"We knew that (it would be a tough game) because you can not knock out four teams from the Premier League without (being) well organised and having nice players to watch". Guardiola's team remains unbeaten and 15 points clear at the top of the league standings.
The Reds are unbeaten in their last 14 home games against City in the Premier League and will be keen to avenge their 5-0 thrashing at the Etihad in September. Our target is to do better than last season, a better performance. Five of the last six games in this matchup have had fewer than 2.5 goals.
But the Liverpool boss suggested that the trio will remain on the sidelines when City visit Anfield as they need to build up their match fitness before returning to action.
"They play a fantastic season, our season is not too bad but, in a game like this, you need to show that you can cause them problems, more problems than other teams can, make their life hard and try to win".
Kevin De Bruyne equalised in the 55th minute and the quadruple-chasing, runaway Premier League leaders snatched victory on the night via substitute Sergio Aguero's stoppage-time header.
Pep Guardiola has transformed Manchester City from a team of great players into a great team. "But the City game is a completely different game".
Man City are 5/4 favourites, while the draw is 13/5.
It should be noted that on that occasion - 1936-37 - City won the first of their four top-flight titles. Cole also won four FA Cups with Chelsea and combined with the three he had already won with Arsenal, make him the player with the most amount of winners medals in the famous competition's history.
"We did it at Stamford Bridge, we did it at Old Trafford and [at Anfield] we have to do that". He has so far downplayed the possibility of achieving the milestone - "We are going to lose games; it belongs to Arsène Wenger" - but surely the apple is going to grow all too enticing as May draws near.
In a small snatch of conversation between two football fans late a year ago, an Arsenal admirer is consoled by his friend: "Don't worry!"
Liverpool however, since being humiliated by Tottenham back in October, have gone 17 games in all competitions without being beaten - and 13 games undefeated in the league; their best to date under Klopp.
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City's style of play could also prove telling down the line. Don't expect any stunners there.
City have not done the double over the Reds for over 80 years.