ with becoming world-class at Chelsea|
|Guardiola wants ´three or four´ signings but rules out Sanchez alternative|
|Conte defends Chelsea amid surprise Carroll & Crouch links|
|Atlanta United wrap up Barco signing for MLS record fee|
|Derby County 0 Bristol City 0: Penalty controversy in goalless draw|
|Pau clinch top spot with perfect record|
|Hertha Berlin 1 Borussia Dortmund 1: Kagawa equalises in Aubameyang´s absence|
|Brighton break transfer record for Locadia|
|Dortmund still waiting on ´concrete´ offer for Aubameyang|
|Tom Brady addresses media, reveals no details of hand injury|
|Can will ´give everything´ at Liverpool despite Juventus talks|
|One Direction star trained with Mourinho´s Chelsea|
|Goretzka asks Schalke fans to not turn on him after agreeing Bayern deal|
|Youngs agrees new Leicester deal|
|Wozniacki slams ´rude´ umpire after Bertens win|
|Van Persie secures return to Feyenoord|
|Conte should replace Wenger at Arsenal, claims Carragher|
|Kimmich named Germany’s 2017 Player of the Year|
|Nadal´s best required against in-form Schwartzman|
|Moyes denies scouting Batshuayi and deals Chelsea blow with Carroll injury|
|Vunipola´s Six Nations hopes dashed as 12-week absence confirmed|
|No one like Ronaldinho until Messi - Guardiola lavishes praise on Brazil great|
|Simeone shrugs off mentality concerns at Atletico Madrid|
|Going for gold? Neymar meets Beckham in matching jackets|
|You think I change my mind that quick? – Klopp faithful to No.1 Karius|
|Conte backs Morata to overcome disciplinary concerns|
|Lloris a doubt for Southampton game, confirms Pochettino|
|Pieters edges into Abu Dhabi lead|
|Klopp doubts Alexis Sanchez tug-of-war decided by money|
|Conte admits Pedro dived|
|Valencia tie down Torres amid Real Madrid, Barcelona reports|
|Bangladesh claim record win over Sri Lanka|
|Congratulations! Guardiola offers well wishes to United-bound Sanchez|
|Pele pulls out of London event amid conflicting health reports|
|Conte would be ´happy´ for transfer help|
|Kontaveit dumps Ostapenko out, Wozniacki battles through|
|Sanchez to United not done at all, insists Mourinho|
|Rafa sails through, Kyrgios books Dimitrov showdown|
|Emery refuses to indulge Neymar-Cavani penalty debate|
|Wozniacki battles past stubborn Bertens|
|Goretzka chose Bayern over England, Spain and Italy – Heynckes|
|BBBofC ready to lift Fury suspension|
|I would reject such players – Heynckes slams ´selfish´ Aubameyang|
|Kyrgios proves cool credentials to Will Smith in Tsonga win|
|Western Sydney Wanderers 0 Melbourne Victory 3: Barbarouses extends purple patch|
|Conte likes Dzeko but Chelsea have made no offer, says agent|
|Goretzka´s Bayern move good for Bundesliga, suggests Rummenigge|
|Root guides England home as Finch century proves in vain again|
|Walcott left Arsenal with his things in bin bags|
|Nadal breezes past Dzumhur in Melbourne|
|Schalke confirm Goretzka will join Bayern|
|Sergi Roberto renews Barca deal until 2022|
|Fernandinho seals extended Manchester City contract|