Pep Guardiola insists next weekends highly-anticipated clash with Liverpool will not affect the way he sees his Manchester City team.
The pair sit together at the top of the Premier League table on 19 points after City defeated Brighton 2-0 before Liverpool secured a late equaliser to draw with Chelsea and preserve their unbeaten record.
City strolled to the title last season, playing only for records over the final weeks of the season, but this campaign is shaping up differently, with Chelsea and especially Liverpool looking capable of providing a serious challenge.
Jurgen Klopps side were Guardiolas nemesis last season, winning three of the four meetings, including both legs in the Champions League quarter-finals.
“There are situations like on the first and second goal when the opponents go forward. With Rash and Leroy on the counter-attack, they are so fast. We also miss Kevin De Bruyne in those situations,” Guardiola explained.
City have not beaten the Reds at Anfield in any competition since May 2003 and have lost on their last six league visits.
Guardiola said: I believe too much in that team, in those guys. I know how they fight. Go to Anfield, win, lose, whatever. Its a long time ago Man City was able to win at Anfield. What I want to see is the team alive, and we are alive.
If they beat us three times, they are a good side. They lost the first game in the Carabao Cup (against Chelsea last week) but at Anfield they score a lot of goals, they dont concede.
Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City can reach title winning heights
Now its Hoffenheim, and after that we are going to prepare, and after that were going to prepare for Burnley. At the end, were going to see what happened at the end of the season.
City travel to Germany for Tuesday nights Champions League tie needing to make amends for their defeat against Lyon in the opening round of European fixtures.
Tuesdays Champions League clash in Germany has been given added weight by Citys opening loss to Lyon, but their week began positively with a routine victory over Brighton.
City enjoyed 80 per cent of possession and had seven times as many shots as the Seagulls, who only have five points to show from their first seven games but have impressed in a tricky early run of fixtures.
Their only victory so far came against Manchester United, and boss Chris Hughton told Sky Sports: What we have to be is realistic, and certainly our supporters are.
Weve played seven games, four against the top six, two other games away from home, with one at Watford, who have started so well. When we are evaluating where we are at the moment, we have to take that into context.
Having said that, we have the best chance of picking up the majority of our points outside the top six, and we have to do that.
Benjamin Mendy has further antagonised Pep Guardiola by turning up three hours late for treatment on his toe injury.
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Guardiola criticised Mendy for spending too much time on social media at the start of the season and now the Manchester City manager has become even more dissatisfied with the France left back after he turned up late for a session with medical staff at the clubs training ground on Sunday.
City maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Brighton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.
Mendy had spent the previous night in London watching Anthony Joshuas world heavyweight boxing title fight against Alexander Povetkin.
Sitting on the same number of points as at this stage last season, Guardiola is pleased with Citys start, but notes their rivals have notably improved.
Pep hails Sterling and young midfield after City victory
It is not the first time that Mendy has turned up late this season and Guardiola is not happy with the 24-year-old. The players should be here [on time] and he knows it. I spoke with…